The Leucojum is a member of the Amaryllis family. This genus includes about 10 species. In nature, these plants are found in Turkey, Central Europe, the Mediterranean, Iran and North Africa. The name of this genus in Greek means "white violet". There is a legend associated with the origin of this flower.
A shepherdess once fell in love with a god, but she repeatedly rejected his advances. However, he plotted to lure her to the cloud and win her back in any way he could. God believed that the beloved, seeing the whole world at her feet, would certainly want to live with him. During the night he stole and hid a cow that belonged to the girl. When he came to her in the morning, he offered his help.
God lifted his beloved up on a cloud, so that she might be able more quickly to find her cow. She was astonished at the beauty that opened up before her eyes. She thought she was a goddess and took the boxes that the god needed to control the weather and began to shake out what was in them. So from the first box fell fog, from the next, a summer downpour. The third contained snow and, laughing, the girl shook it out on the ground.
The time of winter had already passed, and so the god was angry with the girl! The god made it so that when the snow came in contact with the earth, it turned into white blossoms - beautiful white flowers. And the frivolous girl was sent back by God, where she continued to graze cows. Since then, the snow-white blossoms of the white-flowered flower have been unfurling in late May. Only 2 species of this plant are cultivated by gardeners.
Peculiarities of whiteflower
The whiteflower has bulbs consisting of webbed closed white scales as well as perennial thick roots.
The roots eventually die off, along with the part of the stolon from which they sprouted. Leaf blades are linear and strap-shaped. In spring species, they are formed at the same time as the flowers, while in autumn species, they grow after the plant has flowered. Annually, Whiteflower forms 2 or 3 lower scales, behind which 2 or 3 leaf blades with a closed base and one with an open base are formed. It is from the axil of such a leaf plate that flower arrows develop, and a bud of renewal is observed forming at its base.
The upright, slightly flattened peduncle may be rounded or obovate; during the fruit ripening, it descends. The shoot terminates in a membranous wing of green color, from the axil of which drooping pink or white flowers sprout on pedicels. Flowers may be singular or be a part of umbrella-like inflorescences. Wide-bell-shaped perianths have 6 leaflets with a green or yellow spot at the top. The fruit is a fleshy boll with black oblong or roundish seeds.
Perennial planting outdoors
What time to plant
Perennial bulbs should be planted during their dormancy, which time is July-September. If the weather is warm for a long time in the fall, then planting this plant in the open soil can be carried out until the first days of November. The planting material should be purchased with special care. Bulbs should be heavy and dense, and covered with preserved shells. They should also have short roots and no shoots.
A bulb with long sprouted roots or with sprouts should be planted in open soil as soon as possible. It is also recommended that the bulbs to be purchased are absolutely intact and without mechanical damage. These should be particularly absent from the base, and also inspect the planting material for the presence of mold. Do not purchase bulbs that are broken, crumpled or have a stripped protective shell or an injured base. If it is too early to plant the bulbs you have purchased in the open soil, place them in a perforated plastic bag with shavings or sawdust for storage.
Perfections for planting
A shady, well away from bushes and ponds should be chosen for planting. The soil should be moist and well-drained as well as humus-rich. Before planting, the soil should be turned over and coarse-grained river sand or gravel should be added. If the soil is poor, it also contains leaf soil, sand and decomposed manure (it should not be fresh). As this flower culture is not recommended to grow on acidic soil, so it is also recommended to add a small amount of lime and decomposed peat.
Planting this plant should be carried out according to the same scheme as other bulbous crops. Remember that after planting, the thickness of the layer of soil over the bulb should be equal to two bulb diameters. However, note that the thickness of this layer should not be thinner than 50 mm. If the bulb is planted too deeply, it will gradually become larger. And if it is not planted deep enough, the bulbs will become shallower, but the seedlings will grow more and more.
Planted bulbs need good watering.
Garden care for whiteflower
Care for whiteflower in the same way as the following garden crops: hyacinth, Muscari or Sprouse. This plant should be watered, weeded, loosened up and also fed in due time.
How to water and feed
In the first weeks of spring, white flower does not need watering. This is because there is still some moisture in the ground for a long time after the snow has melted.
If there was very little snow during the winter, and the spring was dry and warm, then such flowers need regular watering, and the water should take settled water, and also it should not be cold, and try to avoid getting drips on the flowers. In the absence of watering the plant will not die, but it will become stunted.
Feed the white flower with a liquid mineral complex, which should have a small amount of nitrogen. The fact is that nitrogen helps to stimulate intensive growth of the leaf plates, but this has a negative effect on flowering. Lush greenery in wet rainy weather can cause the bush to develop fungal diseases.
Phosphorus, on the other hand, promotes lush flowering and thanks to potassium healthy bulbs are formed that will be able to overwinter well.
Potting and propagation of white flower
Transplant or propagate this flower by nest division only when it is at rest, that is from June to September or October. Repotting is recommended once every 5-7 years, otherwise the bulbs that have grown will not have enough nutrients and the white flower will start to wither.
The dug up nests should be divided. The bulbs should be placed in a shaded area to dry, then cleaned of old roots, diseased roots, rotten and injured scales.
All mechanical damage should be covered with ashes or charcoal powder, bulbs affected by disease and unsuitable for planting should be thrown out. Then seedlings are planted on a site prepared in advance, the scheme of planting is described in detail above.
Bellflower can also be propagated by seeds. Freshly harvested seeds should be sown immediately after harvesting or in the autumn. The fact is that they, like the seeds of the Crested Bunting, remain germinating for a short time.
During the winter period, seeds can undergo natural stratification, which is good for further growth and development of seedlings. Seeds are sown in boxes, and the surface of the soil mixture should be covered with a special film, which protects against the growth of weeds. Then you need to watch only to ensure that the soil mixture does not dry out. Plants grown from seed will not start to flower until the 7th or 8th year. This crop can also be propagated by self-sowing, and the gardener is able to control this process.
To do this, the sprouts that have appeared in unnecessary places should be uprooted and those that grow in the allotted area should be well looked after.
White flower has a high frost tolerance and therefore does not need to be covered for the winter. If the weather forecasters predict a very cold and snowy winter, it is advisable to cover the white flower bed with lapnuts.
Pests and diseases of white flower
The white flower has resistance to diseases and pests, but still sometimes it can have problems. The diseases of this crop are practically the same as those of the snowdrop, which is also a primrose flower.
Such a plant can be harmed by bulb nematodes, slugs, moths, and their caterpillars. And also damage can be caused by rodents such as mice and moles. In the autumn, you can make a collection of thick caterpillars of moths by hand, at this time they are preparing for pupation. If desired, an insecticide can be used to exterminate them.
The nematode is a very small worm that causes light yellow-colored swellings to form on the leaf plates.
If there are nematodes on the bush, it should be dug up and burned. The remaining healthy plants should be replanted, and the bulbs should be immersed in very warm water (40 to 45 degrees) for several hours before planting. For their planting, you should choose a site located in a different location. Bulb crops cannot be planted in nematode-infested areas for 4 or 5 years.
Subterranean slugs prefer to live in fertile soil or in heavy clay soil.
During planting, the bulb in the hole should be surrounded by a layer of coarse sand to get rid of this pest.
It is more difficult with rodents, they can not only injure the bulbs with their teeth but also drag them away to their holes. The gnawed bulbs may develop rottenness, but you can tell if the plant is sick only by its stunted appearance. Such bushes should be dug out, all the rotten areas of the bulbs should be cut out, then the wounds should be treated with wood ash and left for a few hours in the fresh air to dry. The bulbs can then be planted back into the soil.
Mice prefer to settle in clumps of perennials or in turf with grass, so they should be planted at a distance of at least 300 cm from their homes (as a rule, mice do not go further from their homes). It is also recommended to place baits with poison in the area.
The most dangerous of all diseases for this crop are viral, since at present it cannot be cured. If greenish or yellowish spots and many hillocks appear on the leaves as well as crimping of the leaves, the shrub should be dug up and destroyed immediately to avoid spreading the disease to other plants.
In a plant infected with a fungal disease such as rust or grey mould, black or brownish spots appear on the leaves and a grey downy patina forms on the stalks near the ground, which will spread up the stalk with time.
Cut out and destroy all affected areas of the plant, then spray the bush and the soil surface beneath it with a fungicide solution.
Species and varieties of white flower with photos and names
We already mentioned above that only 2 species of white flower are grown by gardeners.
Springflower (Leucojum vernum)
This species prefers to grow on the edges of the beech forests that are located in Central Europe, this includes the Carpathians. This perennial is about 0.2 m tall.
The bulb is egg-shaped and reaches 20 mm in cross-section. The broad-lanceolate leaflets reach 0.25 m in length and 12 mm in width. The height of the flower stalks is approximately 0.3 m.
Drooping white flowers may be singular or in pairs, they have a pleasant fragrance, and the tips of the petals are speckled with green or yellow flowers. It blooms in April and takes 20 to 30 days to bloom. The fruit is a fleshy three-necked globular capsule. It has been cultivated since 1420. The best variety is Carpathicum: its flowers are larger than those of the main species and the petals have yellow spots.
Summerflower (Leucojum aestivum)
In nature, this species can be found in Crimea, Asia Minor and Western Asia, Southern and Western Europe and in Western Transcaucasia, with its preference of growing on river banks and flooded meadows. This perennial is about 0.4 m tall, with leaf blades 0.3 m long and flower stalks 0.4 m high.
Flowering begins in mid to late May. The umbrella-shaped inflorescences consist of 3-10 white flowers. It blooms for about 20 days. It has been cultivated since 1588. The Gravity Jaint is the most popular variety: this garden variety was obtained by English plant breeders and is approximately 0.
6 m tall and has six white flowers with straw-green spots on each petal.
The Mediterranean white-flowered species such as the hairy, long-leaf and Tingitane are quite spectacular, but scientists have separated them into a separate genus called acis. Of the fall-flowering species in Western Europe, the most commonly cultivated are the autumn white-flower and the pink-flowered white-flower. Autumn white-flowered is about 12 centimetres tall and blooms in September, with green speckles on the petals of the white flowers. At present, these species are also referred to as acis and are identified as a separate genus.