Bulbs

Canna Lily

The canna lily plant is a rhizomatous perennial with tropical-like foliage and large flowers that resemble that of iris. Canna lilies are low maintenance and easy to grow, and both their flowers and foliage offer long-lasting color in the garden. Flower color may be red, orange or yellow. Depending on the variety, foliage color varies from green to maroon, bronze, …

Read More »

Gloriosa Lily

The exotic yellow and red blossoms of the gloriosa lily (Gloriosa superba), also known as the glory lily, flame lily and climbing lily, cover the plant’s 3- to 8-foot-tall vine. Native to Africa and Asia, gloriosa lilies are generally available in two colors: the red “Rothschildiana” and yellow “Lutea.” A tender perennial, this tropical vine thrives in the warm summer …

Read More »

Spider Lily 2015

Hymenocallis is a wonderful genus of bulbous amaryllis…native mostly to the US, Mexico, and Central America. Hymenocallis (spider lilies) are an easy-to-grow moisture-lover that are a reliable perennial wildflower in the garden. Spider lilies are a tough, low maintenance plant which makes it perfect for rain gardens. In the wild many Hymenocallis (spider lilies) often grow in or near water …

Read More »

Brodiaea laxa – Queen Fabiola

“Queen Fabiola” brodiaea (Brodiaea laxa “Queen Fabiola”) is commonly known as the triplet lily or wild hyacinth. It is also known as Ithuriel’s Spear. This perennial bulb is a native wildflower to California, growing wild in evergreen woodlands. It is found in Edgewood Preserve on the San Mateo County peninsula. Grass-like leaves appear first, followed by clusters of light blue …

Read More »

Scilla 2015

Siberian squill, grown from a small bulb, is probably the most familiar of the scillas. The plants themselves don’t get much taller than about 6 inches, but they make up for their diminutive size by spreading out and blooming profusely. The tiny bulbs grow and multiple easily and the plants will also self-seed, making scilla a perfect choice for naturalizing.

Read More »

Elephant Garlic May 2015

I have not planted elephant garlic in the front yard in ten years. The plants continue to produce every year. Mostly from child bulbs on the parent. But sometimes from seeds dispersed from the flower heads. This year, I harvested about half of the garlic. Wash off the dirt. Dry for an hour or so. Cut off the foliage about …

Read More »

Bearded Iris – Peach

Tall Bearded Iris is a great spring flower for Sunnyvale gardens. This is a migrant plant. Some years the iris is in the front yard in the ground; other years the iris is in a container in the back yard. Irises contain the potentially toxic compounds irisin, iridin, or irisine. Symptoms of Poisoning: The gastrointestinal tract may become affected by …

Read More »

Narrow-leaf Blue-eyed Grass

Sisyrinchium angustifolium is noted for its violet-blue flowers and branched flowering stems. Though their foliage is grass-like, the blue-eyed grasses belong to the iris family not the grass family. It is native to southeast USA where it occurs in damp open woods, slopes and along stream banks. It is a clump-forming perennial that features a tuft of narrow grass-like leaves …

Read More »

Scarlet Larkspur

scarlet larkspur flower

Spectacular in its vivid red grandeur, this tuberous rooted Delphinium is a boon to Summer dry gardens. To 3-4’ tall, it’s been known to reach a majestic 6’ when happy. Hummers and bumblebees go nuts for 1.5” intense red, long-spurred “elf hat” flowers during Spring and early Summer. Native to our coast and foothills from Monterey South, this heat lover …

Read More »

Elephant Garlic

Elephant Garlic flower

Elephant Garlic is not a true garlic; it’s actually a perennial member of the leek family. It produces a large beautiful allium head. Above ground, its bluish-green leaves resemble grass, and can grow up to 3 feet (1 metre) tall. The bulbs can grow up to 4 inches (10 cm) wide, and weigh up to a pound (450g), or more. …

Read More »