Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pretty picture: Puschkinia scilloides var. libanotica

Saw this yesterday on the walk with Sheba. Puschkinia is one of those signs of spring that make me think, oh, I should plant some of those sometime in April, and that I've completely forgotten about by June. They may also have the most badass-sounding namesake of any plant I'm familiar with: they were named for Count Apollo Apollosovich Mussin-Puschkin (1760-1805), who led a botanical collection expedition to the Caucasus in 1802, when this plant was collected. It's been grown in gardens (and, as in this case, lawns) around the world ever since.


Anonymous said...

The time to plant them is in the fall. Fall bulb catalogs usually come out in June, which is the earliest time to order, and they start filling orders about Labor Day. It's best to hold off planting till the ground's started to cool, mid-late October, but definitely before it freezes.

This bulb is easy, tough, and critter-resistant, and will come back year after year. I prefer the pure white form to the one shown, whose overall effect is the color of skim milk. Both contrast with the electric-blue Scilla sibirica, which I think of as a garden essential.

You may be able to find them forced this time of year for use in containers, but at many times the expense of buying them as bulbs in the fall.

van Engelen, van Bourgondien, and Brent and Becky's Bulbs are the three most useful sources for fall bulbs. The first two have wholesale divisions with a minimum order of $50, which is the way to go even for individual homeowners. Small bulbs are cheap but for landscape effect need to be planted in masses.


nycguy said...

Let me put you on the mailing list for some bulb companies. Then you'll be deluged with reminders to plant spring bulbs for the rest of your life.

Unknown said...

Lovely, the only thing we have blooming in Ontario is snow drops and witch hazel.

Jenn said...

Love these mixed scantily and randomly in huge drifts of scilla.

Yummy spring visual goodness!