Bulbs for Shade--TOW

Boyce Tankersley btankers@chicagobotanic.org
Mon, 19 May 2003 15:26:36 PDT
I started out to simply respond with my current favorites. However the posts from a few other respondants suggesting more than one location - and that took me down memory lane. As a college student my philosophy was that if I could break even on a summer internship position at an interesting location then that would broaden my horizons (and theoretically help me get a good paying job).

In Chicago, Illinois zone 5, my favorite bulbs for shade are Galanthus, Scilla sibirica, Trillium grandiflorum, many Arisaema species and any species of Dicentra.

In St. Louis, Missouri zone 6, my favorite bulbs for shade were English Bluebells, Dracunculus vulgaris, Galanthus species and cultivars, Begonia grandis and Crocus tommasinianus.

In Fort Worth, Texas zone 7 and humid, my favorite shade bulbs were Narcissus, Clintonia, Lycoris squamigera, Muscari armeniacum, Hippeastrum hybrids.

In Galveston, Texas, zone 8, my favorite shade bulbs were Roscoea, Alpinia zerumbet, Caladium (they were all root hardy), Hymenocallis, Hippeastrum hybrids, Lycoris radiata.

Growing up in Las Cruces, New Mexico, zone 7 and arid, my favorite shade bulbs were Iris reticulata cultivars, Colocasia esculenta, Muscari armeniacum, Lilium longiflorum hybrids, Leucjum aestivum.

As an intern at Las Cruces Tropical Botanic Garden in San Vito de Java, Costa Rica (now the Robert and Catherine Wilson Tropical Botanical Garden), my favorite shade bulbs were the species and cultivars of Calathea, a number of terrestrial ground orchids, just about any other taxa in the Zingiberacea/Heliconiaceae/Calatheaceae, Crinum (white flowers in deep shade simular to moorei), an incredibly tall native Canna. This garden is located in the cloud forests of southern Costa Rica among the coffee plantations; daytime highs were 78 degrees F, night time lows were 68 degrees F - year round.

During a 12 month internship on the west coast of Scotland my favorite woodland bulbs were the English bluebells, Narcissus species and cultivars, Cardiocrinum giganteum, many Lilium species, Erythronium americanum, Cyclamen neapolitanum.

Boyce Tankersley

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