Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Fragrance is a wonderful thing in cut flowers, which gives us even more reason to grow fragrant flowering bulbs in our cutting gardens.
Also known as Abyssinian gladiolus or gladixia, these are lovely summer blooming bulbs. The stems make stunning cut flowers, and are often used for summer bouquets. Apart from their intriguing beauty, they also offer a wonderful fragrance. Their vase life is comparable with that of gladiolus, about ten days or so.
While the leaves of this bulb may look like those of the gladiolus, the flowers are quite different. The unique arrangement of the petals gives this an orchid-like appearance. The white petals are beautifully accented with deep red centers. These open on stems that reach 2˝ feet in height. Each bulb will have around eight or so flower stalks.
Like gladiolus, these are only winter hardy in warm climates, zones seven through nine. Elsewhere, they are treated as summer bulbs and lifted for storage during the winter months. These are resistant to deer.
Freesias are one of those tender bulbs that are well worth growing for cut flowers. They have a vase life of about seven to ten days. These are used as filler flowers and form flowers. They are especially popular for weddings.
One reason the flower is so well loved is partly due to its wonderful fragrance.
There are both single and double flowering varieties. The color range is quite broad, including white, all sorts of pinks, red, yellow, orange, and purples. Some have intriguing veins or stripes on the petals.
Freesia stems reach about two feet in height. The blooms open in little bunches towards the top of the flower stalks. These are winter hardy in zones eight and nine. Elsewhere, they’re treated as tender annuals. The plants do well in full sun, and partial shade. They are resistant to deer.
Blooming in mid-summer, this resembles a hyacinth stem. Pineapple lily stems are used as a mass and line flower.
At the very top are some small leaves, which give the flower spike a pineapple-like appearance.
The pink, star-shaped blossoms are small. But, they’re so numerous they completely cover the upper portion of the stem. They have a scent that is reminiscent of coconut. The stems grow to about 1˝ feet in height.
These bulbs are only hardy in warmer areas, zones seven through ten. Elsewhere, they can be grown as an annual or tender bulb by digging and lifting them in the fall. They do best in full sun and partial shade. These are unbothered by deer.