This fall I was sent a shipment of saffron crocus bulbs. I planted the
bulbs, and after a very warm fall, it appears as though the bulbs are
starting to bloom. Here is the thing, the blooms look like chives.
They are long, green, thin, tubular blades. If you pull them up they
have what looks like an onion bulb on the bottom.
I don't think that chives made it's way to this area of my garden. I
planted the bulbs in two different areas, with no chives (or any other
plants) around it. It would be too coincidental for patches of chives
to have sprouted in both areas exactly where I had planted my bulbs.
Any chance saffron crocus bulbs look like chives, and bloom chive like
blades before flowering?
Of did the mail order company send me a very expensive set of
chives???? (White Flower Farm BTW).
Here's what the saffron crocus SHOULD look like, first photo on this page:
Chive flowers would be like pompoms, no confusing those.
The crocus grass is usually simpler in structure than chive, but allium
species vary so much some of them do look just like crocus grass -- but
the flowers are nothing similar, not even as buds. Also allium bulbs are
usually very distinct from crocus corms, too, though again there are so
many different kids of alliums, I suppose appearances could overlap, but
the alliums I planted were much rounder bulbs, while the saffrons were
definitely pointy on top (& much bigger than most of the little allium
varieties as well) . It's hard to imagine a bulb specialist making such a
switch, but if chives is what grew, maybe the vendor hired some retards
for the busy shipping season, & you got some sort of allium by accident. I
don't know about Raleigh, but here on Puget Sound the saffrons were done
blooming in autumn, & alliums won't appear until spring or even until near
summer, except for a couple that produce late-autumn & winter grass (but
no flowers until spring).
Since you seem to indicate you DID plant chives somewhere, is it possible
you switched bags of bulbs yourself by accident, & you're gonna have
saffrons crop up where you think the chives were planted? As saffron can
be delicate in places that aren't hot & dry, a couple blooms may have
come-&-gone so rapidly during the Fall that you missed them in the wrong
spot; at their best saffron flowers often only last two weeks. They tend
to put on a better show after they've been in the ground a year & will be
more obvious next autumn, if they're there; because they are autumn
bloomers but so often get planted in autumn (earlier would be better, but
they're marketed for autumn even so) not all the corms will bloom in year
#1. They will still have their grass right now though & should be easily
spotted; the autumn grass is a stiff suttlecock bristle of grass, but but
by now will be taller lankier grass.
-paghat the ratgirl
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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