September 12, 2006

First Fall Bulb Growth

Colchicum 'Poseiden'
The first of the potted Colchicum are blooming, this new bulb of C. "Posieden' a colchicum of which Russel Stafford of Odyssey Bulbs describes as the deepest color in any Colchicum, is also one of the largest. This one bulb has so far produced four flowers from the one bulbs, which shows how prolific the fall blooming species are. My Colchicum collection is getting started, well, what I mean, is, that I am just starting to collect Colchicum species, which is just another genus that I have tried to keep on a back burner until I hit the lottery. My new Narcissus obsession is bad enough! With the Colchicum, as with crocus (yeah, another obsession), I decided to start with the spring blooming species. Many people aren't aware that there are also spring bloomin Colchicum, and another common mistake is to call them 'autumn crocus", for, there are true crocus species that bloom in the autumn.

That said, I did acquire a few fall blooming forms of Colchicum this season, just because I was tempted. I will be sharing photos of them with you as they bloom, along with some that have been in the garden for a few years. I am attempting to grow some them in containers, a very British thing to do, and then perhaps some in the ground too. the container grown plants, will allow me to keep them in the alpine house, and out of the rain, so that I can study then closer, but I will most likely be planting them later into the outdoor beds.

Wow-new growth from last weeks first watering!

The fall watering last week, the first watering of the season for the fall and winter growing bulbs, has surprised me with growth, in just four days! Five pots of Oxalis species and these hybrid Nerine sarniensis x bowdenii sust poped into growth in these first four days of moisture. Surely, the cold nights have helped too, it was 38 degrees F this morning, but rose to 75 during the day. As I said before, the cold nights combined with the fall 'rains' from the hose will trigger these South African winter growers into growth. Nature is amazing.

An Oxalis fragrans bursts forth into growth four days after it's first watering.

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