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Bluebell Bulbs

Useful Info And History For The Home Gardener


With substantial tradition in Britain as decorative plants, these species originate from countries with temperate climates (the cyclamen varieties below, specifically from the Black Sea or Mediterranean region) and are known for their sturdiness when faced with low temperatures and general winter conditions, preserving their beauty in a commendable manner, with little or no maintenance. What is distinguishable about cyclamens is that they are not only sought after for their dainty blooms but also for their very ornamental leaves, often resembling those of ivy.

Cyclamen coum

Origin: Black Sea region

Flowering: December, January, February, March

A very sturdy plant made to withstand extreme conditions, it is delightfully multi-coloured, generating bowing pink blooms with darker margins. Its leaves are also distinctive as they show a silvery tinge on their motifs. It originates from countries positioned around the Black Sea, where winters are generally harsh, and starts blooming in December, lasting all the way through to March.

Cyclamen coum album

Origin: Black Sea region

Flowering: December, January, February, March

Identical in every way bot the colour of its corolla, which is pure white, this plant is just as delightful and an interesting addition if you envisage a blossoming garden in the middle of winter. With beautiful blooms and foliage, this variety will last through the winter and the beginning of spring.

Cyclamen hederifolium

Origin: The Mediterranean region

Flowering: October, November, December, January

Its foliage evocative of ivy, this woodland plant surely present s and interest from various points of view, the firs being its lovely pink blossoms developing from October to January. Although not a native species, it was introduced hundreds of years ago and has been cultivated ever since, maintaining its popularity with growers and florists. Among other curiosities, it is said to have strong aphrodisiacal effects. It creates excellent views when planted under trees or shrubs.

Cyclamen hederifolium album

Origin: The Mediterranean region

Flowering: October, November, December, January

The white variation of Cyclamen hederifolium, sometimes it features tinges of pale pink on the narrowest parts of its blooms. As the above-mentioned species, it can develop leaves of various tones of green and silver, the most common being a multi-toned green pattern. It thrives in oceanic climates and has therefore adapted successfully.

Cyclamen cilicium

Origin: Cilicia, Turkey

Flowering: September, October

First encountered in Turkey, in the region of Cilicia, this variety is native to mountainous environments, particularly coniferous woodlands. It has gained worldwide appreciation for its ornamental qualities, with its striking glossy leaves, oval or heart-shaped, often tinged with silver, and its pastel lavender blooms. Its most auspicious patch of soil is a dry one, positioned in the shade if possible.


Found in abundance in the Mediterranean region but also in western Asia and northern Africa, these plants are of imposing beauty, deemed of utmost elegance and constituting the central pieces of many gardens. Their unusual blooms encompassing a spathe and spadix, always strikingly coloured, have sort of a higher class feel and seemed made to be put on display. They come in various colours, from white and pastels to bright yellow and dark blue or indigo.

Arum italicum marmoratum

Origin: Europe

Flowering: March, April

The yellow spadix blooms of this species appear early in the spring season, whereas the foliage is present throughout autumn, winter and spring, with a distinctively white veins on each leaf. When its blooms fade, red berries are produced and maintain its aesthetic interest. It is similar to other species of Arum seen in Britain, yet characteristically for its family, stands out on its own merits.

Arum italicum

Origin: Southern and western Europe

Flowering: March, April

A tall plant, its height reaching between 1 and 1.5 feet, this species id common in Britain and referred to as Lords and Ladies. In appearance it resembles the above-mentioned species, aside from the fact that its foliage is not decorated by a white pattern.


Autumn SnowflakeAcis autumnalis

Origin: The Mediterranean

Flowering: Late summer

A beautiful Snowflake flowering between the end of summer and beginning of autumn, this species reaches between four and six inches does not distinguish itself in appearance from other related plants, its distinctive trait being its exceptionally late flowering time. It has naturalised well and makes a good border feature, if planted in a well-drained patch of soil in semi-shade or full sun.

ParisParis polyphylla

Origin: China

Flowering: June, July

A clump forming plant resembling its native relative, it boasts long yellow stamens surrounding an eye-catching crimson centre, encircled by rich bright green foliage. It is suitable for planting in moist soils in dappled shade. In autumn, the charming bloom is replaced by red berries. This species is very graceful and unusual in appearance and would make an exotic addition to any British garden.

Snakeshead IrisHermodactylus tuberosus

Origin: The Mediterranean

Flowering: April, May

Reaching an average of 10 inches in height, this plant develops brightly coloured blooms of red and purple, a contrast which never goes unnoticed. Great for naturalising in grass or under hedgerows, it isn’t as exotic as it may seem, as it grows here in the wild, in the south-western part of Britain. It has been brought from the Mediterranean region centuries ago and seems to have found an accommodating home in British grasslands.


Erythroniums are woodland and meadow perennial plants remarked due to the graceful shape of their blooms, with energising, brightly coloured backswept petals and conspicuous stamens. Native to both the American and the European continents, they have received various popular names overtime, such as fawn-lilies or trout-lilies, and are also identified by the peculiar shape of their tuber, which is said to resemble a tooth. All species bloom during the spring season although the precise timing varies from one species to another. When planting, increased attention should be paid to ensuring bulbs have not dried out, as that would most likely lead to an unsuccessful attempt to establish them.

Dog Toothed Violet - Erythronium dens-canis

Origin: Europe

Flowering: April, May

With speckled foliage, this species is native to Europe, being the only one of its type, and was erroneously named as such, which can lead to confusions. It generates delicate pastel coloured petals, either mauve or pink, approximately 3 cm in length, with a tinge of yellow adorning the base of the corolla. It will spread by itself if allowed, as it is a clump forming plant, and will grow optimally in an organically rich soil, in dappled shade.

Erythronium dens-canis Purple King

Origin: Asia

Flowering: March, April

This variety produces distinctively coloured petals, of a bright, conspicuous mauve with a white base. It grows excellently in partial shade, in a moist but well-drained soil, and can reach a height of 15 cm on average. Moreover, it is known for its enhanced resilience, which makes it stand out among similar species.

Erythronium dens-canis Snowflake

Origin: Southern Europe

Flowering: March, April

Ideally planted in leafy soil and reaching a height of 10 cm on average, this charming plant with dainty flowers blooming early into the spring season grows white petals with a chocolate brown base, which is an unusual and attractive colour combination. It has been found to grow well in a combination of humus and grit and enjoys full sunlight exposure, which is why planting it in open spaces is advisable.

Erythronium tuloumnese Pagoda

Origin: America

Flowering: March, April

A variety commended for its adaptability and sturdiness, not to mention low maintenance, it can be spotted through its slightly speckled foliage. It produces multiple large blooms per stem, of a gorgeous bright yellow. Their name is due to the curved shape of its petals, which point upwards, creating an interesting visual effect. It naturalises well in woodlands and under hedgerows.

Erythronium tuloumnese Kondo

Origin: America

Flowering: March, April

With a pastel yellow corolla tinged with green, this species is a soothing sight when in bloom. A resilient species, it adapts very well to a new climate and also spreads a pleasant scent in its surroundings. In addition to this, its foliage is speckled, making it increasingly interesting to look at.

Erythronium White Beauty

Origin: Hybrid (America)

Flowering: April, May

Suggestively named to depict its creamy white petals, it also grows mottled leaves which perfect its appearance. It is also known as Erythronium californicum and is highlighted as one of the varieties adapting well to Britain’s oceanic climate, where it grows optimally in dappled shade, in a soil rich in organic matter.

Erythronium revolutum Knightshayes Pink

Origin: Hybrid (National Trust Garden)

Flowering: April, May

Optimal for planting in woodland edges and other partly shaded places, this species develops bright pink blossoms, contrasting with a yellow ring adorning the throat, as well as mottled leaves. A very special variety, it is found in limited quantities on the market and is quite sought after. It seeds freely and if left to its own devices will spread unaided. Also, it is known to reach an average height of 35 cm.


These wild species, some of which are also used as cooking ingredients by certain people, although that is not common practice, have undeniable aesthetic value and create beautiful sceneries during the summer season, when in blossom. Alliums are grown worldwide for their culinary importance, yet that s restricted to a handful of species; the genus is numerous however and most species are purely decorative.

Golden Garlic (Jeannine)Allium moly

Origin: Europe

Flowering: June, July

With its clusters of golden flowers, their shape reminiscent of stars, this species blooms during the first summer month. Aside from being delightful to look at, it is associated with myths and folklore, for instance with providing Odysseus with protection against the sorcery of Circe, who aimed to transform him into a pig – and from this association, protective powers against witchcraft have been attributed to it. It grows very well under hedgerows or in tall grass.

Rosy GarlicAllium roseum

Origin: Europe, Africa, Asia

Flowering: June, July

A vigorous species spreading easily, it is also ideal for naturalising in tall grass, in an open space, with its noticeable rosy blooms neatly arranged into a fragrant umbel, as the name suggests. It can grow to reach 1.5 feet in height and prefers well-drained patches of land. Due to its strong scent, it is an effective repellant for a number of rodents, including squirrels.

Allium cernuum

Origin: America

Flowering: June, July

A clump-forming plant, this variety develops gently nodding flowers of a calm purple, or alternatively white, and is more modest in size compared to similar varieties, reaching around 12 inches in height. Native to America, it grows freely on prairies, which makes it excellent for naturalising in meadow habitats here. It is also referred to as the ‘’Nodding Onion’’.

Allium hollandicum Purple Sensation

Origin: Hybrid

Flowering: June, July

A hybrid derived from Allium hollandicum and commonly referred to as Dutch Garlic, it fills any patch of land with colour through its beautiful purple blooms, of a density and colour brightness which makes them stand out in any natural setting. It should be grown in full sun and growers should take note that although when mature it becomes a hardy plant, in its early stages it is fairly sensitive.

Star of Persia - Allium christophii

Origin: Asia (Turkmenistan, Iran)

Flowering: June

Suitable for growing in woodlands as well as on river and stream banks, this variety produces packed clusters of small star-shaped flowers in a combination of purple and pink. A taller variety, it can reach 18 inches in height. Also, it seeds freely and spreads by itself. It is known to require plenty moisture yet a well-drained patch of soil at the same time.

Allium Mt Everest

Origin: Hybrid (Holland)

Flowering: May

Imposing through its height, which can reach 3 or even 4 feet, as well as through the large size of its striking white flowers, this variety is definitely bound to attract attention wherever it is planted.It was developed in Holland by specialised cultivators.


Gladiolus communis ssp byzantinus

Origin: Europe

Flowering: May, June

Native to mainland Europe, this variety develops daring spiking mauve flowers, reaching 18 inches in height on average. Sometimes mistaken for an African hybrid, the old variety, introduced into Britain centuries ago, stands out through its superior qualities, mainly in terms of resilience and adaptability. It is fond of drier conditions, open spaces and plenty sunlight exposure.