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GARDENS BY THE BAY

Endymion hispanicus syn: Scilla hispanica - Wood Hyacinth

MINOR BULBS & THEIR COMPANIONS


"Minor" by classification only, these bulbs are "major" in every other respect. Generally they are very early to bloom, small in size and as one web site states "underutilized". Plant them by the dozens, even hundreds, for greatest impact. They are very inexpensive. Tuck them in wherever you can and by next February or March you'll be very glad you did. What could be more exciting than doing a late winter tour of your beds and seeing some of these beauties popping up through the snow.


* Watch for the animated hummingbird and butterfly with the plants that attract them. *
The deer icon indicates plants that deer are not usually attracted to.

The best time and method to propagate plants can be found on our image-intensive PROPAGATION page.

To help your plants grow their best, check out our FERTILIZATION page.

To create your own plant partnerships based on tried and true color theory, check out our GARDEN COLOR page.

To see if a particular plant is on this page press Ctrl+F, type in the name, then click the Find button.


CHIONODOXA

Sometimes referred to as "snow glories", Glory of the Snow has starry flowers with white centres. Choose from pink, blue or white shades and from small- or large-flowered forms. Plant in autumn 5 inches deep and 1-2 inches apart.

Chionodoxa:  Glory of the Snow

    under:  Dianthus (dwarf Alpine & Maiden Pinks)
      with:  Pulmonaria, Stachys byzantina
        underplanting for:  Iris pallida pallida, Kolkwitzia amabilis (Beauty Bush), Philadelphus coronarius (Mock Orange)
          complementary bloom time with:  Galanthus nivalis, Leucojum, Tulipa tarda
            springtime combination with other early bulbs:  Scilla sibirica, Scilla tubergeniana, Crocus & Eranthis
          Chionodoxa de luciliae:  Glory of the Snow, blue shades
            Chionodoxa de lucilieae - blue Glory of the Snow
            interplanted in shade with:  Lamium maculatum 'White Nancy'
              with:  miniature Narcissus 'Tete a Tete' or other miniature Narcissus forms
                with:  Tulipa tarda, Tulipa kaufmanniana, Crocus (yellow & white) in drifts, early daffodils
                  with:  Vinca minor
                    under shrubs:  Forsythia, Philadelphus coronarius, Kolkwitzia
                      complementary bloom time:  Galanthus nivalis, Eranthis hyemalis, Leucojum
                    Chionodoxa luciliae:  Glory of the Snow, pink shades
                      Chionodoxa de lucilieae - pink Glory of the Snow
                      with:  Narcissus 'Tête à Tête' (miniature)
                    Chionodoxa de luciliae 'Alba':  Glory of the Snow, pure white
                      with:  Chionodoxa de luciliae (blue forms)
                    Chionodoxa de luciliae 'Gigantea':  largest-flowered, a bright mid-blue
                      with:  early-flowering Narcissus
                        shady combination with:  Galanthus 'Simplex', Muscari armeniacum, Narcissus 'Dutch Master', Narcissus 'Thalia',
                          Narcissus 'Hawera', Scilla 'Blue Queen'
                      Chionodoxa sardensis:  a shorter species, gentian-blue
                        under:  Tulipa greigii 'Donna Bella'


                      ERANTHIS

                      Winter Aconite, only 3-4" tall, co-blooms with many other so-called "minor" bulbs. Its golden-yellow flowers appear and finish, only then to be followed by the foliage. Plant them no later than August. Soak the tubers for several hours first before planting them so the bottom of each is 6 inches deep and bulbs are only 1-2 inches apart.

                      Eranthis hyemalis:  Winter Aconite

                        Eranthis hyemalis - Winter Aconite
                        where:  in shade, on woodland banks, as carpeter in shrub borders
                          complementary bloom time:  Chionodoxa de luciliae (blue), Galanthus nivalis, Scilla bifolia (the earliest-blooming squill)
                            combined with:  Scilla sibirica, Scilla tubergeniana, Chionodoxa de luciliae, Crocus
                              with other early bulbs:  Crocus 'Striped Beauty' (purple & white striped), Iris reticulata
                                do not plant with:  Lamium maculatum 'White Nancy'
                                  under:  Cornus spp.
                                More information about growing this bulb can be found at the link below.

                              • shade-loving Eranthis

                              • FRITILLARIA

                                The Fritillary genus has many types and sizes, very different in appearance from one species to another. Most have bell-shaped flowers in clusters atop long stems. Bulbs should never be allowed to dry out and fertile very well-drained soil suits their needs. Planting depth and spacing will depend on the species.

                                Fritillaria imperialis:  Crown Imperial Fritillary, brick-red

                                  Fritillaria orientalis - Crown Imperial Fritillary
                                  behind:  early-blooming Tulipa 'General de Wet' (a soft orange)
                                Fritillaria imperialis rubra:  Crown Imperial Fritillary
                                  synonym:  Fritillaria imperialis 'Rubra Maxima'
                                    where:  a sheltered spot in climates colder than Zone 6
                                      in drifts with:  flowering shrubs and foliage perennials
                                        behind:  tall hybrid Narcissus
                                      Fritillaria imperialis:  yellow forms
                                        with:  Tulipa 'Bellona' (an early yellow)
                                      Fritillaria meleagris:  Checkered Lily, Snake's Head Fritillary, 10-15", delicate with nodding bell-shaped blooms
                                        Fritillaria meleagris - Checkered Lily, Snake's Head Fritillary
                                        plant:  6" deep, 2-3" apart
                                          where:  partly sunny woodlands
                                            interplanted between:  large Hosta forms, ferns, Dicentra
                                          Fritillaria pallidiflora:  yellow to greenish-yellow flowers
                                            where:  sun to light shade


                                          IRIS

                                          If you are only familiar with the summer-blooming Bearded and Siberian Irises, you are in for a pleasant surprise with these diminuitive beauties that grow from a bulb. Plant them in fall in sun to light shade at least 4 inches deep and 2 to 3 inches apart. Dry soil after they bloom is to be preferred.

                                          Iris histrioides major:  Harput Iris, a bulbous form, 6-9"

                                            under:  Dianthus arenarius (white)
                                          Iris reticulata:  Reticulated Iris, a bulbous form, 4-6"
                                            Iris reticulata - Reticulated Iris (a bulbous iris form)
                                            with other early spring bloomers:  Crocus (yellow), Eranthis hyemalis, Galanthus nivalis, Scilla tubergeniana
                                              with:  Helleborus orientalis, low-growing ground covers
                                                to grow up through:  Dianthus arenarius, Vinca minor, Platycodon grandiflorus
                                                  interplanted with:  yellow-flowered Crocus
                                                    drifted behind:  Stachys byzantina
                                                  Iris reticulata 'Harmony':  brilliant blue
                                                    under:  Platycodon grandiflorus
                                                  While the bulbous Irises are lovely in the early spring border, there are many other summer-blooming choices to consider and information about their needs at the links below.

                                                • blue Iris
                                                • Iris for edging
                                                • orange Iris
                                                • purple Iris
                                                • red Iris
                                                • white Iris
                                                • yellow Iris
                                                • Iris with variegated foliage

                                                • LEUCOJUM

                                                  Giant Snowflake and Summer Snowflake are both common names for this early bloomer with pendent, bell-shaped flowers that are white with green markings, looking somewhat like Snowdrops. Moist soil in full sun to part shade is best. Plant 5-6 inches deep and 4-6 inches apart.

                                                  Leucojum:  Snowflake

                                                    to co-bloom with:  Galanthus nivalis, Chionodoxa de luciliae & Eranthis hyemalis
                                                  Leucojum aestivum:  Giant Snowflake, Summer Snowflake, 9-12"
                                                    with:  big, bold May-blooming Tulipa, tall Narcissus
                                                      in light shade with:  Lamium maculatum 'Album', Pulmonaria 'Sissinghurst White', Myrrhis odorata (for an all-white effect)
                                                        above combination underplanted with:  Tulipa 'Spring Green' (white with green veining)
                                                      Leucojum aestivum 'Gravetye Giant':  Summer Snowflake
                                                        with:  big, bold Tulipa (May-blooming), tall Narcissus or Tulipa


                                                      MUSCARI

                                                      Grape Hyacinth will seed around your garden, settling in nicely here and there, always welcome. They will grow under shrubs and trees as well as in full sun, preferring rich well-drained soil. Some species send up fall foliage and can be useful as "markers" for other plants. The species M. botryoides is one that does not produce fall foliage. Take your pick from white or blue to blue-purple forms. Plant them 3-4 inches deep and 4 inches apart.

                                                      Muscari:  Grape Hyacinth

                                                        Muscari - Grape Hyacinth
                                                        seen above offset behind clumps of Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'
                                                          where:  around crown of perennials for early colour, along a path, on woodland perimeter under deciduous trees
                                                            generally with:  taller bulbs of almost any shade
                                                              with:  Tulipa 'Blue Parrot', orange early Tulipa 'General de Wet', early yellow Tulipa Bellona', taller red Tulipa
                                                                including 'Red Emperor', white co-blooming Tulipa or species Tulipa forms
                                                              with:  Narcissus (white and yellow), Narcissus 'Yellow Cheerfulness' or dwarf Narcissus forms
                                                                with other early bloomers:  Aubrieta, polyanthus Primula, Viola including Viola 'Mauve Haze'
                                                                  hide dying foliage and seedpods with:  hardy Geranium or Iris sibirica
                                                                    in front of:  Cheiranthus
                                                                      with:  Anemone blanda, Epimedium, Helleborus orientalis, Pulmonaria saccharata 'Mrs. Moon', Thymus
                                                                        near:  Iberis sempervirens (pure white)
                                                                          combined with:  mixed Narcissus under flowering trees i.e. Magnolia or Cherry
                                                                            under:  Paeonia, Hemerocallis, Phlox, Achillea, Forsythia x intermedia 'Arnold Dwarf'
                                                                          Muscari:  a sky-blue form
                                                                            with:  Primula elatior (pale yellow)
                                                                          Muscari:  blue forms
                                                                            with:  Tulipa 'Bellona' (an early yellow), Narcissus 'Yellow Cheerfulness' & Fritillaria imperialis (a yellow form)
                                                                          Muscari armeniacum:  clear blue, this form sends up fall foliage
                                                                            this species has floppier foliage and larger flowers than M. botryoides below
                                                                              with:  other bulbs (use fall foliage as position marker)
                                                                                with:  Chionodoxa luciliae 'Gigantea' (largest-flowered, bright mid-blue)
                                                                                  with:  Tulipa turkestanica
                                                                                    combined with:  Hosta 'Krossa Regal', Tulipa (magenta-red double early), Astilbe x arendsii & Pachysandra
                                                                                      terminalis (under deciduous trees for spring sun and some summer shade)
                                                                                  Muscari armeniacum 'Blue Spike':  double form of Muscari armeniacum
                                                                                    with:  Narcissus 'Thalia' (white), Narcissus 'Hawera' (pale yellow)
                                                                                  Muscari botryoides:  Bluebells, Starch Hyacinth, to 12" tall, fragrant
                                                                                    this form does not send up fall foliage
                                                                                      the foliage of this species is more upright than M. armenaicum above, but has smaller flowers
                                                                                    Muscari botryoides 'Album':  white
                                                                                      complementary bloom time with:  Narcissus 'Hawera', Crocus (spring)


                                                                                    PUSCHKINIA

                                                                                    Striped Squill is an early-blooming bluebell for sunny beds or rock gardens. Plant 3-5" deep and 2" apart in well-drained, sandy soil.

                                                                                    Puschkinia:  Striped Squill

                                                                                      Puschkini - Striped Squill
                                                                                      complementary bloom time with:  Narcissus (early)


                                                                                    SCILLA

                                                                                    Squill has bluebell-type flowers and performs best in well-drained soil. Colour, bloom time and preferred exposure will all depend on the species you choose. Most have grassy green foliage. Most should be planted 5 inches deep and 6 inches apart.

                                                                                    Scilla:  unspecified types

                                                                                      with:  Paeonia lactiflora
                                                                                        in shade with:  Mertensia virginica, Pulmonaria
                                                                                      Scilla bifolia:  the earliest-blooming squill
                                                                                        with:  Eranthis hyemalis
                                                                                      Scilla hispanica:  Spanish Bluebell, Spanish Jacinth, Bell-Flowered Squill
                                                                                        Scilla hispanica - Endymion hispanicus - blue Spanish BluebellScilla hispanica - white Spanish Bluebells
                                                                                        the purple form of this minor bulb is in the border around this page, left above and at the top of the page
                                                                                          synonym:  Endymion hispanicus
                                                                                            synonym:  Scilla campanulata
                                                                                              synonym:  Hyacinthoides non-scripta
                                                                                                where:  medium to heavy shade, under trees or shrubs, in woodland gardens
                                                                                                  over:  Hosta
                                                                                                    under:  Philadelphus or Kolkwitzia
                                                                                                      combined with:  Geranium (perennial forms) & ferns
                                                                                                    Scilla hispanica 'Dainty Maid':  lavender-pink Spanish Bluebells
                                                                                                      with:  other Scilla forms
                                                                                                    Scilla non-scripta:  English Bluebells
                                                                                                      synonym:  Endymion or Hyacinthoides
                                                                                                        where:  shade, in woodsy soil
                                                                                                          under:  Hosta
                                                                                                        Scilla scilloides:  small, palest pastel purple
                                                                                                          echo under:  Thymus serphyllum (of a similar soft colour)
                                                                                                        Scilla sibirica:  Siberian Squill
                                                                                                          behind:  Artemisia schmidtiana nana 'Silver Mound'
                                                                                                            complementary bloom time with:  Narcissus (daffodil and jonquil forms)
                                                                                                              combined with:  Eranthis hyemalis, Scilla tubergeniana, Chionodoxa de luciliae & Crocus
                                                                                                                in shade with:  Lamium maculatum 'White Nancy' (a clear white), Asarum canadense
                                                                                                                  around:  Doronicum caucasicum
                                                                                                                    complementary bloom time with:  Anemone blanda, Eranthis hyemalis, Galanthus nivalis
                                                                                                                      under: Tulipa (May-blooming) or late tall Tulipa of any colour
                                                                                                                        with:  cream or yellow Intermediate Iris x germanica, Vinca minor, Stachys lanata
                                                                                                                          with:  Tulipa 'Fringed Elegance' (yellow)
                                                                                                                            under shrubs:  Philadelphus, Kolkwitzia
                                                                                                                              under:  Hosta
                                                                                                                            Scilla sibirica 'Spring Beauty':  blue Siberian Squill
                                                                                                                              where:  rock gardens
                                                                                                                                under spring-flowering shrubs & trees:  Forsythia, Daphne, Magnolia
                                                                                                                              Scilla tubergeniana:  skim-milk white with blue striped petals
                                                                                                                                where:  shrub borders, woodland settings
                                                                                                                                  with:  Iris reticulata
                                                                                                                                    with:  Galanthus nivalis, Eranthis hyemalis


                                                                                                                                  FOR MORE BULBS & THEIR COMPANIONS, FOLLOW THE LINKS BELOW.


                                                                                                                                  All of our own Gardens By The Bay pages can be accessed by clicking on the links below.


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                                                                                                                                  BOTANICAL LATIN - BASICS

                                                                                                                                  COLOR THEORY

                                                                                                                                  THE GARDENS

                                                                                                                                  CORNER GARDEN CONSTRUCTION  |  CORNER GARDEN PLANTING  |  LONG GARDEN

                                                                                                                                  EAST GARDEN  |  HOSTA GARDEN  |  NORTH GARDEN  |  WINTER GARDENS

                                                                                                                                  PLANT PARTNERSHIPS

                                                                                                                                  BLUE PERENNIALS    Aconitum - Geranium  |  Iris - Vinca

                                                                                                                                  BULBS    Allium - Hyacinthus  |  Narcissus only  |  Tulipa only  |  Minor Bulbs

                                                                                                                                  BUTTERFLY MAGNETS    Anaphalis - Hemerocallis  |  Liatris - Veronicastrum
                                                                                                                                  DAYLILIES      Spider & Unusual Form

                                                                                                                                  EDGERS    Arabis - Iris  |  Nepeta - Veronica

                                                                                                                                  FOLIAGE PERENNIALS     Alchemilla - Tanacetum

                                                                                                                                  HOSTA    Hosta - all

                                                                                                                                  HUMMINGBIRD-FRIENDLY PERENNIALS    Alcea - Salvia

                                                                                                                                  ORANGE PERENNIALS    Achillea - Tulipa

                                                                                                                                  ORNAMENTAL GRASSES    Acorus - Imperata |  Miscanthus - Spodiopogon

                                                                                                                                  PINK PERENNIALS    Achillea - Lilium  |  Lychnis - Veronica

                                                                                                                                  PURPLE PERENNIALS    Aconitum - Liatris  |  Polemonium - Veronica

                                                                                                                                  RED PERENNIALS    Achillea - Veronica

                                                                                                                                  SHADE PERENNIALS    Aegopodium - Erythronium  |  Ferns - Polemonium  |  Polygonatum - Vinca

                                                                                                                                  SILVER FOLIAGE PERENNIALS    Achillea - Cerastium    |    Cornus - Limonium    |    Lunaria - Veronica

                                                                                                                                  SIMPLY SPECIAL PERENNIALS    Acanthus - Saxifraga

                                                                                                                                  WHITE PERENNIALS    Achillea - Iris  |  Kalimeris - Yucca

                                                                                                                                  YELLOW PERENNIALS    Achillea - Hypericum  |  Inula - Verbascum

                                                                                                                                  VARIEGATED-FOLIAGE PERENNIALS    Acorus - Erythronium  |  Hakonechloa - Lysimachia  |  Miscanthus - Yucca

                                                                                                                                  PLANT PROFILES

                                                                                                                                  Dianthus 'Tiny Rubies'  |  Geranium  |  Geum coccineum  |  Kerria japonica  |  Knautia macedonica

                                                                                                                                  Paeonia tenuifolia  |  Papaver somniferum  |  Rudbeckia  |  Salvia 'East Friesland'

                                                                                                                                  Trollius  |  Veronica 'Sunny Border Blue'

                                                                                                                                  PROPAGATION

                                                                                                                                  DIVISION - SPRING ONLY  |   DIVISION - FALL ONLY  |   DIVISION - SPRING OR FALL  |   DO NOT DIVIDE

                                                                                                                                  FERTILIZATION

                                                                                                                                  BULBS  |   ORNAMENTAL GRASSES  |   PERENNIALS  |   SHRUBS  |   VINES

                                                                                                                                  LINKS

                                                                                                                                  GARDENS  |   LOCAL GARDENS  |   BOTANICAL TERMINOLOGY

                                                                                                                                  GARDENING BOOKS  |   NON-GARDENING


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