Colchicum 2012

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RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21
Colchicum 2012

Does anyone have fall blooming colchicum lawns? We had a talk recently at our Chapter meeting, and the speaker showed a pic of them (in bloom, of course). She seemed to like the idea better than a spring crocus lawn. I'm not so sure. ???

I'd love to hear about the good, the bad or the ugly about them...

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

It's hard to imagine a what a fall blooming colchicum lawn would look like in spring and summer, to make such a garden viable.  I remember when visiting John Lonsdale's garden in Pennsylvania, he had a raised bed filled with fall-blooming Colchicum, and of course, the spring/early summer foliage is huge, looking as big and coarse as Skunk Cabbage, and I thought "wow, so much huge and abundant foliage for the wonderful naked blooms in the fall... wise choice to separate these creatures into their own raised bed".  I could envision adding dwarf spring-blooming Colchicum to a "spring bulb lawn" that might include crocus, galanthus, corydalis, and other spring ephemerals.

With concepts like "spring blooming Crocus lawns", it certainly works, and there are wonderful examples in Europe shown on the SRGC Forum, all that one needs to do is be somewhat tardy in mowing the lawn to allow the early spring foliage to start dying away... but with fall-blooming Colchicum, the huge leafy foliage would make such a lawn a "weed bed" a couple feet high by the time the foliage could be mowed down.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

bulborum
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Joined: 2011-02-01

I agree with you Mark
To much leaves in spring
There exist (expensive) Colchicum with small leaves
so if you have plenty of money (and time)
good luck

The only time I have seen interesting mass plantations from Colchicum
was in a place covered with Hedera helix
here they planted huge amounts of Colchicum in

This was the only time I found the contrast from leaves interesting
Of-course the flowers in the fall where amazing

R

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/518187888211511
Normal Zone <8   -7°C _ -12°C      10 F to +20 F
RGB or RBGG means: Roland and Gemma de Boer

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

RickR wrote:

Does anyone have fall blooming colchicum lawns?  We had a talk recently at our Chapter meeting, and the speaker showed a pic of them (in bloom, of course).  She seemed to like the idea better than a spring crocus lawn.  I'm not so sure.  ???

I'd love to hear about the good, the bad or the ugly about them...

I can't boast of growing a lawn full of Colchiums but I have a lot of them at my summerhouse where they grow fringe the small lawn we have there. And as said here, the leaves are very dominant and not particularly beautiful. They last till midsummer and when they wilt they leave a bare patch for months. However, it is a nice view in the fall.

Once I visited Austria and although I didn't see neither the leaves nor the flowers (we were a bit early for that)  I saw pictures of a field full of flowering Colchiums. What a sight! The field was a kind of pasture and when we dug some trenches (it was a scout camp and we dug for removing water) we found bulbs everywhere! No signs of bare patches due to big leaves though.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

WimB
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Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-01-31

McDonough wrote:

It's hard to imagine a what a fall blooming colchicum lawn would look like in spring and summer, to make such a garden viable.  I remember when visiting John Lonsdale's garden in Pennsylvania, he had a raised bed filled with fall-blooming Colchicum, and of course, the spring/early summer foliage is huge, looking as big and coarse as Skunk Cabbage, and I thought "wow, so much huge and abundant foliage for the wonderful naked blooms in the fall... wise choice to separate these creatures into their own raised bed".  

Did John combine his Colchicums with something? Like Trond said, they leave a bare patch for a couple of months!!

Wim Boens
Wingene Belgium zone 8a

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

What you all are saying is basically what I was thinking. 

Although, I still wonder about a Colchicum x agrippum lawn, with its small foliage?

With the unprecedented 79F day today, and nights in the sixties for almost a week now, mine are just peeking out, despite the lack of rainfall.

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

bulborum
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Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-01

I have Colchicum x aggripinum (you have a little typo Rick) naturalised here
it works good
and has small leaves
but I mow only once a year
so no experience with a lawn

R

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/518187888211511
Normal Zone <8   -7°C _ -12°C      10 F to +20 F
RGB or RBGG means: Roland and Gemma de Boer

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Colchicum x agrippinum foliage, and flowers from last fall.

       

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

RickR wrote:

Colchicum x agrippinum foliage, and flowers from last fall.

Oh, I like the twisty foliage!  Here's foliage of C. doerfleri, with very hairy foliage (a very small species, with small foliage).  I think one must judge Colchicum on each species of cultivars individual merits.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Very cool, Mark.  One may remember a photo I posted of C. x agrippinum foliage I posted in 2009 of a single younger bulb.  The difference that maturity makes is evident.  Now the stems and foliage are much stronger, robust and heavier textured.

             

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

September is here, and so are the colchicum!
We seem to be falling into a yearly pattern of fall drought.  Some trees are a bit wilty, as is my Euonymus bungeana, but the colchicum seem to not mind.  Knowing how colchicum bulbs common in commerce can happily produce flowers when not even planted, I guess that's not a revelation.

They bring some vibrancy back into a tired garden:
Colchicum x agrippinum
             

       

And then there is this anomaly: two flowers from the same bulb, one "bleached" at the ends of the petals, the other in the center.  In the five years I have had these blooming colchicum, they have always flowered "normally", like the flower at the top of the same photo.  However, I can't say with certainty that this particular bulb bloomed before.  Anyone know what's going on?
             

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

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