If you are looking for a graceful flowering bulb for the woodland garden then Nomocharis could be the ones. Related to Lilies and originally from China, with wonderful starry flowers, Nomocharis are a summer flowering bulb best suited to a woodland situation.
Nomocharis flower spikes can be spectacular reaching 1m and more. The clump forming Nomocharis farreri is perhaps the most vigorous form. One of the best garden forms is Nomocharis finlayorum, a hybrid developed in Scotland
Reaching up to 1m in height, 10 - 12 flowers on a stem and these graceful pink flowers with vermillion spots are a wonderful addition to the garden.
Varieties and species
Althougth these bulbs are very difficult to identify from one another, and a number of hybrids are available, many gardeners do collect them in all of their forms.
- Nomocharis pardanthina - Frilled flowers, pale pink with deep pink flecks.
- Nomocharis aperta - Graceful rose pink flowers, flecked flowers are also found.
- Nomocharis saluensis - Pale to mid pink flowers.
- Nomocharis meleagrina - White to pale pink flowers often heavily flecked with near crimson
- Nomocharis farreri - Frilled flowers pale pink heavily flecked with near crimson
The bulbs are a little 'fragile' so take care when planting or transplanting. They do require a moist soil (not wet) so the addition of lots of mulch and well rotted compost at the end of winter will certainly help. These bulbs do like a coolish wet summer, so the UK should be ideal. It is the wet winters and poor drainage that are usually the main problems.
Nomocharis can be grown from seed. Seed will take 3-4 years to produce flowers, however it is well worth the wait.
Sow Nomocharis seed in small pots and once growth starts feed regularly with a liquid fertilizer. Do not feed while dormant.
Nomocharis are availabale for sale from the following nurseries
Coldingham Eyemouth Berwickshire TD14 5TZ
Telephone 018907 71386
A small family run nursery 600 feet up in the Scottish borders specializing in Hardy orchids, Meconopsis, Nomocharis, Gentians, Hepatica, Trillium and many other unusual alpine and shade loving perennials. We specialise in mail order across Europe.