Spring Bulb Misc

James Waddick jwaddick@kc.rr.com
Sat, 26 Apr 2008 09:53:14 PDT
Dear Friends,
	As the spring bulb season seems to be peeking, a few 
observations and Qs.

	Muscari/Bellevalia - Although not my favorite genus, I grow a 
few. Bulbs purchased as M. paradoxa are in full bloom now. Very 
unique coloring and large size. I think this is now considered a 

	Fritillaria 'Ivory Bells'. I bought 2 bulbs last fall from a 
Dutch source. First introduced (I think) by Janis Ruksans a few years 
ago at $100 @, they have reached a reasonable price. I was leery 
about the 'ivory' quality of the flower color and now have my worst 
suspicions confirmed.  Each bulb produced 2 husky flowering stems 
with dozens of large green bell shaped flowers. SA the flower fade 
they turn, not ivory, but paler green. Not my color, but interesting.

	Not very aware of Frit genetics, I casually dabbled pollen of 
F. pallidiflora on F' Ivorry Bells'. Any chance these might be 
compatible? F. pallidiflora does very well here in a fee shady spots 
and the pale flowers rather ghostly in the amongst the deep greens 
around it.

	Meanwhile two European species are showing off - if brown and 
green flowers can ever be called showy.
F. acmopetala is growing at the base of an open shrub. The tall 
skinny stems are supported by the branches and it reaches well over 2 
feet in height. Numerous juvenile offsets have broad oval foliage 
VERY unlike the adult linear foliage on flowering stems.

	Arum- various species are emerging now and I am curious why 
these are not more widely grown A. nigrum and A italicum 'Chameleon' 
are very different and my favorites.  And a small plant of 
Helicodiceros muscivorous has popped up for  3rd or 4th year denying 
its reputation for tenderness. I doubt it will ever bloom in the 
ground, but that isn't so bad considering the stench that ensues. I 
have a few Dracunculus around and they'll provide plenty of aroma 
when they bloom.

	Aril-bred and oncocyclus iris are putting up flowering stems 
now  as Junos in the same beds are fading away. Again I don't know 
why these desert iris species and numerous hybrids are not more 
widely grown. They do take some special care, but the distinctive and 
unique colors and patterns especially in earliest spring are dazzling.

	Another spring beauty is the various colors and forms of 
Anemone nemorosa and the closely related A. ranunculoides. Hard to 
beat the old A.n. 'Robinsoniana', but the hybrid of the two species 
is pale creamy yellow is also very nice. Some of the doubles are a 
bit weird, but none are overpowering so they stay put. One new cv 
(the name escapes me) has almost too large flowers; out of 
proportion. Otherwise this is a great spring ephemeral.

	I am sure I'll have more to relate as the season continues. 
		best		Jim W.

	ps A local garden center has pots of Rhodohypoxis bauri in 
various colors (none named). I bought one at $7 with maybe 50 bulbs 
just emerging with single bright pink flowers. What a show and a 

Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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