H. Perennial & Old Fashioned Garden Plants & Flowers by John Wood
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Bulbocodium Trigynum - Hardy Perennial
Author: John Wood
Bulbocodium Trigynum Described.
Bulbocodium Trigynum - Syns. Colchicum Caucasicum and Merendera Caucasicum; Nat. Ord. Melanthaceæ.
This pretty miniature bulbous plant is very hardy, flowering in winter. It is a scarce flower, and has recently been represented as a new plant. As a matter of fact, it is not new, but has been known under the above synonymous names since 1823, when it was brought from the Caucasus. In general appearance it is very different from the Colchicum (Sprengle), as may be seen by the drawing (Fig. above), and Merendera (Bieberstein) is only another Spanish name for Colchicum. The new name, authorised by Adams, may have been the cause, all or in part, of its being taken for a new species. The specific name may be presumed to be in reference to either its deeply-channelled, almost keeled leaves, which have the appearance of three corners, or in allusion to the triangular way in which they are disposed. It is a desirable flower for several reasons—its earliness, durability, rich perfume, and intrinsic beauty.
The little plant, at the height of 2in., produces its rather large flowers in ones and twos in February, and they last for many days in perfect form. The scent reminds one of the sweet honey smell of a white clover field during summer. The colour is very pale lilac, nearly white; the tube takes on a little greenness; it is also divided, though the slits are invisible until the bloom begins to fade. The corolla, of irregular segments, is 1½in. across when expanded; the stamens are half the length of the petal-like segments, and carry anthers of exquisite beauty, especially when young, then they are orange colour, divided like a pair of half-opened shells, and edged with chocolate; the styles are a delicate pale green, and rather longer than the stamens. The leaves, as already stated, are channelled, broadest at the base, tapering to a point, which is rather twisted; they are 2in. long during the blooming period, of a deep green colour, stiff, but spreading, forming a pretty accurate triangle. This description, together with the cut, will suggest both the uses and positions in which it should be planted; if a single blossom, when brought indoors, proves strongly fragrant, it is easy to imagine what a clump must be in the garden. Like those of the colchicum, its flowers are quickly developed; the leaves grow longer afterwards, and die off in summer.
It thrives in a sandy loam or leaf soil, in a sunny part, and increases itself at the roots like the saffrons.
Flowering period, February and March.
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