Bulbs for Shade--TOW

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Mon, 19 May 2003 07:21:34 PDT
Dear All,

The topic for this week is bulbs for shade. We had requests from people who 
were wondering what to plant in shady areas of their garden. We also had a 
suggestion I really liked (a way to make my job easier) for a number of 
topics that everyone could help with, that is everyone who was willing. The 
idea was that each person could nominate their favorite five bulbs for 
shade. It wouldn't matter if any genus or species got more than one 
nomination. Digby has started us off by his nomination of Veltheimia bracteata.

I've been thinking of five I'd like to nominate and it is tough, but here goes.
1. Veltheimia bracteata is a favorite of mine too. The leaves are gorgeous 
and it is in bloom for such a long time and there is that anticipation as 
it unfolds
2. Cyclamen--Hard to pick which species, but I have this memory of coming 
across a patch while hiking in the French part of Switzerland of Cyclamen 
purpurescens. I'm sure if I had a display of my own like that it would have 
consideration. My pot plant of this species bloomed 7 months last year.
3. Leucojum aestivum--This gets nominated for its absolutely no care in my 
garden, long bloom, no summer water, and the deer never ate it before I had 
a deer fence
4. Calochortus--Oh dear it is hard to pick from some of these that do fine 
in the shade. It would probably depend on which was in bloom at the time. 
C. monophyllus I loved earlier and C. amabilis right now. C. albus is 
another delight.
5. I'm tempted to add Clintonia andrewsiana since it was included in Bulbs 
of North America and I love the leaves, pink flowers, and blue berries. We 
are all thrilled to see it in the wild. But I am afraid someone might 
disqualify it so I'm going to name a couple of our native lilies that are 
often seen growing in the shade, Lilium maritimum and Lilium pardalinum. 
The former I have in a very shady part of my garden and it blooms every 
year. It is a bit taller than it would be in less shade, but it still 
survives and blooms.

I hope a number of you will participate in the discussion this week.

Mary Sue

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