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.
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.
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