Plant(s) of the Month
For a bulb grower September is an important month when the pot grown bulb stock is watered for the first time after the July/August re-potting. It is also the month in which the first of the autumn flowering Crocuses come into flower and here are a few of them.
The first of the season for me was Crocus pulchellus 'Inspiration'. C. pulchellus is to be found in nort-western Asiatic Turkey; through the European parts of Turkey, northern Greece, southern Bulgaria and the southern parts of the former Yugoslavia.
Crocus serotinus ssp. salzmannii is found in northern Africa and southern, central and northern Spain .
Crocus goulimyi is found in the southern parts of the Greek Peloponnes. This pot was grown from seed sown late August 2007 and shows the colour variation in this species.
September is also the month that some of the later flowering summer growing bulb species show their flowers and here are a couple of them:-
Habranthus tubispathus is endemic to central South America and just extending into southern North America. Grown from seed I was sent by an Australian friend and sown in May 2008.
As October arrives more Crucuses open their flowers.
Crocus longiflorus is from south western Italy, Sicily and Malta where it grows mainly on limestone.
This one pleases me no end, Crocus ligusticus, formerly known as C. medius. Most of the commercial stocks of this are heavily virused and I've grown them a number of times previously and had to throw them away. This one was a gift from a friend and for the first time I have the chance to build up a virus free stock (unless I kill this one!!).
C. ligusticus is endemic to southern France and northern Italy.
Polyxena longituba is from the South African Cape winter rainfall region and is one of the earliest of my South African winter growers to come into flower. It's only a tiny little thing but I think it is very pretty. This was grown from seed sown December 2008.
Time marches on and the later flowering Autumn Crocuses come to the fore, with some Cyclamen and some early flowering Narcissus.
One of my favourite Crocuses is C. laevigatus endemic to Greece, on the Cyclades and on Crete and I have a couple of forms. My very favourite form is this one which came to me from a friend who got his original corms from Ray Cobb via Alan Edwards who had corms from Ronald Ginns (all very famous Crocus growers). A very distinguished pedigree!
Crocus serotinus ssp. clusii 'Poseidon'
This is endemic to northern Portugal in the Lisbon area to northwestern and southwestern Spain as far as Cadiz.
Cyclamen alpinum comes from lower altitudes in southwestern Turkey
Some early flowering Narcissus are now in flower.
The first of these is a Brian Duncan cross Narcissus bulbocodium x N. bulbocodium ssp nivalis. This one flowered last season in mid-January.
And the final one for November.
Narcissus romiuxii var. mesatlanticus.