Colchicum in bloom

Jane McGary
Thu, 15 Sep 2005 08:59:24 PDT
Mary Sue wrote about colchicums received from me and how they are doing in 
her garden, which is in a warmer area than where I live. Apparently her C. 
x agrippinum flowers about the same time as mine, but C. speciosum 'Album' 
is perhaps 3 weeks earlier for her. I'm not sure why colchicums would do 
better for her in pots than in the ground. In my experience, these are the 
most adaptable bulbous genus imaginable, flowering for years in apparently 
inhospitable conditions. One clone of C. x agrippinum that I grow came from 
an old garden where repeated flooding had buried the bulbs under 18 inches 
of silt, and they were still alive, though very attenuated. In just one 
year in better conditions, they were magnificent.

Most of the colchicums around here in old gardens seem to be the Dutch 
speciosum x bivonae hybrids from early in the 20th century, which increase 
well vegetatively but set little if any seed. Their only problem is that 
slugs eat the flowers and, to some extent, the leaves.
Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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