Scilla bifolia -an appreciation

James Waddick
Mon, 12 Mar 2012 08:18:37 PDT
Dear PBSers,
	This is the start of the great Northern Bulb Explosion, a 
season when Daffodils emerge, Tulips pop up, Hyacinths and many more 
turn the winter greys and brown into a riot of color seemingly 
overnight. A season where the tiny get left behind.

	Before I forget or let these pass, I am enjoying the tiny 
Scilla bifolia which have lightly self sown about the garden. This is 
a small bulb - maybe the tiniest hardy bulb - in my garden. Each bulb 
has two leaves, dark green-brown, about an inch long and less than 
1/5 that width. If it were not for the flowers you'd be hard pressed 
to find the leaves among the emerging cool growing weed seedlings. 
The flowers are small too, but a pleasing bright blue - not the 
intense blue of Scilla sibirica, but a clear deep sky blue color.

	These little spots of color pop up in a lot of odd places 
here and there. Clumps may have a 8 or 10 flowers and show more 
'presence', but the scattered blue bits never fail to cheer us up. 
The blue form is typical, but pink and white forms are also available 
in the trade. I bought a number of each years ago, but only a couple 
white have persisted and the pink are long gone, but the blue 
persists and expands in waves - good years more, rough years less.  I 
don't know what scatters the seed about, but seedlings have appeared 
yards away in spots where they must have been carried . There small 
size makes them totally unobtrusive and soon they'll be hidden by 
large plants as they emerge. With no care they have ben totally hardy 
here in the Kansas City area.

	There's a single picture on the wiki from Jim McK…
but many others on the web including this 'new find' of a rich blue:…

	(You'll have to copy and paste to make this a link, but worth a look)

	The bulbs are usually available in the fall and modestly 
priced, but may take some searching out.  For their brief season they 
are in bloom it is a few pennies well spent.

	 These little treasures need a plug now and then as they get 
literally lost in the profusion of larger showier bulbs.

		Enjoy		Jim W.
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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