March 25, 2011

Spring Alpine House Bulbs

Bellevalia speciosa? Hardly.

Sometime when one orders unusual or rare bulbs from a supplier, things become mixed up, and that it what I beleive may have happened here. I ordered 4 species of Bellevalia from Paul Christian Rare Plants in England, and now that this one has bloomed,  if fear that it is not what it was identified as being, a Bellavia speciosa; a rare speices of a slightly under appreciated genus which is similar to Muscari, the grape hyacinths that we all have in our spring garden schemes. Still, it's nice, and I get to identify what it is ( so if you have a guess, my best guess is that it may be Bellevalia romana.

Gladiolus watsonius , it continues to bloom like crazy. A wild form from South Africa, tiny and graceful in a pot.

Muscari macrocarpum, the fragrant Muscari that is yellow, and not blue, and one we always seem to overlook while ordering our bulbs for planting in the autumn. I adore.

Lachenalia species My mystery plant from a tray of Lachenalia seedlings that squirrels knocked over late last summer when they became trapped in the greenhouse when the vents automatically closed. I should name the strain Lachenalia 'Grey Squirrel'

Narcissus yepesii seedling.

Most of my Narcissus seeds that I acquired from Brian Duncan sprouted in this past autumn, since they are winter growing, but thank goodness I didn't toss the rest of the pots out, for this species, N. yepesii, a rare new species from Spain, has just sprouted. Yep.


  1. The Gladiolus watsonius looks lovely! I need to do more with flowering bulbs, and I'll have to keep this in mind.

  2. What about Lachenalia "Squirrel Panic"?

  3. Sadly, I don't know what that mystery plant is, but its pretty nonetheless. I also like that yellow Muscari - I hadn't seen that one before. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Hi, I'm a bit late I know but I'm certain as I can be that it's Bellevalia romana. I say this as it looks, both superficially and with those blue/purple anthers, exactly like the ones I'm about to buy from a US source. I use Paul a lot and have had a few disappointments with labeling, especially among the species Glads, with flanaganii turning out to be tristis (of which I have literally hundreds of seedlings of my own) and brevicaulis being something else I haven't identified yet. Finally, my dalenii was either a very varied variant (it was red and white, no yellow and the wrong flower shape) or something else. I just really hope Moraea villosa is the real deal! I still use him all the time, mainly because his stock is so healthy and rare. And he is a professor!


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