STERNBERGIA Yellow Star Flower

At first glance Sternbergia looks like a late-flowering Crocus – the leaves are narrow and the flowers have the familiar wineglass shape. Look closely and you will see that Sternbergia blooms are borne on a stem and not on an extension of the petal tube like a Crocus flower. This is a splendid plant to grow in a rockery which has free-draining soil and is sunbaked in summer. It is notoriously slow to establish – do not lift after planting.

VARIETIES: S. lutea is the most popular species – 2 in. flowers of glistening gold are borne in autumn. It is hardy in most parts of Britain. Dead-head once flowering is over, but do not remove the leaves. The best variety to grow is angustifolia.

SITE AND SOIL: Well-drained, chalky soil and full sun are essential.

PLANT DETAILS: Planting time August. Planting depth 5 in.

Spacing: 5 in. Height 6 in.

Flowering period: September-October.

PROPAGATION: Buy new bulbs – Sternbergia hates disturbance.

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