Favorite Pink Bulbs-TOW

Rodger Whitlock totototo@pacificcoast.net
Fri, 13 Aug 2004 05:39:30 PDT
On  9 Aug 04 at 18:25, Mary Sue Ittner wrote:

> Please tell us which five pink bulbs are your favorites.

1. <stares at ceiling> Tritonia "rosea"
2. Crocus kotschyanus
3. Fuchsia magellanica 'Alba'

<ooops, that's not a bulb: reset and retry>

3. Cyclamen hederifolium
4. the paler forms of Cyclamen coum
5. Cyclamen libanoticum

Actually, I find the pink C. hederifoliums usually aren't a good 
pink; they're lovely when massed, but individually the flowers 
are nothing to write home about.

C. coum I like very much as it ranges from a deep color somewhere 
near red or magenta or very saturated rose, through a wide range of 
pinks and roses to white. But I've never seen an apple-blossom pink 
one -- a near white with just a flush of pink.

But for a really beautiful pink, C. libanoticum is hard to beat. It 
comes close to the apple-blosson ideal, though not bang on. 
Regrettably mine are intermixed with Eranthis hyemalis, the leaves of 
which elongate and hide the cyclamen just when it comes into flower.

The tritonia is okay, but it's somewhat on the muddy side: not a good 
clear color. What's its proper specific epithet? Something like 
rooteo-cyanea, isn't it?

Finally, Crocus kotschyanus comes close to pink. The Dutch, in their
usual imaginative way, show it in a deep pink on the color cards
provided with the boxes of bulbs in the fall, but that's a blatant
falsification. C.k. in its better forms is a pale mauve that
approaches pink under some lighting. If you don't grow this crocus
and want to, be aware that (a) it is a thug-in-training and will
self-seed with abandon if it likes your conditions and (b) the
commercial stock is badly infected with viruses; the flowers are
both undersized and malformed. Grow it from seed or buy it from a
specialist dealer. Don't waste your money on commercial bulbs.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
"To co-work is human,
to cow-ork, bovine."

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