Weedy Bulbs

Boyce Tankersley btankers@chicagobotanic.org
Wed, 23 May 2007 11:05:39 PDT
This brings up a good point. We really need to put together a roving
band of weeders to remove all of those unwanted bulbs from other
locations so we can bring them back to our gardens.

Boyce Tankersley
Director of Living Plant Documentation
Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL 60022
tel: 847-835-6841
fax: 847-835-1635
email: btankers@chicagobotanic.org
-----Original Message-----
From: pbs-bounces@lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:pbs-bounces@lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of totototo@telus.net
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 12:27 PM
To: PBS Society
Subject: [pbs] Weedy Bulbs

While cleaning up the garden, it struck me that some bulbous plants 
are very weedy, spreading overly freely by seed, offsets, or both.

Different climates and different soils will have different weedy 
bulbs, but in my garden with its heavy, dampish soil and a cool 
Mediterranean climate, the worst offenders (which include a few 
surprises) are...

Allium: A. christophii, A. karataviense, A. roseum.

Brodiaea howellii This spreads like a mad thing by offsets. My form 
may be a sterile triploid. Another Brodiaea, possibly B. coronaria, 
has similar propensities to seek lebensraum.

Camassia leichtlinii, both ssp. leichtlinii (the uncommon creamy-
white type) and ssp. suksdorfii (violet-blue), also a commercial form 
I've lost the name of.

Chionodoxa has a habit of turning up as single seedlings in the 
oddest places. As long as I round them up and put them in their 
corral with other small blue bulbs, they're fine, but ignore them and 
my garden would gradually turn into a sea of sapphire blue.

Eranthis hyemalis is a prolific self-sower, but so welcome that I am 
reluctant to designate it as a weed.

Hyancinthoides hispanica, H. non-scripta (what is the currently 
accepted generic name for these?)

Muscari aucheri 'Blue Boy'; M. armeniacum 'Valerie Finnis', to my 
despair, tried to set seed this year, but I have removed the unripe 

Nothoscordum inodorum

Ornithogalum umbellatum

Oxalis oregana, both pink- & white-flowered forms, though they are 
not bulbs and perhaps not strictly grist for the PBS mill. The white-
flowered form in is a true thug, in leafy soil spreading far and wide 
by thin rhizomes that look like nothing so much as pink spaghetti.

Trillium rivale - the vigorous form that may, or may not, be a hybrid 
with T. ovatum and may or may not properly be called 'Del Norte'. [I 
am still stirring that pot offline, but no definite results can be 
announced as yet.] The difficulty is that every seed germinates!

Tulipa sprengeri. I encourage this, however, scattering the seed; its 
bright red is very welcome in May.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate

on beautiful Vancouver Island
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