Best Bulbs, Corms and Tubers To Grow

Bulbs, Corms and tubers are really quite different things but since they can almost all be handled dry (lifted and left out of the ground for a while without any soil) they tend to be sold by firms who specialize in such things.

These firms are known as bulb merchants or bulb growers and they issue catalogues which list bulbs, Corms and tubers more or less indiscriminately.

It is not essential for the gardener to understand the differences between a bulb. A conn and a tuber, but for those who are interested this is what they are.

A bulb is a kind of enlarged bud and. Like a bud, is composed of layers of protective scales, which may be quite loose and clearly defined, as in some lily bulbs, or very closely packed together, as in a tulip or hyacinth bulb. In the centre of the bulb is an embryo shoot, and sometimes a flower as well, which explains why it is possible to grow some bulbs right to flowering stage with no more assistance than warmth and moisture.

A corm is solid flesh throughout, except that it may have a membraneous protective wrapping on the outside. It is, in fact, a swollen stem and it bears buds, some of which may contain embryo flowers.

A tuber is also solid flesh throughout and it may be either a thickened stem, in which case it will contain growth buds or eyes as in the potato, or a thickened root, in which case it will not have eyes and the new growth will come from a crown or upper part attached to it (really the base of a stem or stems) as in the dahlia.

What all these structures have in common is that they are storage organs. They contain considerable quantities of plant food and they enable the plant to survive for quite long periods on its own stored resources.

It is not surprising to find that a good many plants of this nature grow wild in places where there are long periods of drought during which the plant becomes more or less dormant. Then, when rain comes again, the plant starts rapidly into growth, making full use of the food it has stored within its bulbs, Corms or tubers.

A plant will usually go on behaving more or less in the way nature intended even when it is grown under different conditions and so tulips, hyacinths and daffodils all die down a month or so after flowering even though there is enough moisture in the soil to keep them growing. It is at this period that they can be lifted and prepared for sale as dry bulbs.

Simulating Conditions of Nature Sometimes the gardener must try to simulate the conditions of nature. When tuberous-rooted begonias are grown in the greenhouse, they are given decreasing quantities of water in early autumn to encourage them to die down and go to rest for the winter. Similar treatment is given to greenhouse cyclamen except that in their case the reduction in water supply comes in late spring as these plants rest in summer, whereas tuberous-rooted begonias rest in winter.


Although all bulbs, corms and tubers can be transplanted while they are at rest, it is not always the best time to transplant them. Snowdrops, for example. Seem to suffer least check to growth when transplanted just before they come into flower but this is usually inconvenient as it means that the flower display for that year is lost. They can still be moved quite well immediately after flowering and this is what many gardeners do.

Bulbs in Pots and Bowls

Some spring-flowering bulbs, and particularly daffodils and hyacinths, succeed well in pots and bowls and can be used for room or greenhouse decoration. If the receptacles have drainage holes, ordinary potting compost can be used, but for undrained bowls special bulb fibre containing charcoal must be used. The bulb fibre should be well moistened and the bulbs need be barely covered with it.

For the first eight or ten weeks they must be kept cool and dark. They can be placed in a cupboard or plunged outdoors under 3 or 4m (8 to iocm) of sand, peat or weathered ashes. When they have rooted well they can be brought inside and grown in a light, moderately warm place.

Recommended Bulbs, Corms and Tubers

Plants with bulbs, corms and tubers are of many categories. Some are hardy herbaceous plants to be grown outdoors winter and summer; some are half-hardy, which means that they can be grown outdoors in summer but need protection from frost in winter, and some are so tender that they are only grown in greenhouses. Obviously the treatment of so diverse a group of plants will differ considerably from one to another and few generalizations are of much help. Culture is dealt with ipdividually under the name and description of each plant described in the list which follows.

Acidanthera The only kind grown in gardens is Acidanthera bicolor murielae. It has white and maroon, scented flowers, rather like those of a gladiolus, borne in late summer on 3-ft (1 m) stems.

It is not very hardy and needs a warm, sheltered place in well-drained soil, or alternatively the corms can be lifted in autumn, stored in a frost-proof place and be replanted in the spring.

African corn lily, see Ixia

African harlequin flower, see Sparaxis

Allium (Onion) Though the kitchen-garden onion has little decorative value, there are numerous ornamental onions, including Allium moly with roundish heads of buttercup-yellow flowers on I-ft (30-cm) stems, and A. rosenbachianum which has much larger, globular heads of purplish flowers carried on 4-ft (125-m) stems, both in late spring. Both are perfectly hardy and are easily grown; in fact A. moly often makes itself so much at home that self-sown seedlings soon appear all over the place.

Other decorative kinds are A. caeruleum, blue; A. neapolitanum, white; A. ostrow-skyanum, large heads of pinkish flowers on short stems, and A. sphaerocephalum, egg-shaped maroon flowers.

Most kinds like sun, but A. moly will put up with a good deal of shade. Seed and division provide ready means of increase. All ornamental onions retain some measure of the characteristic smell of the family; a few positively stink.

Amaryllis (Belladonna lily) Although not a true lily, the pink and white flowers of Amaryllis belladonna are trumpet shaped, like those of many lilies, and the plant makes large bulbs. These should be given a warm position near the foot of a sunny wall and should be covered with sin (13cm) of soil for protection except in very mild places where they need be only just covered. The belladonna lily likes well-drained but fairly rich soil and should be disturbed as little as possible. The very fragrant flowers are produced in early autumn before the leaves.

Anemone Most important of the tuberous-rooted anemones are the poppy anemones, varieties of Anemone coronaria. These have showy flowers borne singly on stems 9 to 12 in (23 to 30 cm) high in winter, spring or early summer. There are various strains such as St Brigid, with double flowers and fringed petals, and De Caen with single flowers and plain petals, but all are brightly coloured in shades of pink, scarlet, blue and purple.

The small tubers are planted 2 in (5 cm) deep in early autumn or early spring according to the time at which flowers are required. Except in very mild places autumn plantings are usually in frames but spring plantings can be outdoors in a sunny place. These anemones like fairly rich, firm soil.

Autumn crocus, see Colchicum

Belladonna lily, see Amaryllis

Bluebell, see Scilla

Camassia Plants with narrow leaves and spikes of blue flowers in late spring or early summer. Camassia cusickii and C. leicht-linii are both 3 ft (1 m) high; the former grey blue, the latter white or blue. C. esculenta is 2 ft (60cm) and deep blue. All will grow in sun or partial shade in any reasonably good soil.

Chincherinchee, see Ornithogalum

Chionodoxa (Glory of the snow) Delightful bulbous-rooted plants only a few inches in height and producing loose sprays of bright blue or blue and white flowers in early spring. They are excellent for the rock garden, border or shrubbery and will succeed in full sun or partial shade.

The small bulbs should be planted 3 in (8 cm) deep in early autumn. They are readily increased by lifting and dividing the clusters of bulbs at planting time.

Colchicum (Autumn crocus) Despite the extraordinary superficial resemblance of its flowers to those of a crocus, this plant is not a crocus nor is it related to the crocus. Colchicums make very big bulbs which should be planted in late summer and be covered with 2 in (5cm) of soil. The lilac, pink or white flowers appear in early autumn before the large leaves.

Colchicums can be naturalized in grass, but are really happiest in rock gardens or at the front of shrubberies and herbaceous borders, in good, rich, loamy soil in a sunny or partially shady place. They can be increased by dividing the bulb clusters at planting time, but it is unnecessary to lift and replant the bulbs annually. In the right place they will continue for years, each cluster increasing in size all the time.

Corn lily, African, see Ixia

Crinum Showy plants with large, trumpet-shaped, lily-like flowers in late summer. Most kinds are too tender to be grown outdoors safely except in nearly frost-free places, but a hybrid, Crinum powellii, with pink (or occasionally white) flowers will stand more cold and is often planted in warm, sunny, sheltered gardens.

The very large bulbs should be planted in spring with their tips just appearing through the soil. They can be left undisturbed for many years and are increased by division in spring.

Crocosmia One fine kind is grown, Crocos-mia masonorum, a plant rather like a mont-bretia but with larger, upfacing orange-red flowers in summer.

It needs a warm, sunny place in reasonably good, well-drained soil and is grown from corms which should be planted 2 to 3 in (5 to 8 cm) deep in spring. Increase is by division in spring.

Crocus In addition to the well-known garden or Dutch crocuses with flowers in various shades of mauve, purple, yellow and white, there are a number of wild crocuses well worth planting, especially in the rock garden. Their flowers are, in general, more fragile than those of the garden crocuses and, as some flower very early, they may need the protection of a pane of glass against heavy rain. Typical of these wildings are Crocus speciosus, which produces its mauve, blue or white flowers in autumn; C. imperati, buff outside, violet within and in bloom by mid-winter; C. sieberi and C. tomasinianus, both with pale mauve flowers in early spring; C. chrysan-thus, yellow, orange, blue, purple and white, sometimes feathered with one colour on another or with bronze on the outside of the petals, and the cloth-of-gold crocus, C. susianus, with golden-yellow flowers in early spring.

All crocuses like sun, though most will also grow satisfactorily in light shade. The wild kinds like rather gritty, well-drained soils, but the garden varieties will grow in almost any soil. All should be planted in autumn except the autumn-flowering kinds, which should be put in from mid- to late summer. They are increased by separating the clusters of Corms.

Crocus. Autumn, see Colchicum

Crown imperial, see Fritillaria

Dog’s-tooth violet, see Erythronium

Endymion, see Scilla

Eranthis (Winter aconite) Early-flowering plants with yellow, buttercup-like flowers each surrounded by a little ruff of green leaf-like bracts.

Eranthis hyemalis, the kind most frequently grown, flowers in late winter and early spring and is 3 in (8 cm) high. It thrives in shady places and any soil and should be planted 2 in (5cm) deep.

Eremuros (Fox-tail lily) Remarkable hardy herbaceous plants with long, stiff spikes of flowers in summer. The tallest. Eremums robustus, may reach 10 ft (3 m) and is pale pink, but more useful for general garden use are E. himalaicus, 3 ft (1 m) and white, and the hybrid varieties which grow 4 or 5 ft (1 25 to 1-5111) high and have flowers in various shades of pink, maize, apricot and soft orange. All have fleshy roots, radiating like the spokes of a wheel from a central crown, and need to be very carefully planted in good well-drained soil and a sunny place. The roots should have no more than 4in (10cm) of soil over them and transplanting is best done in early or mid-autumn. Once established they should be left alone as long as possible.

Seed sown in early autumn in a frame is the best method of increase but they may be slow to flower for several years. In cold places, it is wise to cover the plants with sand, straw or bracken in winter.

Erythronium (Dog’s-tooth violet) Attractive spring-flowering plants for a shady rock garden or border. The commonest kind, Erythronium dens-canis, has nodding pink or purple flowers on 4-in (1 o-cm) stems, only very slightly resembling violets, and attractive marbled leaves, but there are other, taller kinds, some with yellow, some with white flowers.

All like cool, partly shaded places and soil containing plenty of leafmould or peat. The tubers should be planted 2in (5cm) deep.

Fox-tail lily, see Eremurus

Fritiilaria (Crown imperial, fritillary) Fritil-laria imperialis. The crown imperial, is a striking hardy plant with broad, strap-shaped leaves and stiff, 3-ft (1-m) flower spikes terminated by tufts of small leaves and showy hanging clusters of yellow or orange-red flowers with a rather unpleasant foxy smell. It is grown from large bulbs which should be planted in autumn in fairly rich soil and an open, sunny place.

Very different in appearance is the snake’s head or chequered fritillary. /•’. meleagris, a distinctive and elegant plant with slender 1-ft (30-cm) stems terminated in April or May by quite large, pendent purple and white or purple and mauve flowers. It is grown from small bulbs, which should be planted in autumn, 2 or 3 in (5 or 8cm) deep, in soil which is fairly moist and rich. The bulbs need not be lifted annually and can often be naturalized in grass that is not mown before mid-summer.

Galanthus (Snowdrop) These lovely early-spring-flowering plants are grown from bulbs which can either be planted as dry bulbs in early autumn. 4M (10cm) deep, or as growing plants in early spring. They will grow in almost any soil and situation, though the common kind prefers cool, partially shaded positions and is ideal for planting around shrubs or trees. It can also be naturalized in grass, provided the grass is not cut until the snowdrop leaves have died down in early summer.

There is no kind more beautiful than this common snowdrop. Galanthus nivalis, but its double-flowered variety makes a better display in the mass, and there are several other kinds such as S. Arnott, Colesborne. Atkinsii and Merlin, which have flowers of superior size. G. clwesii is a different species with much broader leaves and another vigorous kind well worth planting is G. hyzantinus. Both of which prefer sunny to shady places. All are white with green markings.

Galtonia This handsome plant is sometimes called the summer hyacinth but its tall spikes of nodding white flowers only bear a superficial resemblance to those of the true hyacinths. It flowers from mid- to late summer, is quite hardy, and will thrive in most reasonably good soils and open places. It makes large bulbs which should be planted 3 in (8cm) deep in autumn.

Increase is by division of bulb clusters in autumn or by seed sown in a frame or green-house in spring, but seedlings take several years to reach flowering size.

Gladiolus These brilliant summer-flowering plants are grown from corms. Almost all of which must be planted in spring. They like a sunny, open situation and rather rich, well-drained soil. Corms should be spaced at least 6in (15cm) apart and be covered with 3 in (8cm) of soil. The heavy flower spikes of some of the bigger varieties may require individual staking. About six weeks after flowering the plants should be lifted, the tops cut off about 1 in (25cm) above the new corms. And the old withered corms removed from beneath the new ones. Then the new corms are stored away for the winter in a cool, dry, frost-proof place. A number of small cormlets may be found around the main corms. If desired these can also be stored and replanted the following spring, but they may take a year or so to attain flowering size.

There are a great many varieties differing in size, form and colour of bloom. The miniatures and the Primulinus varieties have smaller flowers but do not differ in their cultural requirements. The early-flowering gladiolus, which is sometimes called Gladiolus nanus and sometimes G. colvillei, is too tender to be grown outdoors except in very mild districts, and varieties of it are usually grown as pot plants in a slightly heated greenhouse. Potted in autumn and grown on in a temperature around 10 C. (50 F.), they will flower the following spring or early summer. After flowering the corms are treated like those of outdoor gladioli. G. byzantinus. With magenta flowers in early summer, is the hardiest of all and can be left outdoors throughout the year, except in very cold places.

Glory of the snow, see Chionodoxa

Grape hyacinth, see Muscari

Harlequin flower. African, see Sparaxis

Hyacinthus (Hyacinth) These popular spring-flowering bulbs are usually seen in pots or bowls indoors or under glass, but they can also be grown in beds outdoors. Bulbs should be obtained in late summer or early autumn for pot or bowl culture, mid-or late autumn for planting outdoors. If in drained pots, ordinary John limes or soilless compost may be used; if in bowls without drainage holes, special bulb fibre containing charcoal and crushed oyster shell should be used. In either case the bulbs may be almost shoulder to shoulder and should be almost, but not quite, covered. Pots and bowls are best placed in a cool place to make roots. After this they may be brought into a living room or greenhouse either with or without artificial heat accord-

ing to the time at which flowers are required. After flowering, bulbs can be planted outdoors.

Outdoor bulbs should be spaced Sin (20cm) apart and be covered with 2 in (5cm) of soil. They like a fairly rich but porous soil and a sunny place. After flowering leave the foliage to die down, then lift and store in a dry. Cool place until planting time.

Iris In addition to the irises grown as hardy herbaceous perennials, there are a number of delightful bulbous-rooted kinds. Most popular of these are the Spanish. English and Dutch irises, all similar in appearance and producing showy blue, purple, yellow, bronzy, or white flowers on 2-ft (60-cm) stems in late spring and early summer. They make excellent cut flowers as well as being highly decorative in the garden. They are easily grown in most soils and open places and should be planted about 3in (8cm) deep and 6 to 8in (15 to 20cm) apart in autumn.

A little more difficult are the winter or early-spring-flowering species such as Iris his trio ides, blue. 4In (10cm): /. reticulata.

Deep violet purple, 6in (15cm): /. dan-fordiae, yellow. 4M (10cm). All these like well-drained but fairly rich soil and sunny places and look well in rock gardens or raised beds. They should be planted in early autumn. 2 in (5cm) deep.

Ixia (African corn lily) Elegant plants with narrow, grassy leaves and slender arching spikes of starry flowers in spring. Colours include white, yellow, orange, pink, carmine and crimson. They are grown from corms which should be planted in autumn 3 in (8cm) deep in light, porous soil and the sunniest, warmest place available as they are not very hardy.

Alternatively they can be grown in a frost-proof greenhouse, five or six Corms in each 4-in (10-cm) pot, watered sparingly at first. Then freely as growth starts, but being gradually dried off after flowering and stored dry for a couple of months before repotting in early autumn.

Leucojum (Snowflake) Bulbous plants which look rather like large snowdrops but have more bell-shaped flowers. The three kinds commonly grown are the spring snow-flake, Leucojum vernum, with white, green-tipped flowers on 6-in (15-cm) stems in early spring; the summer snowflake, L. aestivum, with similarly coloured flowers on 18-in (45-cm) stems in late spring, and the autumn snowflake, L. autumnale, with small, white. Pink-tinted flowers on 6-in (15-cm) stems in autumn.

All like rather rich, moist soil and semi-shady places and the spring and summer snowflakes should be planted, like snow-drops. In autumn. The autumn snowflake should be planted in the latter half of summer.

Propagation is by division of the bulb clusters at planting time, but the less frequently the bulbs are disturbed the better.

Lilium (Lily) A great many plants which are popularly called lilies, for example African lily, arum lily, belladonna lily, are not really lilies at all. But there are. In addition, so many true Hies that it is difficult to give anything but a very brief account of them. All have bulbous roots and all can be planted in autumn, though they do not like being out of the ground for long, for which reason some experts prefer to treat them like herbaceous plants, moving them in early spring when they are already growing. Imported bulbs often do not arrive until mid-winter and then they may either be started in pots, from which they will be planted out when they are growing, or they may be kept until early spring and planted where they are to flower.

From the cultural standpoint lilies may be divided into hardy and slightly lender varieties. The hardy lilies can all be grown outdoors, but the slightly tender varieties are better treated as cool greenhouse plants except in the mildest parts of the country. The most important of these greenhouse kinds is the Easter lily, Lilium longijlorum, with long, white trumpet flowers in spring. The bulbs should be planted low down in 9- or 10-in (23- or 25-cm) pots, one in a pot, and should be repotted each year in October. Only frost protection is essential but a temperature of 16 C. (6o°F.) will produce earlier flowers.

The hardy lilies should almost all be planted so that the bulbs are covered with about twice their own depth of soil, for example, a 2-in- (5-cm-) deep bulb will need a 6-in- (15-cm-) deep hole. One notable exception to this is the popular white Madonna lily, L. candidum, which should be barely covered with soil, and will, after a while, work itself out so that the top of the bulb is exposed. This lily is also exceptional in that it is best planted in late summer. The nankeen lily, L. testaceum, also likes shallow planting.

Many lilies like to have their flowers and leaves in the sun but their roots in the shade. This can be arranged by planting them among low-growing shrubs or leafy plants such as evergreen azaleas or peonies. The majority of lilies like deep soils containing plenty of leafmould or peat and few like really chalky soils, but there are exceptions to this, notably the Turkscap lilies, L. chalcedonicum and L. martagon.

One of the easiest of all lilies to grow is the regal lily, L. regale, with broad white trumpets on 4-ft (1 25-cm) stems in summer. Others that can be grown in most gardens are the orange lilies, usually listed as L. umbellatum, but correctly known as L. I10I-lartdicum, and the Mid-Century Hybrids in a variety of shades from pale yellow to crimson, all with clusters of large, upward-pointing orange or yellow flowers on 2- to 3-ft (60- to 1 m) stems in early summer. The tiger lily, L. tigrimtm, has hanging clusters of orange, maroon-spotted flowers on 5-ft (I-5-m) stems in late summer; L. henryi, similar in habit but taller and with orange flowers, and the martagon or Turkscap lily. L. martagon, which bears 20 to 30 dull purple or waxy white flowers on 5- to 6-ft (1-5- to 2-m) stems. The golden-rayed lily of Japan, L. auratum, is a giant of 6 to 8 ft (2 to 2-5111), with wide, white trumpets. Spotted with gold and sometimes flushed with pink. It needs a peaty soil and is not one of the easiest to keep going for many years. The very graceful lily with white. Crimson-spotted, hanging flowers in early autumn, which is a favourite in florists’ shops, is L. speciosum. It can be grown outdoors in a sheltered place, but is often grown as a greenhouse plant, like the Easter lily.

All lilies can be increased by division of the bulb clusters at planting time. A few. And notably the regal lily, can be raised easily from seed sown in a frame or cool greenhouse in spring. Some lilies, such as the tiger lily and L. henryi, make tiny bulbs up the flowering steins where the leaves join them and these bulbils can be detached in late summer and planted separately, preferably in boxes or a frame until they get larger. Some lilies can also be increased by detaching individual bulb scales in autumn and placing these in boxes filled with sand and peat.

Lily, see Lilium

Lily, Belladonna, see Amaryllis

Lily, Fox-tail, see Eremurus

Lily, Wood, see Trillium

Montbretia Very easily grown hardy perennials which make rapidly spreading clusters of small Corms. By separating these and planting them singly about 2in (5cm) deep in spring, they can be increased very rapidly. The orange-yellow or coppery-red flowers are produced in slender 3-ft (1 m) spikes in late summer and early autumn.

Montbretias like sun and warmth and will thrive in the poorest of soils, though to see some of the newer large-flowered varieties at their best they should be given a reasonably good, well-drained soil and be removed to the safety of a frame during the winter as they are less hardy than the common kind.

Muscari (Grape hyacinth) Spring-flowering bulbs with 6-in (15-cm) spikes of blue flowers, like miniature hyacinths. They are easily grown in almost any soil and fairly open position. Bulbs should be planted 2 to 3 in (5 to 8cm) deep in autumn, and need only be lifted again when the clusters are so overcrowded that flowering begins to suffer.

One of the finest varieties is Heavenly Blue. There is also a beautiful kind with much larger but almost prostrate spikes which have a plumed appearance, for which reason it has been called the feather hyacinth, Muscari comosum plumosum. All can be increased by separating the bulb clusters in late summer.

Narcissus (Daffodil) Though daffodil is the popular name of all kinds of narcissus it is usually applied to the trumpet-flowered varieties, the smaller-cupped kinds being known as narcissi. These smaller-cupped (or crowned) varieties are available in many different combinations of white, cream. Yellow, orange and red; and pink and green are now making their appearance. The colour range of the trumpet-flowered daffodils has also been extended to include all-white and pink and white as well as the older all-yellow and yellow and white combinations. Heights vary from miniatures such as the cyclamen-flowered narcissus, N. cyclamineus, and the hoop-petticoat daffodil, N. bulbocodium, both about Gin (15cm) high, to the tall hybrids such as Unsurpassable, King Alfred and Carlton, which are I\ ft (75cm) or more.

All narcissi like fairly rich, loamy soils, though they will grow tolerably well in almost any soil. They like sun but do not object to shade provided it is not too dense. Bulbs should be planted in late summer or early autumn and should be covered with their own depth of soil. They can be lifted and the bulb clusters divided in summer when the leaves turn yellow and die down, but it is not desirable to lift them every year as they make a better display when well established. They do well planted in grass, provided this is not cut until the narcissus leaves have died down in summer, or at least until six weeks after the flowers have faded.

Nerine In addition to the tender nerines, which are grown in pots in the greenhouse, there is one beautiful kind which is sufficiently hardy to be grown outside in warm, sheltered places. Its name is Nerine bowdenii and it has heads of rose-pink flowers in early autumn, before the leaves.

The bulbs should be planted in autumn, immediately after flowering. They like good, well-drained soil and a sunny, sheltered place such as the foot of a wall or fence facing south. The bulbs should only be just covered with soil and should be left undisturbed for several years until they become overcrowded, when they can be lifted after flowering, and the clusters of bulbs separated out.

Onion. Ornamental, see Allium

Ornithogalum (Star of Bethlehem, chin-cherinchce) Bulbous-rooted plants with loose sprays of white flowers in early sum-mer. The true star of Bethlehem, Orni-thogalum umbellatum, is about 1 ft (30cm) high and perfectly hardy; a useful plant as it will grow practically anywhere.

More exacting is the chincherinchee, O. thyrsoides, with spikes of papery-white. •everlasting’ flowers. This should be grown like a gladiolus, bulbs being planted in fairly rich soil in spring, watered freely in summer and lifted in autumn for dry storage in a frost-proof place until planting time. All can be increased by division of the bulb clusters in autumn or by growing on tiny bulbs.

Ranunculus The most popular kind is the turban ranunculus, R. asiaticus, a remarkable plant with flowers so double that they are almost globular. They are highly coloured, in a variety of shades of yellow and red, and are carried on 9-in (23-cm) stems in late spring and early summer. The plant makes small, clawed tubers which can be planted 2 in (5 cm) deep, claw sides downwards, in autumn or early spring, the latter being preferable on all heavy soils.

The turban ranunculus likes sun, warmth and good drainage. The tubers should be lifted each summer and stored in a dry, cool place until planting time. Increase is by division of the clusters of tubers.

Scilla (Squill, bluebell) The common bluebell, still usually known in gardens as Scilla non-scripta, though its present botanical name is Endymion non-scriptus, is a lovely spring-flowering bulb but it grows so freely wild that it is not often planted in gardens. The Spanish bluebell, S. hispanica or Endymion Itispanicus, is not a native plant and, as it produces a stiffer and more substantial flower spike than the common bluebell, it is frequently planted. There are pink- and white-flowered forms as well as blue. S. sibirica is a much smaller plant with 3- to 4-in (8- to 10-cm) spikes of rich blue flowers in early spring. S. tubergeniana has larger spikes of pale blue flowers and is even earlier in bloom. 5. peruviana has a very broad, conical spike of blue or white flowers.

All these scillas will grow in almost any soil. The common and Spanish bluebells do not mind shade; the other two prefer sun. Bulbs should be planted in autumn 2 to 3in (5 to 8 cm) deep for most kinds but 6 in (15 cm) for the common and Spanish bluebells. All can be increased by division of the bulb clusters in late summer.

Snowdrop, see Galanthus

Snowflakc, see Leucojum

Sparaxis (African harlequin flower) These resemble ixias in many respects and require identical treatment, but the sprays of brightly coloured flowers branch and there are often two strongly contrasted colours in the same flower, hence the popular name of harlequin flower; there are also softer colours including cream. All delight in sun. warmth and good drainage and should be planted 3 in (8cm) deep in autumn.

Squill, sec Scilla

Star of Bethlehem, see Ornithogalum

Tiger flower, see Tigridia

Tigridia (Tiger flower) Tigridia pavonia is a bulbous-rooted plant for well-drained soils and sunny, sheltered places outdoors, or for growing as a pot plant in cool greenhouses. The flowers, rather like wide open tulips and in various bright shades of pink and yellow, often spotted or blotched, are pro-duced on 18-in (45-cm) stems in late summer. The bulbs should be planted or potted in spring and should be lifted in autumn for storing dry in a frost-proof place, except in mild or sheltered places where they can be left in the ground for several years.

Trillium (Wood lily) Hardy herbaceous plants with fleshy roots, trilliums prefer shady places and leafy or peaty soils. They grow 12 to 18 in (30 to 45 cm) high and have three-petalled flowers which may be pure white or rose, as in Trillium grandiflorum, or deep maroon as in T. erection. All flower in late spring and can be increased by careful division in early spring.

Tulip These popular spring-flowering bulbs thrive in rather light but rich soils and sunny, open places. The bulbs should be planted 4 or 5 in (10 to 13 cm) deep in autumn, and can, with advantage, be lifted in summer when all foliage has died down, and be stored in a dry, cool place until planting time.

There are a great many diflerent kinds and varieties, some such as the water-lily tulip, Tulipa kaufmanniana, and the early double tulips, being less than 1 ft (30cm) high, others such as the Darwin, cottage and lily-flowered tulips. 2 to 2] ft (60 to 75cm) tall. The Due van Thol varieties are the earliest to flower, but need glasshouse protection. If potted in early autumn, plunged outdoors under 2in (5cm) of ashes for eight weeks, and then brought into a warm greenhouse, they will bloom by mid-winter. The early tulips and Kaufmanniana and Greigii hybrids are in bloom outdoors in early spring, the Mendel and triumph tulips follow them, and are followed in their turn by the Fosteriana and Darwin hybrids, the Darwin tulips them-selves and the cottage (or May-flowering). parrot, lily-flowered. Rembrandt and peony-flowered tulips in late spring. All are increased by division of the bulb clusters when lifted.

Tulipa, see Tulip

Turban ranunculus, see Ranunculus

Wand flower, see Dierama

Winter aconite, see Eranthis

Wood lily, see Trillium

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