Six on Saturday #20, February 3, 2018

It’s already Sunday across the Atlantic where the host of “Six on Saturday” lives, but it’s still Saturday evening here.   I guess it isn’t too late to participate.  And regardless of whether it’s Saturday or Sunday where you live, you can still head over to The Propagator’s blog to see his Six and links to those of other participants.

It’s still well below freezing most nights, but there are tentative signs of life in the garden…

1. Cyclamen coum



Cyclamen coum isn’t as vigorous and well adapted to our climate as C. hederifolium, but a couple of tiny plants are hanging on under the pines.  Every year, they bloom in the dead of winter, and every year I almost step on them.

2.  Helleborus niger (Christmas rose)


The foliage of Helleborus niger has been flattened by the snow and cold, but at least it isn’t hiding the flowers on their very short stems.  Some people trim off the old leaves of hellebores just before they bloom.  That would certainly make the flowers of this species more visible, but I worry that removing leaves from a slow-growing evergreen species would be detrimental.

3. Lonicera fragrantissima (Winter honeysuckle)


The flowers of Lonicera fragrantissima certainly aren’t spectacular, but the fragrance is absolutely wonderful.  I planted a row of the shrubs at the top of our driveway, at the northwestern edge of our property, so the prevailing west winds of winter spread the perfume down towards our front door.  I’d be quite proud of myself if it wasn’t completely fortuitous.  The direction of winter breezes was the furthest thing from my mind when I was deciding where to plant them.

L. fragrantissima is frequently found on lists of invasive plants, but luckily I very rarely see any fruit and have never found a volunteer seedling.  All of my plants are a single clone, and I wonder if they are not very self-compatible.

4.  Epidendrum stamfordianum


In my greenhouse, this pretty little central American orchid is blooming for the first time.  It is still a fairly small seedling, so I expect to see longer inflorescence with more flowers in subsequent years.

5. Rauhia decora


This is the first year that my Rauhia decora bulb has produced two leaves instead of just one, so I am cautiously optimistic that it may be approaching blooming size.  If it doesn’t bloom this year, then maybe in 2019.

6.  Pachypodium brevicaule


I can see inflorescences starting on several of the spring-blooming Pachypodiums, but P. brevicaule is always the first to flower.

15 thoughts on “Six on Saturday #20, February 3, 2018

  1. It is Saturday here for two more hours. This is the second winter honeysuckle on Six on Saturday, and I can not remember how many others have been able to show theirs off. I have never seen a real one! We do not have enough honeysuckles here.

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  2. Thank you for introducing the cyclamen coum which is under the pines. I wondered exactly what I could plant under them. You gave me a good idea! Your orchid is wonderful too! And we will wait until 2019 to see the Rauhia in bloom!

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    1. I don’t know that it is really a good choice for growing under pines, but I can say that two plants have survived for three years so far.

      Our most spectacular native species that loves to grow in acidic pine mulch is Cypripedium acaule. Unfortunately, seed-grown plants are very expenisive, and it should never be transplanted.

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    1. One of my better inspirations, I think. They’re planted in very lean, dry soil near mature hickory trees. There isn’t much that can survive there, but the winter honeysuckle have grown really well.


  3. It’s very odd. In my garden Cyclamen coum are essentially annuals. I can never get them to return a second year. And they’re not being dug up, except by me to check. I now find it cheaper to buy a tray of an un-named potted variety which a nearby garden centre sells at around £8 for 15 plants in late autumn every year. They’re in flower when bought and carry on through to around March before expiring.

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    1. I’d try that if I could find trays of Cyclamens around here. The florist varieties are typically only sold individually (overpriced) around Christmas time.

      At our first house/garden, I planted some “Cyclamen persicum” that I bought from one of the Dutch bulb vendors. They were hardy, vigorous, and bloomed in winter like C. coum. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to dig them up when we moved. I don’t think they were really C. persicum, so now I don’t know what to look for to replace them.


  4. Those pachypodium flowers are so unexpected.
    If you can find coum seed maybe a good bet is to throw a few into different spots each year. Eventually they may find a spot they like. They are much fussier than hererifolium but the bright color in spring is perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Green ice in the Netherlands was an excellent source but I’m not sure if they’re still in operation. I don’t know any US sources and my coums just don’t seem to set as much seed as the hederifoliums. I’ll keep an eye on the them though!

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