Monday, February 20, 2012

Leucojum aestivum 'Gravetye Giant' (Summer snowflake)

I have failed miserably trying to grow tulips.

I have never been able to successfully get a hyacinth to bloom ... even once. 

Even daffodils have been a bit of a challenge for me. 

I was ready to throw in the towel on bulbs all together a few years ago, considering my growing conditions - poor draining clay soil, numerous rabbits and deer. 

But after a Google search on "moisture loving bulbs", I finally found a bulb that has survived for multiple years for me, the Summer Snowflake:

To actually see a bulb peaking through the soil in early spring is a thing of extreme joy for me:

Here is some information on the Summer Snowflake (Leucojum aestivum 'Gravetye Giant'):
  • Size - about 18" tall by 24" wide
  • Survives in zones 4-8
  • Prefers full sun to partial shade
  • Typically blooms in late April here in zone 6B
  • Has been deer resistant to date
Some additional photos: 

The leaves are strap-like and glossy and form a vase shaped clump: 

As the blooms appear, the leaves and flower scapes take on a bit of an arching shape:

As for the actual blooms, each "bell" is made up of six equal petals each marked with a green dot at the tip:



While most of my bulbs are relatively young (3 years), I expect them to multiply as the years progress so I will soon be looking at some serious drifts each April/May.

The foliage has already emerged here with the warm temps and I am pumped to see how they perform.  
Now it is time to get out of here and do a Google search for some more wet tolerant bulbs ...


John

9 comments:

  1. Oh I'm jealous now! I have plenty of tulips and hyacints (protected by bird's netting on spikes) but haven't been able to do snowdrops or snowflakes. And having them around as I was growing up I miss them terribly. :(

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  2. Snowbells and hyacinth, daffodils and buttercups, iris and ranunculaceae, Narcissus and Tulip all grow here - I swear that they would grow if you merely cast the bulbs around the ground and do no more!

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  3. I need to try them. They are beautiful looking and, am not too bad a bulbs. How long do they last for you once the start blooming? Thanks for the detailed pictures. The flowers look like little bells. Just great.

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  4. Mine are just starting to bloom. Sweet little things, aren't they? And I love their foliage more than most bulbs'.

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  5. These are the first things out in my garden in late Jan, early Feb and as of now there are approximately about 30 clumps of them, growing primarily in an old gravel parking space covered over by years of leaf compost. I have never watered them, forget where they are and step on them all spring/summer/fall, and yet the come back and multiply. Best bulb ever.

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  6. Those are really pretty little flowers. I like the green tips on the petals. As far as bulbs that digging critters like, you might try wrapping the bulbs in some type of wire mesh - something with openings large enough for the foliage to grow through, but small enough that critters can't take the bulb out. Working some sand into the soil might help, too.

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  7. Just purchased some of these bulbs..can't believe I have overlooked them all these years...so cute!
    As far as critters eating your bulbs, try crushed stone or crushed shells sprinkled over them before filling the holes with soil. I've also read that sprinkling red (chili) pepper over the bulbs might help also..
    In spring, when tulips and any other bulbs rabbits like to nibble on emerge, I've had luck by sprinkling milorganite around all of them. It is a fertilizer that will not burn your plants. If you're not familiar with this product (it might be a Wisconsin thing) look it up on the internet.

    Good luck to you and never give up....you'll get the hang of it!!

    obsessed with my garden

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