Lilac Wonder

– Posted in: Colchicums

Lilac Wonder colchicumThe first time Colchicum ‘Lilac Wonder’ bloomed for me, I wondered if perhaps I didn’t plant it deep enough, it flopped so. I think I even made a note to dig it up when dormant and reset it deeper. It’s just as well I didn’t, because, as Bowles describes, “‘Lilac Wonder’ has a very long and slender perianth-tube and the flowers generally fall over on their second day, but open widely while lying on the ground, and last for several days if slugs and caterpillars fail to discover them.” If I ever do dig it up, it would be to divide the offsets and plants some where they could swoon over the edge of a rock wall instead of getting overlooked in the greenery.

No one seems to know the parentage of this hybrid, but the white line running down the length of each segment is typical of C. byzantinum as well. And no one is quite sure of C. byzantinum‘s parentage, either. Some think it is a species, and some a hybrid.

I definitely recommend this one. It flowers generously and the color is neither washed out nor strident. The starry form is a refreshing change from the almost ubiquitous goblet shape. Though some would regard the floppiness as a fault, I see it more as a design challenge. Go ahead, take the challenge!

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

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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