Blue Danube wild hyacinth is a stunning naturalizer
Blue Danube wild hyacinth (Camassia leichtlinii subsp. suksdorfii ‘Blauwe Donau’, Zones 4–9) blooms in late May into June with large spikes of prominent, numerous blue florets that feature yellow stamens. Blooming above clumps of narrow leaves, these many flowers are supported on stout 30- to 36-inch-tall stems and open from the bottom to the top of the stem. Also commonly called great camas, this species prefers fertile, humus-rich, moist, and well-drained soils in full sun to partial shade. Ample moisture is vital for this easy, naturalizing bulb, which provides the perfect shade of blue in spring gardens. There are many other Camassia selections available that are also worth exploring.
Corn leaf iris delivers long-lasting blooms above unique foliage in early spring
Corn leaf iris (Iris bucharica and cvs., Zones 4–8) is a bulbous species with a lot of charm in early spring when its lightly scented, long-lasting yellow and white flowers unfurl. Flowering begins at the end of the stem and continues downward. The V-notched leaves of this plant are in an interesting, stacked format, which looks similar to corn foliage—hence the common name. The top of the foliage (later going dormant) is quite glossy, and this species, native to Central Asia, is both deer and drought tolerant. Corn leaf iris grows to 16 to 18 inches tall and 12 inches wide and prefers full sun to partial shade. Note that it is toxic to cats, dogs, and horses.
Time is of the essence as planting season is quickly ending.
Photo and article by Mark Dwyer