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Strange Hyacinthoides

Posted by carol23 z7NC (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 22, 13 at 13:12

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.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Strange Hyacinthoides

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.


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RE: Strange Hyacinthoides

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?


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RE: Strange Hyacinthoides

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.


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RE: Strange Hyacinthoides

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.


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RE: Strange Hyacinthoides

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).


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RE: Strange Hyacinthoides

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!


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RE: Strange Hyacinthoides

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.


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RE: Strange Hyacinthoides

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.


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RE: Strange Hyacinthoides

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.


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RE: Strange Hyacinthoides

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.


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