May 4, 2011

A brown Hyacinth? Meet Dipcadi serotinum

I love plants that I have never seen before, and I assume that this might be a new genus for many of you, too. Dipcadi is a tiny genus within the family Hyacinthaceae, the Hyacinth family, and rarely seen bulb in most collections. It grows in southwestern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa into India, and to those of us familiar with bulbs like Albuca and Dipcadi, you may see the similarity. Botanists, or to be more correct, taxonomists are still evaluating whether this is a genus which needs to be re-classified but for now, it sits within Hyacinthaceae. For the rest of us, it makes a charming bulb plant for greenhouse culture, or if you live in warmer, Mediterranean climates, a special bulb plant for outdoors. It's color is unique, a blend of tan and olive, and it appears to have no fragrance.

You can try one by ordering a bulb or two from Paul Christian in the UK when they offer it ( they currently do not have it listed). It reportedly sets copious amounts of seed, but with a single plant, I am not certain that I will have viable seed set. Regardless, I shall bring out the paintbrush and plant bumble bee ( or beetle? Hummingbird?) and get going.

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