Bulb/Lily Identification

tom35080August 26, 2007

Hi all! OK...Here's a good one. I have a couple of lily bulbs that I need help identifying. I bought them from an elderly woman at a farmer's market in Salt Lake City while vacationing out there last October. They were almost tulip-shaped, purplish-white blossoms on spindly pale green stalks, about 10" long. She told me they were a rare heirloom plant that blooms in the fall. Her suggestion was to plant them rather deep in a shady spot when I got back to Alabama, and that they'd put up a lot of green spike-like leaves (like hyacinths or big crocus) throughout the spring and early summer...then probably die out. Then weeks later in late summer, blossom stalks would re-appear from the ground and they'd bloom in the fall. Sure enough, the leaves came and went...thought for sure they'd died in the heat and drought...but just today I noticed 4 blossom stalks poking up through the soil. I expect they'll bloom within a month. To me this is a very interesting and unusual life cycle for a plant. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures to show you (yet), but I hope to take some when they bloom. I seem to recall seeing a spot on Paul James' "Gardening by the Yard" on a bulb/lily somewhat similar to these. It may have started with the letter "C", but an internet search has come up empty in finding anything similar to these very interesting plants. Since I bought them out West, they are probably not indigenous to this area. Any guesses on what these might be? I'm stumped.


(Helena, AL)

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Sounds like giant autumn blooming colchicums. Google colchicum and take a look.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2007 at 7:18PM
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BINGO! These are exactly what I have! Maybe if they multiply enough I can bring some to a swap in the future.

Thanks for the info!

(Helena, AL)

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 8:07AM
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Tom, one of my deeply hidden talents is telepathic transference (theme music from Twilight Zone plays). No, really! But this one was a S.W.A.G. I'm glad you have an answer. - Terry

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 9:07PM
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