An Online Bulb Identifier

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Kathy asked me to help identify a blue flowering bulb and in the back of my mind I didn’t think there were any 5-petalled bulbs. I wished I had a bulb book keyed backwards by identifying characteristics like some of my wildflower books are. And, ta-da, there is one at World Wide Flowering Plant Family Identification, though it won’t fit in my knapsack with the other books. As a person always wondering what things are, this looks to be a useful site. If you can remember or scribble down the big things (# petals, leaves opposite, etc), you can steer pretty close; with a flower sample you’d be home.

About the Author

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4b/5aLocation: rural; just south of British Columbia/Idaho borderGeographic type: foot of Black & Clifty Mountains (foothills of Rockies–the Wet Columbia Mountains in BC climate- speak)Soil type:acid sand (glacial lake bed)/coniferous forestExperience level: intermediate/professionalParticular interests: fragrant & edible plants, hardy bulbs, cottage gardening, alpines, peonies, penstemons & other blue flowers, primulas, antique & species roses & iris; nocturnal flowers Also: owner of Paradise Gardens Rare Plant Nursery

Now, the digging and dividing of perennials, the general autumn cleanup and the planting of spring bulbs are all an act of faith. One carries on before the altar of delayed gratification, until the ground freezes and you can’t do any more other than refill the bird feeder and gaze through the window, waiting for the snow. . . . Meanwhile, it helps to think of yourself as a pear tree or a tulip. You will blossom spectacularly in the spring, but only after the required period of chilling.

~Adrian Higgins in The Washington Post, November 6, 2013

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