In anticipation of our Bulb Panel on THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13 our Sharing Secrets Question this month is:
What is your favorite geophyte or bulb, and why?
(and, where did you get it?)
You can answer on our MemberLodge website or e-mail your response to: email@example.com by Friday, November 14.
The sea onion, Urginea maritima, always thrills me. It is a huge bulb and is partially visible above the soil, so I always have a sense of its great size, even when there is nothing else there but its wrinkled brown nose poking out of the dirt. It puts up a tall spike (4 or 5 feet) while it is still leafless and then the many white florets slowly open from the bottom up, taking some weeks to completely burn this lovely fuse. Once the floral display is over, it sets strappy green leaves, which will dry and fall away after some months. The sea onion is native to the Mediterranean area and is very drought tolerant. I do nothing for it except smile and appreciate it. It grows in hot glaring sunlight next to my driveway. I obtained mine from 2 different sources: the first one I acquired maybe 15 years ago from an east coast catalog, I've forgotten which, and this one is my favorite because the strappy green leaves have a little wave along their edges that makes them particularly handsome. Several years ago I purchased a bulb from Joan Citron at a So Cal Hort meeting and except for the lack of that wavy leaf edge, that bulb behaves as my first bulb does. Both bulbs have increased themselves.