Help identify this please?

brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)April 4, 2012

Pic first ==

I think it's a fairly common flower, but so pretty. And I have the opportunity to 'borrow' as many as I want from an abandoned property.

Don't know when I should dig them up AND replant them. Not one for overwintering bulbs so don't know if it's worth my trouble since I will be taking without permission (am I bad, or what?..lol) and would like to put them right back into the ground once I do.

And how long do they bloom?

Thanks for any and ALL info and advice on them ~

Bonnie

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Looks like Hyacinthoides hispanica, AKA spanish bluebells. The blooms last for a few weeks. They should bloom fine again next year if you move them. Bulbs are tough. The pink ones are Oxalis, also a bulb.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 9:15AM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

Ok....yeah, Bluebells...I remember my grandmother having those. Need that that blooming info because it will determine exactly where I put them so thanks so much !

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 2:17PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Spanish bluebells are actually a weed for me. They seed all over and are hard to eradicate. They came with the house and 17 years later I swear I have more than I started out with and I rip them out and give them away every year.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 9:02PM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

Hmmmm...I get what you are saying since on this abandoned property, they seem to be growing everywhere. As pretty as I think they are, I may think twice. Especially since I'm not one for having blooms for only a few weeks and left with ugly foliage to look at the rest of the summer. I'm much more interested in stuff that will come in early and pull thru the whole summer and even into fall, if I get lucky enough...lol.

Thanks for the heads up !!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 9:24PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

You have the same combo of Spanish bluebells and Oxalis I battle every year. Pretty but far too successful ie weedy. Hence their surviving in an abandoned garden. Quite a few of the things which you can find in old gardens are there because of their tenacity - not always a good thing when transferred to your own garden. If you do go for the bluebells make sure there are no tiny Oxalis corms hiding amongst the roots or else you'll have a double curse.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 12:27PM
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linaria_gw

I would only put them in the second row as their foliage gets really ugly when/right after flowering. Had some in a garden we took over and I got rid of all the ones next to a path. Would be lovely among shrubs though.

Bye, Lin

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 6:00PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

If you want to control the Oxalis - dig it up while it is in leaf/flower. When you do the root will be like a semi-translucent carrot (though only an inch or so long).

If you wait until it dies down it will have formed a 'collar' of offsets where the leaves come out. They're very small and they promptly detach themselves if you move the bulb when it is dormant. Each plant produces LOTS of offsets. Lots. And Lots. :-)

Some species produce runners AND bulbs. Sneaky.

Do not place the remains in any compost heap. Like all the best pests - they are great survivors.

Bluebells: just the same. Remove while still green. Be prepared to dig deeply. Six or more inches is no bother to them. Pull gently on the leaves because they detach easily. It can be hard to track down the bulbs without that green lifeline!

As well as seeds - they form underground runners that then thicken up to make a bulb. NOTE: the bulbs can be all sorts of shapes including round, long and skinny, or with a waist. Usually white but they take on a purplish or greenish tinge when they're exposed to sunlight.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 10:16PM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

Thanks to all. Maybe I should ask this in another post but since it was mentioned more than once in here -- why do people not like the oxalis? I know took as much out as I could one year but then loved how it looked where it was still left.

So this year, aside from letting it grow in "my good plants" areas...lol....I've let it go and love how it fills in. And it seems to keep the grass and weeds at bay.

Is there something I'm missing? It it really a 'bad' plant or is it just that some gardeners don't like how it spreads and takes over.

Thanks,
Bonnie

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 5:28PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I don't get it either. When I dug up grass for new flower beds, I went through the dirt and grass and saved all of the Oxalis bulbs I could find. They are so cute and bloom for such a long time. I love them!

If you like the look of the flowers from your pic but think they will spread too much, maybe some Hostas would be a good compromise although there's probably not any abandoned ones waiting to be dug up.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 5:38PM
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Nancy zone 6

Oxalis are ok for me, they really aren't for my zone. They multiply some, but a really cold winter will take out most of them. There usually are a few survivors.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 5:38PM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

Thanks purple! At least I'm not 'weird'...lol. I've decided against the Bluebells since not looking for anything else that has a short bloom then just leaves ugly foliage. Garden not full enough yet to 'cover it up.'

But as far as the oxalis (is there a common name..I just called it pink clover??) -- I love it. And it pulls up so easily when ground is wet that I can keep it under control.

I remember my first year of gardening, pulling it out of my "tiny little beside the steps" gardening area and transplanting it all around a big tree in front yard. And I thought it looked so lovely. Of course, that's not IN a garden, but that's when I fell in love with it....lol.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 11:49PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I just call it pink clover, too. The lady I rent this house from lives 3 doors down and she has it around her flower bed, so I'm just following her example. :) A lot of people around here use it as edging.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 9:23AM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

There are some lovely Oxalis species. I'm very fond of the one with the white and pink striped buds - like little candy canes, that open white, in spring. And the one I know as O massonorum which is out now with cheerful soft orange petals and a white eye. (Autumn).

But some are highly effective colonisers of things I treasure such as Sempervivums, and bonsai dishes. They have strong root systems and are Awful to weed out. Too, they hide out among the Ixias and Freesias and Muscari. All little bulbs together. Grrr!

The wood sorrels can be delightful. Those that prefer full sun and challenging conditions are right up there with the serious pest weeds.

But they're still pretty.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 5:54AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

There are no 'bad plants' and there is no plant I hate. Just plants which are not in the right place for my garden. Oxalis is highly successful and grows over and through things I prefer such as Nerines, Penstemons, Lilies. It shoves its shocking pink flowers up through the tasteful pastels and sticks its metaphorical tongue out. Dandelions are equally pretty IMO but I don't encourage them in my flowerbeds either. Nor the wretched Lesser Celandine and the beastly Crocosmia. All fine in their place. If I had a large garden I wouldn't bother, but I have a handkerchief to play with and Oxalis has no place in it. BTW I'd stick to calling it pink Oxalis, since that, at least, includes the correct genus name whereas true clovers are all in the pea family and are not remotely related.

brit5467 - you said 'it pulls up so easily ....' - I am afraid it is probably fooling you. You may get a handful of Oxalis up easily but what you can't see are the rice grain sized bulbils which are left behind and which will spread continuously through the garden.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 8:24AM
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calistoga_al

In the mild climate of California we have a native Oxalis that can only be considered a weed. I have hundreds of pots of perennials that by spring are filled with Oxalis that is very time consuming to remove as the roots will extend deep into the soil around the inside of the pot. When a famous California horticulturist was asked for the solution to the "Oxalis problem", she is reported have responded"could you move"? Al

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 8:56AM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

Ahhh....so when I'm pulling out the big bunch of bulbs and think I have the whole thing, the sneaky little booger has left behind very small bulbs. Hahaha...no wonder they keep coming back.

I guess I'll just keep a check on it, not letting it take over too much. I see where there might be problems.
Bonnie

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 4:21PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Bonnie: Never let it form seed pods.

I have pots on shelves at least four feet from the nearest wild Oxalis - and all too soon there will be a delicate little bronze-y trefoil smirking at me from one or another pot.

Either the seed release mechanism flings them, or they carry on the wind. However it might be - there they are.

And, if you have a passion for a grassy lawn, there are species which can/do gleefully invade turf to give more trouble than clover.

If you have pet rabbits or guinea pigs out grazing, the Oxalis has a sharp/acidic taste. Not safe in quantity. We used to call it soury grass as kids. It grew generously along the boundaries of our grade school playground. And we tried it. (Raw red currants are better...:-0)

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 4:44AM
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