Chilean Blue Crocus and Other Garden Treasures

Chilean Blue Crocus (Tecophilaea cyanocrocus 'Leichtlinii')

Last winter, as the Brent & Becky sale catalog came around, I decided to take a plunge on one of their more expensive bulbs.  The Chilean Blue Crocus was listed at $25 apiece (and is not even in this year’s catalog).  But at half price I figured it was worth a try.  As you can see from the picture above the results were worth the effort.  The flowers are a beautiful sky blue (so far there are 4 flowers out of the one bulb).  These flowers have nearly vanished in the wild so it’s up to gardeners to keep them going.  They are supposed to be hardy in Zone 7 and they certainly withstood a crazy winter, but I guess the challenge will be to see how they fare over a full season in Maryland.  If you are interested in trying them, I see that they can be found at Telos Rare Bulbs, a Californian home for hard to find bulbs…

Another newcomer that popped up this week is the double-flowered bloodroot.  The normal bloodroot is delightful on its own, but the double-flowered version is another stage of garden beauty.

Double-flowered bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis 'Multiplex')

It is said that the flowers last longer than the normal species types.  And apparently, despite multiple names for the double-flowered version (Multiplex, flore-pleno, etc), they all stem from a single double-flowered plant that was found by chance.

Last year when I visited Garden Visions and brought away a host of new epimediums I also found a small trillium for sale.  This week that purchase has brought forth lovely white flowers atop dark colored leaves — a real charmer.

Trillium pusillum 'Roadrunner'

This is actually the first trillium that has deigned to bloom on our hill.  We have several other trilliums looking healthy this year but I don’t see any others with flowers.

Two years ago, in England, we saw the pretty yellow flowers of anemone lipsiensis (a cross between Anemone ranunculoides and Anemone nemerosa).  We tracked it down at Edelweiss Perennials, a small nursery in Oregon.  And the first flowers are now appearing.

Anemone lipsiensis appearing

Amongst the various little charmers one other flower weaves a particularly magic spell.  That is the Anomenella thalictroides or Rue Anemone.

Rue Anemone (Anemonella thalictroides)

Combining the white flower of the anemone with the wonderful foliage of the meadow rue, this little plant rewards every time you walk past.

There are many other things to mention ( the toothwort, the fritillaria, , but it’s a warm day, spring is sprinting past, and UPS just delivered another 6 primrose to the doorstep…

4 comments on “Chilean Blue Crocus and Other Garden Treasures

  1. jo

    John, you have such delicate treasures tucked away in the woods.
    Bloodroot in a double form no less. The plant I would most like to see in real life is the Anemonella. Very much like our Wood Anemone, but a different family it seems.

  2. keewee

    It seems that there is a lot of trillium talk, going on right now, so I am thinking I will have to get some of these delightful plants for my own garden.

  3. Les

    You will have to keep us posted on whether the blue crocus makes it through the year or not. If it does, it may have to go on my list.

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