TECOPHILEA or BLUE CHILIAN CROCUS

P. Occasionally offered in catalogues, often at £1 per bulb, a price which no one would grudge who has ever seen this superb plant in flower. Tecophilea cyanocrocus is temperamental in the extreme. The flowers are about 1 ½ in. long brilliant gentian-blue (somewhat like a crocus) with a small white centre and carried on a 3 in. stem in spring. They are preceded by narrow, bright green glossy leaves. There are lighter blues and violet forms of this species, both beautiful but hardly comparable with the type. The secret of success with this plant still eludes most gardeners. It is perfectly hardy but dislikes winter wet. Light, well-drained soil is desirable and a position at the foot of a warm, south wall should be given. A cold greenhouse is probably even better.

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