Thursday, April 17, 2008

Puschkinia libanotica: flowers

[Photo: Puschkinia libanotica flowers, close-up.]Puschkinia libanotica, known in English as "snowdrift", "early stardrift", or "striped squill", and in French as scille de Liban, is a flowering bulb native to Asia and the Middle East. One of the earliest spring bloomers, it bears spikes of blue-white flowers, each petal having one blue stripe.

[Photo: Puschkinia libanotica flowers, en masse.]This gorgeous bed of snowdrift was at a neighbours. I'm glad I took a photo because soon afterward the new owner decided to rip out all of it (and all the other bulbs too) and replace it with sod. My landlords' kids and I attempted to rescue some of them, though how successful we were remains to be seen.

Iris reticulata 'Cantab': flowers

[Photo: Iris reticulata 'Cantab' in bloom]Iris reticulata, known in English as reticulated iris, dwarf wild iris, and rockgarden iris, and in French as iris réticulé, is a dwarf perennial native to southern Russia, Iran, and Turkey. The flowers appear very early in the spring, about 10 cm from the ground; later long thin leaves grow to 20-30 cm before the plant goes dormant at the end of spring.

This light blue cultivar is 'Cantab', which I bought at Veseys; different cultivars include blues and violets, as well as white.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Eranthis hyemalis: flower

Eranthis hyemalis, known in English as winter aconite and in French as éranthe d'hiver, helléborine, hellébore d'hiver or aconit d'hiver is a perennial native to southern France to Bulgaria. One of the earliest flowers of spring, a single bright yellow flower, like that of a buttercup, is borne on a short (less than 10 cm) stem. Below the flower, the stem is circled by two leaves which resemble a clown's neck ruffle. After setting seed, the plant becomes dormant (i.e. it is a "spring ephermeral").

The flowers have a pretty fragrance, but you have to get low to the ground to smell it!

I bought my winter aconite pips from Veseys.

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