Unit 65 (065)


1. Earliest Flowering Bulbs


This unit cover some of the genera with the earliest flowering spring bulbs. These can

spread and be naturalized in a lawn or garden bed.


All of these bulbs can be planted in annual beds, and then the annuals can be planted

among them. The bulb leaves should be left to die down naturally to build up the

bulbs for next season.


Remember, flowering times vary from season to season. You need to keep your

own flowering time records to know the best flower season in your area.


1.) Eranthis hyemalis or Winter Aconite is a very early bulb that flowers from mid March

to early April, but may flower in late February some years. The flower petals are

small tubular nectaries and the sepals are petal like. The flowers bright yellow and

waxy looking, which is typical of the Ranunculaceae or Buttercup family. The buttercup

family flowers also have very numerous stamens. The plants are only 2 to 6 inches tall

with one whorl of leaves below the flowers.


2.) Galanthus nivalis or Snowdrops is another early bulb that flowers a few weeks after

Eranthis, usually in mid March to early April. Each flower stalk bears only one white

flower. The inner petals of the flowers have green markings near the tips. The plants

are only 3 to 6 inches tall.


3.) Helleborus niger or Christmas Rose and Helleborus orientalis or Lenten Rose,

flower early and sometimes under the snow. Flowers are rose like and white, green,

pink, or purple. They flower from March to April. The plants are 1 to 2 ft. tall.


4.) Crocus flower in late March or April. Crocus leaves are long and narrow with a

white stripe down the middle. As the flowers are finishing, the leaves can be showy.

Some Crocus bulb cultivars also flower in the fall. The plants are only 3 to 6 in. tall.


5.) Iris reticulata or the Netted Iris is a 4 to 9 in. bulb that flowers in late March and

April. This dwarf iris has showy flower petals that are blue or purple with white or

yellow markings. Iris danfordiae is a 2 to 6 in. bulb with fragrant yellow flowers.

These are the two earliest flowering Iris.


2. Anemone or Windflowers


Anemone has several different types of species, sizes, and flowering times.


1.) Spring flowering Anemones.

Anemone, often listed as Anemone blanda, is a small, late March to April flowering

bulb that has flower that look like small daisies because they have up to 15 petals.

These plants also look great in an annual bed. The plants are only 3 to 6 inches tall

with one whorl of leaves below the flowers.


Anemone pulsatilla (sometimes separated as Pulsatilla vulgaris) or Pasque Flower, is a

hairy 6 to 10 in. plant with bell shaped flowers. It flowers from April to May.


2.) Summer flowering Anemones.

Anemone canadensis or Canada Anemone, flowers in the summer from May to August.

It grows 1 to 2 ft. tall.

Anemone sylvestris or Snowdrop anemone, flowers from April to May and sporadically

throughout the summer. It grows 8 to 12 in. tall.


3.) Fall flowering Anemones.

Anemone x hybrida or Japanese Anemones are 5 ft. tall and flower from August to

October. They have showy flowers with petal like sepals that are white or pink to

purple.