August 15, 2010

Acis autumnalis, the Autumn Snowflake

Acis autumnalis, an unusual late summer blooming bulb, blooming now in the alpine garden, and not in a pot. The alpine bed is a raised, stone wall  bed that the runs the length of the greenhouse foundation. It's soil is fast draining blend of 50% granite chips, and 50% peat and soil.

 With all of this heat, it sure is nice to see something bloom in the garden with the species name of 'autumnalis', and yes, I'll take snow flakes in August. By mid August, many garden plants start to shift into new phases, as the days grow shorter, the nights cooler, and the rains (if we got rains) of autumn start to come. Acis, is a genus that has passed through many names, most recently, Leucojum autumnale, and some sources still sell these bulbs under that name. Related to, the Amaryllis ( Amaryllidaceae) taxonomists believe that in that family, they are closest to  Galanthus (Snow Drops). Acis autumnalis  are easy to please, except in very dry summer gardens, such as California, for they do need a little water in the summer. Here on the east coast of the US where I live, they are easy and relatively care free. With so few bulbs blooming in the late August garden, Acis are a welcome addition.
This clump began with a few bulbs 5 years ago, and they have self seeded and divided into a nice little clump. They produce lots of seed, and when planted densely, the make a more impressive show.


  1. I have them but have been growing them in a pot, bringing them indoors later in fall as Brent and Becky said they don't like to be too damp and for zones 7-9.

    Are you growing them outdoors in the ground? Can you share your success, I still only have one or two bulbs.

  2. Matt, I hope you added that text under the 1st photo which answers all my questions. If not I need new glasses!

    Thanks for the info.


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