Tiny bulbs

Pacific Rim paige@hillkeep.ca
Fri, 13 Feb 2004 23:17:58 PST
Jane McGary asked about tiny bulbs for troughs.

I don't know whether tiny non-bulbous geophytes fit Jane's order, but anyone
who must cope with part-day shade might like to try Streptopus streptopoides
and Polygonatum graminifolium.

S. streptopoides is  2" tall, with small white bells in July that are
followed by red berries. It grows at the edge of mountain conifer forests in
the arc of Beringia from eastern Asia across to Alaska and down western
North America as far as Washington and Idaho. I see it described as up to 20
cm (8") tall, but the plants I have seen -- all in southwestern British
Columbia -- are much shorter.

P. graminifolium is from the Himalaya and 2-4" tall. Tiny, scented
pink bells amid grassy leaves are followed by deeper pink fruits. It is
native to sunny alpine meadows that are wet in summer, but does well with us
in dappled shade.

Paige Woodward

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