Miscellaneous summer bulbs

Submitted by Mark McD on

Bloomeria crocea var montana started opening flowers today. Curiously CalFlora has sunk the three varieties under the main species name, however the other more encompassing authorities maintain the varietal status, so based on Flora Of North America and ITIS, the variety stands.

This plant never ceases to impress me, now perfectly hardy for the last 5 years, considering it is found in chaparral, yellow pine forests; 300--1000 m, with var. montana restricted to the southern Coast Ranges and the Tehachapi Mountains of Southern California. It does make seed (a tiny bit) and I do have some seedlings coming along.

It blooms late here (although earlier than normal this year, usually I have to wait to July to see the blooms). The stems are wire-thin, yet perfectly erect and never fall over or lean, even after last night's series of thunderstorms and torrential downpours, looking as fresh as ever this morning. The open inflorescence is very large, to about 8-9" in diameter (20-22.5 cm) on stems 18"-24" (45-60 cm). The flowers last a very long time. Some forms of B. crocea have brown midveins, although in my var. montana the flowers are pure bright yellow.

At peak flowering, I'll post again.



Flora of North America



Submitted by Kelaidis on Wed, 06/23/2010 - 18:34

Where do you find all this stuff you maniac? It's marvellous: and I have been content with mere Triteleia ixioides...

Submitted by Mark McD on Wed, 06/23/2010 - 20:29

Kelaidis wrote:

Where do you find all this stuff you maniac? It's marvellous: and I have been content with mere Triteleia ixioides...

Many Trits from Jim Robinett before he passed away, his bulb offering was unparalleled for the more unusual California bulbs, like Trits and Brods.  And this particular "bloomie" from Jane McGary; I hope one day she reinstates her modest annual bulb list; always a great list with affordable pricing, with things hard to find elsewhere... still waiting for Fritillaria eastwoodiae to bloom, the single leaf was bigger this year ;D  And then I get some other great stuff, like the world's best blue Allium caeruleum from some other maniac... let's see, what's his name.........?  ;D

Submitted by Lori S. on Fri, 06/25/2010 - 21:56

I'm usually conscientious about adding new plants to my maps and notes, but I seem to have had a brief lapse last year!  I really don't remember planting... Ornithogalum nutans??  Can anyone confirm if that's what it is, please?

Submitted by Mark McD on Sun, 07/04/2010 - 21:22

Skulski wrote:

I'm usually conscientious about adding new plants to my maps and notes, but I seem to have had a brief lapse last year!  I really don't remember planting... Ornithogalum nutans??  Can anyone confirm if that's what it is, please?

I'm not familiar with it, but a cursory look at photos on the web seem to match.

Submitted by Lori S. on Sun, 07/04/2010 - 21:32

Thanks, Mark.
Here's the last of my non-allium summer bulbs... Brimeura amethystina, somehow surviving in sunflower seed litter in the area that is now used for birdfeeding...

Submitted by deesen on Sun, 07/10/2011 - 12:51

Endemic to South America, seed grown sowed in February 2008 and flowering for the first time hence a slightly immature flower.

Cypella herbertii

Submitted by Fermi on Thu, 07/14/2011 - 02:20

that Bloomeria looks great! I've planted one recently so hope to see it bloom like yours soon! ;D

nothing immature about your Cypella _ it has all its bits! ;D

Summer was a long time ago for us in the Southern Hemisphere! Some pics from January and February:
Calochortus fimbriatus

Habranthus martinezii x robustus

Lycoris incarnata

And an Aussie native bulb, Calostemma purpureum


Submitted by RickR on Thu, 07/14/2011 - 15:58

Fermi, that Callochortus!  I am not sure I'd put it in the "beautiful" category, but it is so interesting... right down to the incurved anthers and angled pistil!

And that bract just under the umbel of the Callostema sure can be whimsical!

Submitted by deesen on Tue, 07/19/2011 - 06:55

Tigridia pavonia.

From a three year old clump, the results of a purchase of a cheap pack of bulbs from one of the large Sheds. It's survived out in the garden through the last three pretty cold winters (by SW England standards!) and has come back every time and sets seed regularly.

Submitted by Tony Willis on Thu, 07/28/2011 - 02:21

two of my lilies in flower now,the first from Greece

Lilium chalcedonicum

and the second which is from a garden centre and may be a hybrid? It is about three feet tall and very rigid in habit. Either way it is a wonderful plant

Lilium auratum

Submitted by Tony Willis on Sun, 07/31/2011 - 14:28

Another of my lilies in flower now from N Vietnam
Lilium poilanei

Submitted by RickR on Sun, 07/31/2011 - 22:23

That Lilium poilanei sure is elegant.  The thick petals suggests it lasts a long time, too (?)

The others aren't too shabby, either.  L. chalcedonicum from seed has so far survived its first winter season here in zone 4!

Submitted by Tony Willis on Thu, 08/11/2011 - 09:14

Strange to be posting this here in summer bulbs as it flowers in about March/April in the wild.

Biarum ditschianum

Submitted by RickR on Thu, 08/11/2011 - 22:26

Wow, Tony!  What a rarity!

Is this its maiden bloom?  I assume it isn't actually at bloom stage yet...

And are those two lowermost appendages, leaves?  Are they mature?

Submitted by Tony Willis on Fri, 08/12/2011 - 03:46


that is the flower in its mature state. Those lower bits are cataphylls which are drying of as the flower pushes through the ground. The leaves will appear later. I keep it cool but frost free over winter.

Most biarum flower in the autumn and this one is unique in flowering in spring. This is its second flowering,the first time was early July last year when we were in Oregon and so missed it. I have tried to find it without success in the wild during early May but feel I have been there too late. It is very local.

Submitted by Tim Ingram on Fri, 08/12/2011 - 11:29

Tony - I saw the lily on the Scottish Rock site and immediately fell in love with it! What a beautiful flower. I'm not so sure about the Biarum though!!!

Submitted by Mark McD on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 07:58

Tony, super cool Biarum... I've never had any luck with these when I tried them from seed a couple of times.

In bloom now (and all summer if enough moisture) is Pinellia cordata 'Yamazaki'.  Yes, I know the warnings about Pinellia species being too aggressive, but so far in this climate they have not posed a significant threat; I've grown P. pedatisecta for years, and it is spreading around a little bit.  

I've grown this diminutive form of P. cordata for several years, labeled as 'Yamazakii' but think it is properly spelled 'Yamazaki'.  It has remained a small clump with attractive mottled foliage, so far without any sign of romping about.  The cute yellowish-green flowers barely peek out, but worth lying on one's belly to sniff the flowers that smell like sweet bubblegum, although some people report the fragrance as being lemony.


International Aroid Society page on Pinellia infloresences, including Pinellia cordata 'Yamazaki'

Submitted by RickR on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 13:39

Pinellia don't seem to be invasive here in Minnesota, either. 
In fact, many won't grow here at all.

Submitted by Tony Willis on Tue, 08/16/2011 - 14:34

I thought I would post an updated picture of the Biarum ditschianum which has elongated and is now showing its flowers and pollen

Submitted by Tony Willis on Wed, 09/07/2011 - 16:38

A late summer blooming orchid Pterostylis coccinea. This grows from small tubers and is dormant from about April to August

Submitted by WimB on Fri, 09/09/2011 - 00:16

Some bulbs flowering here during the last month:

Biarum arundanum
Cyclamen hederifolium 'Stargazer'

Submitted by WimB on Fri, 09/09/2011 - 04:25

deesen wrote:

Hesperantha huttonii

Nice David,

had never seen a plant from that genus. Where does it grow in the wild?

Submitted by deesen on Fri, 09/09/2011 - 05:42

Thanks Wim, it's from South Africa. Grown from seed from one of the Exchanges sown March 2008 and this is it's second flowering year. They are pretty easy and survived two winter dormancy periods in my greenhouse just covered with a couple of layers of fleece in a tray under the staging. Two pretty bad winters too by South West England standards.

There are a number of species some of which are summer growers with similarities between them. Ian Young grows Hesperantha baurii in the open in Scotland but mine are under glass.