Monday, June 02, 2008

Hyacinthoides Hispanica -- Spanish Bluebells

A previously misidentified bulb that continues to amaze year after year ... Hyacinthoides hispanica or 'Wood Hyacinth,' a cousin to the larger, more familiar Hyacinths (as seen here previously). When I first got these in 2005 from Park Seed, they were sold as Scilla hispanica or 'Spanish Squill' so I expected them to be just a larger version of Squill, but when they bloomed the first year, I knew this was no Squill because the bloom habit just wasn't right for the Squills I know. So I did a little digging and quickly found out that it's really a Hyacinth. In this case (which to me seems unusual) using the common name of 'Wood Hyacinth' got me a lot further than just poring through all the various Squills that exist.

Tonight, however, I did learn that this was previously classed as a Scilla, so nobody was entirely wrong. Happily. Which is exactly how these have been growing in the many spaces where we have planted them in the garden. My original purchase (a steal!) was 100 bulbs, for which I paid the princely price of $5.00! In the past three years they have easily doubled or perhaps tripled in number and just keep going. As of today, they're a bit on the waning side now (this photo was taken on 22 May), but they're still looking pretty among the now blooming columbines and other woodland plants.

Today was devoted (again) to finishing up the herb/veggie bed I talked about yesterday, and at this point it's nearly done. I planted seeds for several varieties of herbs, put in the new thyme and sage plants, a tomato, 2 mounds of cucumbers, and a huge (about 6 ft) row of assorted Zinnias as a background planting to the veggies. I have great hopes for this bed this year, both in terms of floral interest as well as tasty peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and fresh herbs! I'll get a picture tomorrow of how it looks right now, and then try to keep updating periodically as it grows... ah, despite the aches and pains, I feel really satisfied to have this bed finally weed free and being put to a more fruitful use!

Oh, and I forgot ... the bloom stalk on the Dragon Arum has arrived! We're estimating that it will be blooming in about a week or so ... right along with our Peonies! More to come ... Hopefully I'll have an updated photo tomorrow to let you see where it is at the present!


FARfetched said...

Hey IVG! Good luck with that herb/veggie bed. I found that basil & peppers coexist peacefully, with any luck you'll hit on some good combos too.

I just went out & had another look at that allium… the buds are starting to turn color now, so it might be a globe allium. Do you know if those things survive being transplanted? If it turns out to be nice-looking, I could put it where it can be seen.

boran2 said...

What's really nice about those bluebells are the large numbers of flowers on each stalk. I'm looking forward to photos of that Dragon Arum.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey FAR ... you should like the post I'm going to put up in a bit. :-) I'm not worried about the herbs, we've done them all before, just hope my seeds weren't too old (some were 2 yrs old), but if they don't come up I've still got time to plant more.

I hope it is indeed one of the globe alliums, because they're really pretty and are beneficial plants to have around (they add sulfur to the ground, which inhibits a lot of mildew type plant infections). If it is a pretty one, I'd wait until the foliage dies down (just mark the spot with a stake if need be), then dig the bulb and re-plant it where you want it (usually fall planting, but summer would probably be ok too, considering once it dies back, it's done for the year).

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Howdy B2! Yep, they have lots of flowers and the more they spread, the more clusters you get over time. I've been really pleased with how well they've done.

There's an interesting comment on that link in the post ... a woman from WA state has had them invading her yard mercilessly. I bet it's due to their mild winters, and doubt that would a problem for us (or you) given ours are colder. It's a funny comment ... the only negative any of the users there noted, lol.

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