– Posted in: Colchicums, Plant info

Colchicum 'Zephyr'I actually purchased this from Odyssey Bulbs in 2002. It bloomed nicely that fall, and if I remember correctly, the leaves came up in spring. But after that, it was no more. Since I planted that first one, I’ve come to realize two things. The first is that the ell of the house, where I planted my original Colchicum ‘Zephyr,’ is not the place it used to be. In terms of climate, it probably still is the most protected spot I have to plant things near the house. But it gets a lot more traffic than it used to ever since we set up a rain barrel there, and also relocated our hose bib there from the side of the house. Of course, no one tries to step on my flowers, but they pretty much have to walk right on the edge of the bed to get to the rain barrel, and who knows what they do with the hoses. Which brings me to my second realization, to wit, not all colchicums are as tolerant of less than ideal soil conditions as the byzantinums that came with the house are. I think I am going to have to give up on the ell of the house as a place to trial “iffy” colchicums because it is kept too moist by water barrel and hose activity.

To my eye, this colchicum looks more like a tulip in shape than any other that has bloomed so far this year. In the OB catalog it is described as “bright purple,” but it looks like your basic colchicum lavender to me. Of course, the color may be deeper tomorrow, but honestly, I have yet to see a really bona fide purple colchicum. It would tickle me pink to see one.

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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