Original habitat: Chile
Flower color: From pure white to purple
Flowering period: Late spring or early summer
Plant height: 20 inches
Planting depth: 1 to 2 inches
Planting distance: More commonly planted in pots
Type of bulb: Small true bulbs up to 2 inches in diameter
Light requirements: Thrives best in full sun
The plant’s name is derived from the Greek words leukos meaning “white” and koryne meaning “club” referring to the infertile anthers. They can be compared somewhat to freesias. This plant’s flower is not only beautiful to look at but also has a pleasant fragrance. They can tolerate a touch of frost but must be mulched in the event of any harder frost. In these cooler regions, it is better to plant the bulbs in pots that can be kept in a cool sun lounge during the winter. The Leucocoryne has a fairly long flowering period – much longer than the more familiar spring-flowering bulbs. This makes them perfect for use as cut flowers.
It is better not to transplant the bulbs, at least not until after the second or third year. It is advisable, however, to replace the upper layer of soil in the pot with well-draining soil at the end of the season. Various species:
- Leucocoryne ixioides, the most familiar species and also the easiest one to cultivate, was introduced in 1826. Its height ranges from 10 to 20 inches, and its leaves are narrow, grassy, and grow to a length of 12 inches. Flower color varies but is always between white and blue-purple. The stamens are white.
- Leucocoryne coquimbensis: Its grassy foliage, growing up to 10 inches in length, covers the lower part of the plant. Its pleasantly scented flowers, numbering about 10 per umbel, are carried on stems about 12 inches tall. Flower color ranges from pale blue and violet to deep purple. The stamens are yellow and the center of the flower is green. The flowers are in bloom for several (6 to 8) weeks.
- Leucocoryne macropetala
- Leucocoryne purpurea
- Leucocoryne alliacea
- Leucocoryne angustipetala
- Leucocoryne appendiculata