}

November 13, 2011

Tiny Autumnal Treasures

THIS TINY FALL-BLOOMING NARCISSUS SEROTINUS WHICH GROWS IN THE WILD FROM ISRAEL TO ITALY, IS NO LARGER THAN A THUMB.
THE FRAGRANT NARCISSUS SEROTINUS. I THINK IT IS TIME THAT I ADD MORE BULBS TO THIS CONTAINER - IN THE WILD, THIS SPECIES GROWS IN DRIFTS.

CYCLAMEN GRAECUM SSP. ANATOLICUM,
IT'S ALL ABOUT SCALE, IT HAS ONE OF THE TEENSIEST FLOWERS IN THE CYCLAMEN WORLD.

OXALIS POLYPHYLLA  VAR. HEPTAPHYLLA.

SUCH A PRETTY BULBOUS OXALIS DESERVES A BETTER NAME. ONE OF SOUTH AFRICA'S NICEST SPECIES, THIS SPECIES HAS BOTH INTERESTING FOLIAGE, AS WELL AS A NICE FLORAL DISPLAY FOR AUTUMN CONTAINERS UNDER GLASS.
Mid-November marks the beginning of the peak season in my greenhouse for many bulbs. The South African species are all starting to bloom, and it can be difficult trying to keep up with the number of species that bloom each week. Many are long-lived in collections, so I feel like I am repeating myself every year, but each pot seems to bloom at a different rate.

Narcissus are very variable, but on a scale - they either become better each year, dividing and becoming more floriferous, or, they simply fade away. The tiniest fall-blooming Narcissus, N. serotinus, native to the middle east and much of the Mediterranean, does not divide, not does it set seed, most likely because I have a single bulb. I think it is time to add more bulbs to this container, for in the wild, this is a species which likes company. ( I order mine from Paul Christian Rare Bulbs).

On the other hand, my pot of green Narcissus viridiflorus which began with a couple of bulbs, now has nearly a dozen bulbs, my reward, I think, because I repot the collection every year, and carefully fertilize them every other week with a weak solution of tomato fertilizer.

I am trying to reduce or even eliminate my collection of bulbous Oxalis, only because I am bored with them, and would like some new genus to collect for a while, but it there was one to keep, it would be Oxalis polyphylla var. heptaphylla, if only for its foliage which is interesting enough - forming an alpine-like bun consisting of thin leaflets that look almost like pine needles.

3 comments :

  1. That Narcissus is the cutest thing ever. I have to say I am not terribly excited about Oxalis either. Mostly because they are such horrible weeds on the west coast.

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  2. Such charming bloomers! Is that really the Oxalis foliage!?!

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  3. Totally agreed, the narcissus and cyclamen are extremely nice minis, and the leaves on that oxalis are just really unusual. I have the really really purple leaved oxalis at home (Purple Shamrock), and it's one of the few that I really enjoy.

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