Japanese Wildflowers and Flowering Ferns

melroseMarch 8, 2009

I just attended the Chicago flower show and bought some Japaneses Wildflowers and Flowering Fern bulbs. I've never heard of these and the ladies at the booth said they'd be winter hardy in zone 5 but of course they were from Holland so I'm not certain if they were familiar with our climate and just trying to sell them.

Here's the website:


Does anyone have experience with these bulds? Is there a name that I might recognize in a reference book? Any comments or advice? Did I w?

Did I waste my $$

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I don't know what to tell you :-) First, I'd never recommend buying anything from anyone that can't supply the correct botanical name. The photo of the "Japanese Wonderflowers" looks a lot Mirabilis jalapa, commonly known as 4 o'clocks and could be a bastardization of that name (mirabilis in Latin translates to 'wonderful'). These are a semitropical tuberous plant that is only marginally hardy in cold climates like yours. It does tend to reseed freely, though.

Second, no ferns flower! This plant is Incarvillea delavyi or hardy gloxinia but it too will be only marginally hardy for you as well. You might want to grow this in a container and bring indoors for winter.

And FWIW, I'd not consider either of these true 'bulbs'.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 10:50AM
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Thanks for the information - I think you're right on the ID. I guess the spring fever just hits and you're anxious to buy these wonderful "new" things. It appears neither are hardy in our area which they claimed. I guess it will be a lessoned learned. I'll try them and who know maybe I love them. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 8:03PM
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Nancy zone 6

Seems like there was a thread a couple of years ago about someone selling 4 o'clocks as Japanese wonderflowers. I'm not sure how they could do that, big rip off. Four o'clocks do form tubers though, monstrous ones over time which can be dug each year like dahlias. They reseed though & bloom almost as fast. I have 3 plants that have been hardy, although some in other areas in my yard did not come back from the root.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 3:20PM
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I bought some of the Flowering Ferns at a London Garden show about two years ago. They are WONDERFUL. We had a very cold winter this year (2010/11), but they still managed to emerge from their ceramic pots a month ago (as a fern) and are now richly sporting the bit pink flowers.
Can't recommend them highly enough.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 8:06AM
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