Colchicum ‘Autumn Herald’

 

World Champ Cup 1264Right away it was easy to see that this selection from Lithuanian bulb grower Leonid Bondarenko would be a worthy addition to our collection. Broad ovate petals (perhaps the widest we have ever seen on a Colchicum) form a large cup shaped flower that sits atop a 4"-5" tube. The lilac colored blooms give off a very noticeable and pleasant fragrance. A very good garden performer coming quite early on in the Colchicum bloom season.

 

Early-mid Sept.

 

$18 each

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Waterlily 2629 for webFinally, enough corms of enough size to allow us to begin listing this very popular double Colchicum. With up to twenty neatly arranged petals, the 3-4" wide water lily-like flower starts off quite pink before gradually deepening to an amethyst violet. Worth waiting for, as it blooms later than most of the others in fall. Always in demand, it's often the first Colchicum gardeners try because of its pleasing, unique shape.

Early Oct.

 

$7 each

 

 

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Corms of C. cilicicum were first purchased in hopes that its flower, foliage, and bloom period would match perfectly those of the unknown fragrant variety we grow and are so fond of (see TBD Fragrant Hybrid below). What emerged was a Colchicum totally distinct from any others we had ever planted. Circular clusters of abundant short stemmed, very upright funnel shaped flowers pop up in mid to late October to signal the beginning of the end of the Colchicum flowering season. The narrow, parallel-sided petals are a deep lilac color with some faint deeper purple checkering added. Wonderful lasting power in the garden.

 

$6 each

 

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Colchicum 'Faberge's Silver'

Faberges Silver 0153 fo webThis is a connoisseur's Colchicum from Lithuanian bulb grower Leonid Bondarenko. You can probably guess from the cultivar name that the bloom is egg-shaped, and indeed keeps that form throughout the life of the flower. A silvery sheen Bondarenko calls its "patina" washes over the outer surfaces (i.e. backs) of the lilac petals; their tips are adorned with a whitish color. Subtle but beautiful when covered with the jeweled droplets of the morning dew.

 

$18 each

 

 

 

 

 

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C. autumnale

Knowledgeable rock gardener Bill Brown got me my first corms of the true C. autumnale, a species native to most of Europe. Usually found growing in meadows, it is the Colchicum of choice for naturalized plantings. When used in the landscape this way, the green background of lawn is the perfect foil for the nice sized groupings of muted pink; the blades of the grasses keep the blooms erect and free from mud splatter. As with all the autumnale types, the volume of flowers makes up for their smaller size. Not quite as quick to increase as many of the other Colchicum we grow, which may explain its sporadic availability in the U.S. Most Colchicum will replace the corm you plant with two or more new ones annually. C. autumnale some years produces only a singular (though larger) successor.

 

Mid to late Sept.

 

$6 each

 

 

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