Odyssey Bulbs PO Box 382
South Lancaster, MA 01561
978-333-0139
ORDERING GUIDELINES
ODYSSEY PERENNIALS
FALL 2015 PRICE LIST
2015 CATALOG BY GENUS
Allium
Anemone
Arisaema
Arum
Bellevalia
Camassia
Chionodoxa
Colchicum
Convallaria
Corydalis
Fall Crocus
Spring Crocus
Eranthis
Erythronium
Fritillaria
Galanthus
Geranium
Gethyum
Gladiolus
Hepatica
Hyacinthella
Hyacinthoides
Hyacinthus
Iris
Merendera
Muscari
Muscari
Narcissus
Nectaroscordum
Ornithogalum
Pinellia
Polygonatum
Puschkinia
Romulea
Scilla
Tecophilaea
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 JMH.8001 ~ This Michael Hoog selection goes above and beyond the type both in the size and the abundance of its lilac-pink flowers. Originating more than 30 years ago, it's still as good as any form in cultivation. Modified continental/Montane; . Zone 4.
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1/$10
Colchicum autumnale 'Album' ~ Perfect dainty white goblets with a touch of pearly suffusion emerge toward the end of the colchicum season, typically flowering in October here. It's a thing apart from all other colchicums, and no fall garden should be without it, in our admittedly biased opinion. Modified continental/Montane; . Zone 4.
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1/$6
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 davisii ~ Large, funnel-shaped white flowers with soft lilac-pink checkering appear early to midway in the colchicum season. The short-tubed blooms sit closer to the ground than those of many other large-flowered colchicums. This unique and beautiful species is relatively new to gardens and even newer to the botanical literature, having been described in 1998.Mediterranean; S Turkey. Zone 6.
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1/$16
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/$14
Colchicum munzurense ~ Opening their narrow "petals" in late winter and early spring, the dainty, starry, pink-tinged flowers of this recently described species have a merendera look to them. Don't let its delicate appearance fool you, though: it takes quite readily to a sunny, gritty niche in a rock garden or trough. Like all the spring species, it has lance-shaped, scilla-like leaves that are much smaller than those of most fall-blooming colchicums. Steppe; E Turkey. Zone 5.
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1/$15
Colchicum szovitsii white forms ~ Producing gleaming early-season flowers that outshine even the finest snowdrop, these white-flowered seedlings of perhaps the showiest spring colchicum make a splendid (and we would say essential) subject for rock gardens, troughs, and the like. As with all forms of this species, the long-lasting, yellow-eyed blooms are of a heavy substance that stands up to the ravages of late winter and early spring. Full sun and fertile, gritty soil are ideal. Caucasus to N Iran. Zone 6. Steppe/Mediterranean/Montane; Caucasus to N Iran. Zone 5.
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1/$20
Colchicum szovitsii ssp. brachyphyllum ~ Pink-tinged white flowers and somewhat broader leaves distinguish this handsome variant of the above. It occurs over the southern portion of the species' range. Steppe/montane; Caucasus to N Iran. Zone 6. Steppe/Mediterranean/Montane; S Turkey to Jorday. Zone 6.
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1/$20
Colchicum 'Disraeli' ~ One of the legendary Kerbert hybrids, now more than a century old, this large and richly hued cultivar opens showy, magenta-checkered flowers quite early in the colchicum season, often debuting in late August here. Zone 5.
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1/$12
Colchicum 'Jarka' ~ With its distinctive mauve, white centered flowers with pinched, pointed, and slightly twisted outer segments, this appears to be a cousin to the cultivar 'Harlequin'. The flowers are heavier on the mauve and lighter on the twisting than those of 'Harlequin', however, giving it more presence and substance in the garden. It's certainly a valuable and distinctive addition to the colchicum crew, whatever its relationship to others of the genus. Zone 5.
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1/$10
Colchicum 'Zephyr' ~ Large, bright, lilac goblets have white stripes that radiate along their "petal" midribs, forming a star. This beautiful and obscure hybrid is a favorite of ours. Zone 5.
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1/$8


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