Colchicum ‘Harlequin’ is apparently new enough that only Odyssey Bulbs, from whom I bought it, has any information on it: “With their pointed, twisted, creamy-white segments, blotched irregularly with purple toward their bases, the flowers (borne in September) of this aptly named and utterly distinctive cultivar really do give the impression of a jester’s hat or pantaloons. Breaks new ground for the genus, both in color and form.” Jane McGary describes this flower as “rather ugly,” but I think it’s kind of cute. Certainly, its “utterly distinctive” form is a refreshing change from the ubiquitous goblet shape. Ms. McGary refers to it as a sport, but I don’t know which colchicum it’s a sport of. This is my first year growing it, so I can’t give any opinion on how vigorous a grower it is. I guess it all comes down to whether you are in the “cute” or the “ugly” camp.
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.
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