Favorite Plants of 2003
(Alpine-L Topic Of the Week
#9, November 2003)
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||Tulipa 'Little Princess', a fiery gem
a dwarf tulip, listed as a cross between
T. hageri and T. aucheriana, however
each of those parent species is itself in
question. No matter, the blended
coppery orange flowers on 3" stems
make this a must for the rock garden.
- a treasure among
the dwarf Tulipa species, it's a shame I only
discovered it a couple years ago. Merely
2-3" tall in bloom, the flowers are charming
little white star-cups with
a yellow center
and muted bluish-olive shading on the back
of the outer tepals.
'Golden Orb' -
Mass propagated by Dutch bulb growers,
I figured this one may be "doable" in our
New England climate. Sure enough, it's
a summer spectacle, with gorgeous
(aptly named) in June and
- one of
Panayoti Kelaidis's great introductions,
this South African compositae is among
the best new introductions for the rock
garden. Steadfastly hardy, the silver
pink flowers in early summer really put
on a show. This link also shows the deep
pink Osteospermum barberae.
Triteleia bridgesii -
American bulbous plant continues to
astound me with its huge umbels of
royal purple flowers. Also pictured, if
you follow this link, is Brodiaea purdyi,
a dwarf relative, with sprays of blue-
purple flowers in mid summer. Both
should be more widely grown.
Crocus tournefortii -
perhaps the most
sublimely beautiful autumn crocus of all,
with open chalices of satiny lavender-blue,
a heart of golden yellow, and those absurd
divided styles of hot red-orange hanging
outside the flower like a bell clapper.
Flowers in late October - November. Also
shown in this link, is Crocus pallasii.
Crocus goulimyi - The
of this species are precious. The flowers
have a three-part arrangement, the inner
tepals near white, the outer tepals are
pearlaceous lavender, with a delicious
fragrance to boot. Flowers in late
October - November.
Allium 'Hot Cauldron' -
one of my
2003 selections of Allium flavum ssp.
tauricum. While I've already selected
similar hot red-orange colors, this plant
has nice silvery stems, a good compact
habit, and a floriferous display in July.
Allium karataviense -
there are many
forms of this showy onion. On the left is
the typical "pinkish" form, and on the
right is the recently popular pure white
form sold as 'Ivory Queen'. Click on this
link to see several more color forms and
recently collected specimens.
Allium backhousianum -
a rare species
in section Melanocrommyum, with a
distinctive "look". Growing to about 4'
tall, it has dark gray ovaries, narrow
filamentous tepals, and long protruding
stamens. This species is not available
- from Greece,
this has become my new favorite "weed".
A biennial, it makes flat rosettes of gray
marbled leaves, and in the 2nd year creates
a veritable forest of upright stems to 2'-3'
(60-90 cm), with striking Eryngium-like
silver foliage and narrow spires of tiny
claret hued flowers.
Narcissus 'Pipit' - I
have a particular fancy
for pale yellow flowers, so it's not surprising
that this one is among my favorites. The
lovely, glowing pale yellow flowers have
trumpets that age to white for a striking
two-toned look. The blooms have a strong
aroma; somewhat unpleasant at first, but
later becoming enticingly sweet. A jonquilla
type that flowers later than most.
All photos by Mark McDonough
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page was last updated on 11/03/03