Grow bulbs for their foliage? Sure! by Elizabeth Licata

Erythronium Pagoda Many cite the long-lasting and unsightly foliage of spring bulbs as a reason not to grow them. I have two answers for that. One is my ongoing strategy: grow the temperamental tulip hybrids that don’t perennialize as annuals. I find the pleasure they give and the fun of changing them up more than worth the cost. But there’s another, even better, strategy. Grow bulbs for their foliage. Here are some of my favorites where the foliage is almost as striking as the flowers. Best of all, this appears very early in the spring and lasts for weeks. Erythronium The small, lily-like flowers are exquisite, but so are the glossy, mottled leaves. I wish they lasted all summer. They’re coming up now (under a thin but tedious layer of ice/snow/whatever). The Pagoda hybrid provides the showiest; natives have more mottling but aren’t as big and glossy. This Greigii are playing nicely with the nearby Brunnera. Greigii tulips It depends what variety you get of these. Mary Ann and Or..
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