Favorite Yellow Flowered Bulbs--TOW

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Wed, 21 Jan 2004 10:25:41 PST
To respond to Mary Sue's stimulus on writing about yellow-flowered bulbs:

There are not many in fall, but Sternbergia lutea and its relative or 
subspecies S. sicula are excellent, as is S. graeberana, a miniature (see 
the PBS wiki for photos). The only yellow Colchicum, C. luteum, flowers in 
late winter and is not suited to the Mediterranean bulb garden at all; it's 
probably not a Colchicum, either!

There are many brilliant gold-yellow crocuses, but pure yellow is not 
common in the genus. C. chrysanthus 'Moonlight' is a light pure yellow, but 
I have not been able to get good stock of it recently. Another slightly 
unusual yellow shade is C. cvijicii, which must be grown from seed if you 
can get it at all (Archibalds sometimes offer it).

I will leave the myriad Narcissus to the specialists, since I never know 
which name to use for them. For color in the rock garden, the N. 
bulbocodium selections and subspecies are the best in terms of proportion 
of flower to leaf and stem. N. hedraeanthus, just opening now, blooms right 
on the ground and is a lovely light yellow, but so tiny it should be kept 
in a pot or trough.

Favorite yellow Calochortus? C. clavatus, because it is so big and bright. 
Not the easiest to flower, however.

Mary Sue mentioned Triteleia ixioides. The common commercial variety is 
'Starlight', which is extremely floriferous, but I prefer a Robinett 
selection they called 'High Sierra form'. The latter is deeper in color.

Of yellow tulips, T. batalinii, which Mary Sue nominated, is lovely but 
does not perennialize here. T. urumiensis does, however, and I believe T. 
tarda is perennial in gardens over a vast range of climates, even 
self-sowing in many. Some people don't like T. sylvestris, a stoloniferous 
yellow tulip, because it is "invasive," but you would have to be a neater 
gardener than I (not difficult) to complain of having too many species tulips.

Diane mentioned yellow Erythronium hybrids. 'Pagoda' is as she says 
cabbagey in regard to the leaves, but I find 'Citronella' quite leafy too, 
both rather like their parent E. tuolumnense. A newer hybrid, 'Sundisc', is 
both larger in flower and less leafy, and it has increased well here from a 
single expensive bulb.

There are plenty of yellow Allium species, too; my favorite is A. flavum.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon

More information about the pbs mailing list