Landscaping & Nursery Information for Home Gardeners

Bulbs - storage organ types

Bulbs in the Garden

The following is a list of bulb plants according to type of storage organ.

True bulbs have a short underground stem called a basal plate. This plate is surrounded by "scales" or fleshy leaves that protect the growing point and tissue, and usually a flower. The dry, outer layers are referred to as the tunic. Simply, bulbs are leaf material.

Bulbets, or offsets, are the small bulbs produced to the side of the bulb. Bulbils are the small bulbs produced above ground in the leaf axils, usually on lilies.

Examples include:
     Alliums (Flowering Onions)    Lycorus (Surprise Lily, Magic LIly)
     Chionodoxa (Glory-in-the-Snow) Muscari (Grape Hyacinth)
     Fritillaria (Crown Imperial)  Narcissus (Daffodil)
     Galanthus                     Ornithogalum
     Hippeastrum (Amaryllis)       Oxalis
     Hyacinth                      Scilla (Squills)
     Iris (bulbous types)          Tigridia
     Lilium (Lily)                 Tulipa (Tulip)


Bulbs that have been forced or grown in the house during winter are not suitable to force again; but it is  a waste of money to throw them away. Keep them  growing after their flowers have faded and let their  foliage turn yellow before drying them off. When yellow put them in their flats or pots in a shady, dry place until the soil becomes powdery dry. Then clean and store them in cotton sacks (such as used for sugar) or in wire netting trays until outdoor planting time arrives in late summer or early autumn. Then plant them outdoors in a bed where they may recuperate for a  year or two before being planted in more conspicuous  beds. 


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