Strange Hyacinthoides

carol23_gwOctober 22, 2013

Two years ago I purchased bulbs labeled Hyancinthoides non-script However when they flowered, the flowers were not as they should be, facing the same direction, so I knew they were either hispanica or a hybrid.

I have recently bought from a reliable source carrying H. non-scripta, so went to dig up the old patch of bulbs and found some elongated bulbs among them. Have you seen this? The patch was clearly labeled so I cannot fathom it being something mixed in. The bulb color and roots were a match.

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Carol23 - my Spanish bluebells, which I spend a lot of time trying to eradicate, produce bulbs like that. I think it's normal for them. If you have true English bluebells try to get rid of all the Spanish or they will cross and you'll end up with hybrids.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 4:37PM
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Thanks, Flora. I do not want to grow the weedy Spanish types or their hybrids so am getting rid of them. I was surprised at the elongated bulbs.
I'm guessing the English bluebells don't produce such odd bulbs?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 4:43PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

I have to confess I can't remember what the English bluebell bulbs look like. I've never actually planted any. But they do grow wild in my wood. The badgers dig them up sometimes but I don't recall their appearance.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 1:11PM
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I am curious to know about that. It could be a diagnostic trait between the species if they don't produce elongated bulbs. Seems the hybrids, the Spanish and English bluebells are mixed up in the trade.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 7:54AM
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Campanula UK Z8

I have never seen H.non-script produce elongated bulbs (h.hispanicus do, a lot) and yep, it is difficult, now, to get h.non-script that are guaranteed to have not been hybridised with the Spanish ones. I paid an eye-watering amount from some reputable nursery (bulbs) but have heard a couple of dreadful anecdotes that other bulbs have turned out to be of the Spanish persuasion. To be really sure, I guess you need to collect seed yourself (which I have done) but it takes an age before they flower (up to 5 years).

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 6:17PM
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Thank you so much for that feedback! It's great to have another ID trait available. I ordered non-scripta from a reliable source last year. I also bought more this year. I will dig them up at some point to check for shape and I've removed the imposters. Those elongated bulbs are strange!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 7:43AM
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Were these growing within a dense cluster? I have never grown either species, but I have seen species with true bulbs produce bulbs shaped like this when growing in a dense cluster that does not allow normal growth.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 9:49AM
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I bought only a limited number of bulbs - maybe 25 total which were planted in two separate areas. This was in 2011. When they flowered in 2012, I contacted the supplier and told them it was not non-scripta, but either a hybrid or hispanica. I dug them up this year so they could not have been terribly crowded in such a short time.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 10:51AM
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Campanula UK Z8

They don't need to be crowded, it is just something they do...and yep, it also seems a bit shuddersome. I also only ordered a small number and kept them in 2 clumps so we shall see - and I swear, I won't just be relying on digging them up if they are not non-script - they will be getting the Round-Up sock of doom.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 7:10PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

If you leave any of those bulbs out in light they turn a reddish purple. Doesn't seem to affect their later growth and flowering at all.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 9:04PM
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