10 secret gems among the summer bulbs:
- Spiderwort (Commelina)
The upright flowers of this summer bulb bring the bluest blue of all into your garden. They open in the morning and close again in the afternoon to make room for new flowers. Spiderwort (Commelina) was named after two Dutch botanists, Johann and Kaspar Commelin. The plants reach a height of around 16 inches and bloom early in the summer.
- Swamp lily (Crinum)
This summer bulb is not just beautiful to look at but will also add a wonderful fragrance to your garden. The Swamp lily (Crinum) is available in a range of colors from white and pink to deep red. These ultra-strong bulbs will produce flowers every year and also grow larger. The bulbs can ultimately achieve a weight of 22 pounds!
- Pineapple flower (Eucomis)
The massive shape and sweet scent of the Pineapple flower add a sense of tranquility to the garden. This summer bulb (Eucomis) possesses special powers: the southern Bantu tribe in Xhosa used it as a remedy for arthritis. Its massive leaves and sturdy flower spikes create a plant which is 30 inches tall and wide. It will also thrive in pots and is available in yellow, green, white and purple.
- Spider lily (Hymenocallis)
This beauty produces spectacular trumpet-like flowers and a delicate, mildly sweet fragrance. The flower’s outer petals, reminiscent of a spider’s legs, gave rise to its common name of Spider lily. The 8 to 16-inch high Spider lily (Hymenocallis) adds a feeling of purity to the garden.
- Summer hyacinth (Galtonia)
This summer bulb originated in South Africa, so it prefers a warm spot in the garden. As its common name suggests, its many small flowers on a spike resemble a large hyacinth. Its flowering period begins in July and, just like the spring-flowering hyacinths, the Summer hyacinth produces a delightful scent that attracts bees.
- Corn lily (Ixia)
This summer bulb will attract many butterflies. When they start to flower in June, they produce a fragrance that’s irresistible to both butterflies and people. The cluster of flowers closes at the end of the day and increases a bit in size as each day passes.
- Blazing star (Liatris)
This summer bulb is endemic to the prairies of North America as far north as southern Canada. Growing along the stem are grassy leaves similar to the grasses surrounding the plant. Blazing star (Liatris) begins to flower in July when it produces hundreds of lilac-pink flowers on its knot-shaped spike and keeps on flowering until September.
This exotic summer bulb was named for an English botanist by the name of William Roscoe. Its flowers, which start appearing in June and can continue into the autumn, resemble those of an orchid. The Roscoea is available in cream, white, pink, yellow and purple and reaches a height of around 16 inches.
- Voodoo lily (Sauromatum)
This summer bulb has a truly distinctive look. Its flower – a darkly colored, speckled spathe – is really unusual and flowers for only one day! Its inflorescence produces a putrid odor to attract flies. After flowering, the spadix produces a green speckled leaf. At that time, the Voodoo lily (Sauromatum) takes on a less unusual look that you can enjoy all summer long.
- Society garlic (Tulbaghia)
This summer bulb has several nice qualities. It produces lovely little pink trumpet-shaped flowers and can also be used as an herb to flavor food. This is because its leaves have a chive-like scent and flavor. Society garlic prefers a location on the water and will bloom from July until October.