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Unusual Bulbs That Draw The Eye

Fall is the time to be thinking about next spring and especially which new spring-blooming bulbs to plant.

Schubert allium.

Most of us already have daffodils, but it is always a good idea to pick up a few more, as one can’t ever have enough!

I have been looking particularly for more late-blooming varieties to extend the season of bloom. I have been looking also for what are sometimes called accent bulbs—unusual bulb flowers that draw the eye.

Fritillaria imperialis rubra caught my attention in a catalog. It produces a tall, bare stalk topped by a ring of orange-red, bell-shaped blossoms that hang down from a tuft of green leaves.

There’s also a yellow, Crown Imperial lutea, and as a bonus they are deer resistant as well as being unusual.

I also love all of the many different alliums that belong to the onion clan. They bloom later than most of the other spring bulbs and are eye-catching paired with early blooming perennials.

I must get more Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ with large purple balls on long bare stems. ‘Globemaster’ is also dramatic with its giant, long-lasting balls of tiny florets that are light violet in color.

One to amuse onlookers is ‘Hair’ that has a stalk topped by what looks like a fright wig of green hair. I will order just one of those as a conversation piece and to amuse the children who visit my garden.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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