Early Flowering Treasures

There are so many exciting flowers appearing every day in the garden now that I wish it would slow down a bit so that I could savour each one.

iris bucharica

Iris bucharica

I have always loved the difficult Juno irises and wished that I could grow them. They are notoriously tricky to grow. But there is is one Juno that is easy and it is a delight.   Iris bucharica is a small growing iris; it is about 16 inches tall. It comes from Uzbekistan where it grows in the mountains. It was introduced into this country in 1901. It has plenty of fragrant yellow and white flowers growing from the axils of the leaves. You can see that there are plenty of buds to open. It likes a sunny position and free-draining soil. Putting the photo up here, I see that the flower has been nibbled so something else likes it too.

I love Muscari and all the little spring flowers with bell shaped flowers. Still on the yellow theme, here is the yellow Muscari macropetalum which is lovely.

Muscari macropetalum

Muscari macropetalum

I like to have a pot of the deliciously fragrant Muscari macropetalum  ‘Golden Fragrance’ in the greenhouse. It is lovely to be able to bring it into the house when it is in bloom.


I have been very disappointed with this long awaited  Muscari  ‘Pink Sunrise’. As you see it is hardly pink at all.


I have more lovely Muscari coming on for a further post. But my next plant although the flowers are muscari-like is something quite different. Synthyris missurica var. stellata is a woodland flower which likes a rich, moist soil. I love its large, blue flowers and its round leaves with serrated edges.

Synthyrsis stellata

Synthyrsis stellata

Still on the Muscari-like flower theme, I recently bought a plant labelled: Heloniopsis umbellata. I have never seen it before and I can never resist something rare.  It has pink flowers, a bit like a large muscari.

Heloniopsis umbellata

Heloniopsis umbellata

The rosette of leaves is similar to that of  Ypsilandra thibetica which I wrote a post about in January. The flowers look quite similar too, only more bell shaped.
 The following is  the photo I took last year of the ypsilandra; this year it does not look quite as good, it only has four flowers.

Ypsilandra thibetica

Ypsilandra thibetica

 When I looked up Heloniopsis on the internet the flowers didn’t look like mine, they looked just like the tufty ones of ypsilandra, so now I am confused. Perhaps they are closely related.

 Another plant I love at the moment is Corydalis solida. ‘Corydalis’ means ‘crested lark” in Greek which is a pretty way of describing the flowers. It seeds around and  the lovely thing is you never know what colour flowers you are going to get. I started out with  some purple ones and named varieties like the pink: ‘Beth Evans’ and this Corydalis ‘George Baker’ which  is a lovely red colour. Now I have corydalis coming up all over the place in different shades.


Some of the Epimediums are in bloom now. I hope you remembered to cut the old leaves off yours before the flower stalks appeared. Every year I think of it a bit late and lose a flower head or two which is really annoying.  The leaves are a lovely, bronzey colour in winter but now they obscure the flowers if they are left on. Soon you will get lovely fresh new ones appearing and you want to be able to enjoy them.  The first one to come into flower for me is this primrose yellow one; Epimedium x versicolor ‘Sulphureum’.


The orange one is lovely too. It is called Epimediumx warleyense ‘Orange King’


Epimediums are woodland plants and their delicate flowers are a joy ins spring. There are many beautiful varieties and I will show you a few more of mine in another post.

There are so many lovely plants to write about at this time of the year and more coming out each day, but that will do for now because the sun has come out and the garden calls. 

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29 Responses to Early Flowering Treasures

  1. Alison says:

    I have a lot of Epimediums too, which are just starting to flower now. One of my favorite shade plants!

  2. pbmgarden says:

    You have featured some unusual blooms. I like them all, especially the Iris bucharica.

  3. mrsdaffodil says:

    The Corydalis is lovely. I only have one sort: Corydalis scouleri, which is a native of British Columbia.

    • Chloris says:

      I don’t know Corydalis scouleri, I hope you will show it to us on a post soon. My other favourite ones are Corydalis malkensis which is creamy white and Corydalis flexuosa ‘China Blue’ which is sky blue. They are not quite out yet.

  4. rusty duck says:

    I am totally smitten by Epimedium ‘Orange King’. Stunning.

  5. Kris P says:

    You have so many lovely things! I’ve always liked the Epimediums, which aren’t suited to our southern California climate. (I know – I tried to grow them at our former house.) Corydalis also isn’t reliable here but I may have to have another try with one of those.

  6. Chloris says:

    Corydalis are worth persevering with Kris. My favourite sky blue one Corydalis flexuosa ‘Sky Blue’ is still to come.

  7. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    enjoyed the beauty and especially the uniqueness of your Spring blooms –

  8. Chloris says:

    Thank you Laura, there are plenty more to come.

  9. Pauline says:

    My Coydalis tuberosa has now started seeding about, producing different coloured offspring.The epimediums are starting to flower, they have such lovely, dainty flowers and are so useful in a woodland situation.

    • Chloris says:

      I hope you will show us soon Pauline. I enjoyed your GBBD for March but since then you will have more out, do show us. I would love to see the rest of your Corydalis and your Epimediums. Your Ypsilandra is doing very well, mine hasn’t got so many flowers on this year.

  10. What fascinating plants, all of them new to me. Never saw Muscari like those. I love the Ypsilandra, and that Iris!

  11. Chloris says:

    There are so many lovely Muscari other than the invasive blue Muscari armeniacum. I wish some of them would be a bit more invasive, I love them.

  12. Flighty says:

    A most enjoyable post. The corydalis that I know is the yellow lutea which many consider to be a bit of a nuisance. I have to say that I like the look of your solidia. xx

  13. I know what you mean! It sometimes feels as if you can’t keep up with it all, it’s changing so fast. And you have so much to keep up with, with so many lovely and unusual spring blooms! You must have such fun visiting nurseries!

    • Chloris says:

      I love visiting specialist nurseries and also I have quite a few keen gardening friends and we share our treasures. It is a good insurance because if you lose something you know where you can find it.

  14. Cathy says:

    I understand what you mean at sometimes wanting it all to slow down – I agree and yet I look at my seedlings and would like them to grow bigger a bit quicker than they do! You have many unusual blooms in your garden and several I will be looking out for

    • Chloris says:

      I shall be interested in seeing how your seedlings are coming on. Yes, we are always in a rush for them but everything else can slow down please.

  15. bittster says:

    I also think things move so fast during the spring. It’s a constant wishing for the next great thing and then the minute you turn around to look back you start to miss the snowdrops and crocus. Fortunately we are still not up to snowdrop season here 😉

  16. Anna says:

    Oh some real treasures Chloris. I’m not surprised that you are disappointed with muscari ‘Pink Sunset’ – maybe it lives up to its name and deepens in colour at day’s end 🙂

  17. Annette says:

    Always worth popping in here as one can be sure of stumbling upon plants one didn’t know. My Epimedium is flowering too but it’s called Orangekönigin – will have to find out the difference between the royal pair.

  18. Chloris says:

    I think Orangekonigen, (sorry my tablet doesn’t do umlauts) is the same plant. Do you have any other Epimediums? The rest of mine aren’t out yet.

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