September 26, 2012
Colchicum cilicicum Might Be My Favorite
Of the four types of Colchicum blooming in my garden right now, Colchicum cilicicum might be my favorite. Its color is more vivid than the others (including 'Giant', 'Waterlily' and what I'm guessing is C. byzantinum), and it has multiplied amazingly well since I planted it last year. Of course our cool, wet, long spring was perfect weather for most bulbs to increase this year.
The bulbs in my garden have sent out up to 6 or 7 flowers each. They look best in a large grouping where you don't notice the lack of leaves so much. The tulip-like leaves grew in spring and died back by midsummer. When planting colchicums, it's easy to think only of the flowers and forget that the large clumps of leaves will grow in that spot next spring.
The flowers are mostly white when they first poke through the ground and become more colorful as they mature. Bees like them, and so do my neighbors. These bulbs aren't as commonly available as the spring bulbs that are filling the garden centers right now. I've ordered colchicums from White Flower Farm and from Brent and Becky's Bulbs.
I posted about C. cilicicum bulbs here last fall (including photos of the leaves), but these photos are better. Colchicums last well as cut flowers, though C. cilicicum would only work in a small bouquet because of its short stems.
Colchicums are one of the few plants that are best transplanted while in bloom. I moved these three bulbs this week and look forward to bunches more blooming here next fall.