Aconites, but mostly Gladiolus communis ssp. byzantinus 'Cruentus'

James Waddick
Tue, 09 Mar 2010 05:34:38 PST
Dear Friends,
	Yes the Winter Aconites have been blooming here for over a 
week as the weather suddenly went from deep cold to spring-mild (not 
really spring, but "spring-mild"). The overnight low was almost 50 
with light rain. Sounds like spring, doesn't it?

	The Aconites continue to bloom, but so have the many other 
early Spring bulbs at least started: various crocus from sieberi to 
"tommies". I do love these especially when they seed around a bit and 
show a range of shades from palest blue-violet to deeper colors akin 
to 'Ruby Giant'.

Staying on aconites for a bit.....

	Last Saturday I was able to go to a couple Open Houses at two 
large nurseries. At 'Pine Knot Nursery', fellow PBSer John Lonsdale 
had pots of the semi-double Winter Aconite for sale so I had to pick 
one up. This looks like a good double, but John says it has retained 
enough of the reproductive parts to seed lightly near by  - a bonus. 
It is pictured on his web site.…

	Very nice.

	At the same Open House I also picked up a collected Galanthus 
nivalis 'Croatian Orchard'. This is a small plant in all parts. It 
has proven very vigorous there, clumps up and seeds about nicely. I 
have high hopes. It doesn't seem to be pictured on the web anywhere, 

	I also visited Plant Delights Nursery where I purchased a 
plant labelled "Gladiolus communis ssp. byzantinus 'Cruentus'". This 
should not have been, but was a new name to me. It is apparently 
larger than most plants grown under the name of Gladiolus communis 
and has deeply colored flowers. It is apparently more common in 
southern gardens. It should not be confused with the name Gladiolus 
cruentus which refers to an African species. I am hoping it will 
prove as good in the garden as other G. communis forms, but I am 
wondering if any PBS growers have tried this in the colder climates 
of Zone 4, 5 or 6 ?

	I should also mention that Adonis amurensis is in bloom this 
week too - at least one clump. Another smaller clump blooms later for 
some reason (deeper snow cover/). Barely passing for 'bulbous', this 
is a great early blooming perennial for colder climates.  Large 
yellow flowers and finely cut deep green foliage. Very garden worthy.

	Appreciate any comments on the Gladiolus.	Thanks	Jim W.
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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