if i had to choose my favorite bulb of all time it would be this, Allium schubertii:
this image was taken in our ithaca garden last year. ithaca is in upstate ny, usda hardiness zone 6 (ahs heat zone 3/4). Alliums, or flowering onions, do very well there. see my friend lynn’s post on her schubertii’s here and here. i thought i’d give them a try here in college station, usda zone 8b (ahs heat zone 9), but i was quickly disappointed to read that many bulbs don’t survive the heat and humidity so prevalent in these southern climes – to expect flowering, many require cold treatment via refrigeration. so i thought i’d try anyway, starting with the “easy-to-grow” A. sphareocephalon (drumstick allium) and figured since i planted in november that’d be chilly enough. i waited, and waited…, for any sign of life to emerge from the bulb’s resting place… and not a damn one of ’em came up.
but now i believe i’ve found a suitable southern alternative, Scadoxus multiflorus (blood lily):
while the coral orangey-red color is quite different (and pretty), the plant architecture is similar to the one i so loved with the schubertii… a globe of starburst radiating from a single stem. it’ll be interesting to see how this one matures, as i can already imagine drifts of them in the garden…
a garden-variety sparkler if i ever saw one… happy july!