April 16, 2012

Last (and Rarest) of the Winter Greenhouse Bulbs

A BROWN HYACINTH? NOT QUITE, BUT ABOUT AS CLOSE  A PAN IN THE ALPINE HOUSE DISPLAYS A SINGLE BULB OF THE RARITY FROM THE HYACINTH FAMILY KNOWN AS   Dipacdi serotinus,  


Dipcadi Serotinus
 In the bulb plunge bed, a sand bed at the front of my greenhouse, a never ending display of tiny pots ( and some not so tiny pots) gets set weekly, it's where I like to show whatever is in bloom, and it functions as sort of a display bed, if only for me, and the occasional visitor. By spring, the bed gets less and less interesting, as does the entire greenhouse for that manner, as more interesting events are happening outside. The final reset of the display bed happens around May, just after our Primrose party, when the last of the tiny collector bulbs that require protection, bloom marking the final transitional period for southern hemispheric bulbs before the begin the dormancy as the temperatures rise, and the soil in their pots dries out.

A closeup of Dipcadi serotinus shows a little slug slime, but they are not eating the tissues on this plant, which leads me to believe that either it is slightly toxic, or just doesn't appeal to them.


The last of the Lachenalia are starting to bloom. This time of year always surprises me when it comes to Lachenalia, for these seed-raised pots from wild collected sources in South Africa often provide some surprised such as this pot of very beautiful Lachenalia unicolor forma. alba, a species rarely seen in an already obscure genus found in few gardens outside of the serious collectors.

Lachenalia latimerae


Lachenalia latimerae is quite rare, or at least, rarely grown as I have never found bulbs available anywhere, and when one Google's this species, only this blog appears besides the Pacific Bulb Society site. Easy from seed, the only challenge here is finding the seed, and as there generally is only one or two sources in South Africa, this plant shall remain one only found in private collections, and perhaps, a large botanic garden such as Kew. I think it is lovely, a late bloomer in more ways than one, this pot is almost ten years old, and needs a refresh. I've been lazy in fertilizing and in winter care, literally not watering this plant as it sat on a shelf in the greenhouse hidden behind some Nerine sarniensis, until I found it last week, when I watered it for the first time. It is still blooming, though weakly.

Lachenalia 'lost label' It said ' L. uniflora' which it is not. Another reason why I need to start placing vinyl labels inside the pot, too. A new practice I have started this year.

1 comment :

  1. Dicadi...heard the name for years. It is perhaps a tad underwhelming, but your picture makes it almost fetching! What would we do without all these "minor" bulbs that play a major role in my life!

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