Odyssey Bulbs PO Box 382
South Lancaster, MA 01561
800-517-5152
ORDERING GUIDELINES
FALL 2014 PRICE LIST
2014 CATALOG BY GENUS
Allium
Anemone
Arisaema
Arum
Camassia
Chionodoxa
Colchicum
Convallaria
Corydalis
Fall Crocus
Spring Crocus
Eranthis
Erythronium
Fritillaria
Galanthus
Geranium
Gladiolus
Hepatica
Hyacinthoides
Hyacinthus
Iris
Leucojum
Muscari
Narcissus
Nectaroscordum
Ornithogalum
Pinellia
Polygonatum
Puschkinia
Romulea
Scilla
Triteleia
Tulipa
COLCHICUM
Autumn crocus [sic]

Few "bulbs"* are more valuable and less appreciated than these (*their curious, footed storage organs are actually corms). The rather unfortunate common name refers to the general resemblance of some colchicums to an oversized crocus, but in fact the two genera are from different plant families (colchicums from the Liliaceae; croci from the Iridaceae).

Colchicums are best known to gardeners in the form of a handful of large fall-blooming hybrids and species, including 'Waterlily' and C. speciosum. These are indeed showy, durable, unimpeachable ornamentals, bringing a welcome splash of color to the garden at a time when it is all too often lacking. The glorious diversity of the genus encompasses scores of other, lesser-known fall-blooming giants, however, as well as numerous winter-bloomers, spring-bloomers, summer-bloomers, and "dwarfs" (which are naturals for the rock garden). Colchicums are also geographically diverse, spanning a wide range of ecosystems and climatic zones from western Europe to central Asia. A garden that employs their full diversity can boast nearly constant colchicum bloom from midsummer to spring, in habitats ranging from rockery to meadow to perennial border to woodland edge.

As for the charge that colchicum foliage is troublesome, this is a contemptible calumny. We consider the lusty (typically spring-borne) leaves of the large-flowered forms to be highly ornamental, certainly far more so than the foliage of the average tulip or daffodil. Yes, they have the potential to overpower smaller companions, but this possibility can be averted with a little forethought. Indeed, their herbage can be used to the garden's advantage, by pairing them with late-emerging, summer-blooming perennials such as Platycodon grandiflorus, or with late-planted, warm-season annuals.

All in all, this is a genus to be treasured. It is also a genus to be ordered early: we start shipping their corms in August, and if you want to see bloom (rather than stubs of ex-blooms) this fall, you will need to order before then. Plant the large fall-blooming colchicums in moderately fertile, not overly dry soil in sun or light shade. The dwarf and spring-blooming species like full sun and need to stay relatively dry while dormant.

Colchicum autumnale 'Drama Bunch' ~ No form of C. autumnale has grown as vigorously and flowered as prolifically for us as this selection from the mountains of northern Greece. Each shoot produces bunches of relatively large, rich lilac-pink blooms. It (and others of the species) thrives in reasonably fertile, not overly dry soil in sun or light shade. Modified continental/Montane; . Zone 4/5. SOLD OUT
1/$10
Colchicum autumnale 'Karin Persson' ~ C. autumnale channeling C. speciosum. The exceptionally large, pale lilac-pink flowers have white eyes and the typical white, hook-tipped styles. The original plant was liberated from Katara Pass in northern Greece's Pindus Mountains, a mile above Mediterraean Sea level. Mediterranean/Modified continental/Montane. Zone 4/5.
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1/$12
Colchicum autumnale 'Nancy Lindsay' (C . pannonicum ) ~ Under whatever name, a dandy plant, with abundant, bright-pink, purple-"stemmed" blooms somewhat larger than those of straight C. autumnale in early September, near the beginning of the colchicum season. Thrives in reasonably fertile, not overly dry soil in sun or light shade. Modified continental. Zone 4/5.
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1/$6
Colchicum bivonae 'Apollo' ~ Parent of many of the large-flowered hybrids, this species is an outstanding ornamental in its own right, as witnessed by this robust cultivar. Large, goblet-shaped, fragrant, purple-checkered, white-starred flowers, two per corm, in August and September. Sun and good drainage required (and if given such, this is one Colchicum that should thrive in the deep South). Mediterranean; Corsica to W Turkey. Zone 6.
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1/$10
Colchicum graecum AH.9141 ~ Colchicums in early August? You betcha. Highly desirable both for the coloration and the precocity of its blooms, this selection of one of the loveliest and earliest colchicums produces 2-inch-long chalices of soft lilac-rose in midsummer, a full 2 months before the late hybrids such as 'Waterlily' pop in. Broad, upright leaves appear in spring (in typical colchicine fashion). A 10-week fall colchicum season is utterly attainable. Go for it. Mediterranean; Greece. Zone 6.
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1/$12
Colchicum hungaricum 'Valentine' ~ As ornamental plants, the winter-blooming colchicums trounce even the snootiest snowdrop, in our highly biased opinion. And how many snowdrops arrive at the Valentine's Banquet dressed in pink? This 'Valentine' rarely makes an eponymous holiday appearance in our district, but if you garden on Cape Cod or Long Island or some similarly tropical strand, prepare to be charmed on February 14 or thereabouts. Like others of the species, 'Valentine' produces multiple weather-resistant blooms over multiple weeks, and thrives in a sunny, well-drained garden niche. Mediterranean/Modified continental/Montane; ; SE Europe. Zone 5.
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1/$14
Colchicum hungaricum 'Velebit Star' ~ Here's another lovely representative of the species, of starrier form and purer white. In this case the eponymous reference is to Croatia's Velebit Mountains, whence this form originated. But it also does Valentine's Day, climate permitting. Val and Vel make a lovely couple, BTW. Mediterranean/Modified continental/Montane; . Zone 5.
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1/$12
Colchicum visianii 'Petrovac' ~ Large bright lilac-pink, lightly checkered blooms with narrowish, starry segments arrive early in the colchicum season. Some taxonomists fold the species into C. haynaldii or C. bivonae. Whatever – it's still lovely. And rare. Mediterranean/Modified continental/Montane; Balkans. Zone 5.
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1/$15
Colchicum 'Jarka' ~ The resemblance to 'Harlequin' is quite close: the segments pinched and sometimes twisted at their tips are mauve below, white above. Yet, it's our impression that they're considerably heavier on the mauve and lighter on the twisting than is 'Harlequin'. In any case, 'Jarka' (like 'Harlequin') is a valuable and distinctive addition to the colchicum crew. Zone 5.
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1/$10
Colchicum 'Lysimachus' ~ A joint effort of C. autumnale 'Drama Bunch' and the autumnale-like C. haynaldii , this vigorous, recently selected hybrid produces bunches of showy, white-tubed, lavender-pink blooms, of moderate size. This is an excellent addition to the line of autumnale cultivars and hybrids. Modified continental/Mediterranean/Montane; . Zone 5.
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1/$10
Colchicum 'Spartacus' ~ As with 'Lysimachus', this is a floriferous, recently selected hybrid of C. autumnale, this time with the large-flowered C. bivonae as the presumed second parent. The white-eyed, purple-pink goblets stand on stout, compact, greenish-white floral tubes. Another winner. Modified continental/Mediterranean/Montane; . Zone 5.
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1/$10
Colchicum 'Waterlily' ~ One of those rare instances where more "petals" are -- if not better -- at least just as good. Each corm flaunts five or more broad, ruffled, Nymphaean flowers of rosy-lilac. Deservedly popular. Zone 5.
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1/$9


ODYSSEY BULBS
PO Box 382
South Lancaster, MA  01561
mail@odysseybulbs.com