Curiouser and curiouser

– Posted in: Colchicums

Bub's colchicums - Photo by Talitha Purdy taken September 30, 2006As befits a good garden buddy, I gave some colchicum bulbs to my friend Bub several years ago. As a matter of fact, every time I dig up and divide a new kind, I give her some, so by now she has at least three kinds. But she’s never bought any herself, so all that she has originally came from me.

The strange thing is, she now has a type that I don’t have. In the photo above, the wider petaled flower in the upper left is what I would call Colchicum byzantinum. In the middle you can see some intermediate width petals, and all the way to the right, some really skinny-petaled blossoms. Below is a second photo which, while slightly out of focus, makes the petal difference quite clear.
Bub's colchicums, side view - photo taken by Talitha Purdy on September 30, 2006I don’t know what to think. She lives a mile and a half away–could the cultural conditions be that different? Is it a new hybrid? A common variation? Anyone who has some insight into the puzzle, please enlighten us all in the comments.

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.

In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

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