Top 8 lesser known summer bulbs
In general, most people are familiar with summer bulbs like dahlias, Crocosmia and lilies. There are also summer bulbs, corms and tubers of which the name is enough to raise quite a few eyebrows. Nevertheless, these are rewarding flowering plants that should really be used more often.
The top 8 lesser known summer bulbs, corms and tubers
- Ornithogalum saundersiae (Giant Chincherinchee, Ivory Coast Lily) is one of these lesser known gems. This Ornithogalum species bears white umbel-shaped inflorescences on stems one metre tall from the end of July to early September depending on the weather conditions.
- Tigridia (Tiger Flower, Mexican Shell Flower) has colourful fluttering flowers and wide, grass-like leaves. This summer bulb used to be available only in colour mixtures but is now sold in single colours as well.
- Gladiolus callianthus ‘’Murielae’ (Abyssinian Gladiolus, Acidanthera) is a highly ornamental summer bulb with a delightful fragrance and sword-shaped leaves. Its white, star-shaped flowers with a maroon centre are produced late in the season.
- Leucocoryne (related to Allium) is an elegant, strong, slender bulbous plant bearing fragrant flowers on stems 25 to 50 cm tall.
- Ixia produces star-shaped flowers on long stems between 30 and 45 centimetres tall and is available in a range of colours.
- Cosmos atrosanguinea is a summer-flowering tuberous plant with slender stems that bear deep red, velvety flowers similar to single-flowering dahlias. Because the flowers smell like chocolate, this tuberous plant is also known as Chocolate Cosmos.
- Zantedeschia (Calla Lily) produces decorative leaves and elegant, very dramatic flowers on long stems. Calla lilies are available in a wide range of colours.
- Galtonia (Summer Hyacinth, Spire Lily) has white to greenish-white bell-shaped flowers that make it a lovely addition to any planting. It is also a favourite of honeybees.