Friday, August 26, 2011

Tigridia - Mexican Shellflower

So I will have to admit, the accompanying photo is not from this year, but rather 2010.  These are tigridia and you don't see them very often.  In fact, unless you grow them yourself or live in Mexico, where they grow native, you may have never seen them in real life.  They are not a cut flower, because they only last a few short hours (think four o'clocks and morning glories).  But for those few short hours they are out, they are pretty eye-catching.

I first grew them many years ago.  It was one of those free bonus bulb deals that I got with the purchase of some other plants.  I threw them in the ground and then promptly forgot about them.  Late August I happened to come across this amazing little pink three petalled blossom, with a dappled and spotted center. Well maybe they are six petalled.  Come to think about it, they are a bit like an iris with three standards and three falls, although I'm sure most true horticulturalists would be 'tsk tsking' at my analogy.  Hmm, I think I will have to do some research, I've just stumbled upon why I like these plants so much!

I kept the bulbs and even saved seed (they are quite easy to reproduce).  However, eventually I found I was ending up with just plain yellows and reds.  Those must be the more dominant colour patterns.  Last year I came across a package of bulbs in the store and thought I would dredge up some horticultural nostalgia.

This year amid the spring rush I forgot to put my saved bulbs in - I came across them yesterday in my cleanup.  I realized just what I had missed.  Just when everything else in the garden is starting to get seedy and think about packing it it, I could have had a pleasant clump of Mexican shellflowers ( as tigridia are more commonly known) showing their cheerful little faces.  Next year...............

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.

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