Thursday, March 27, 2008

Looky, looky, Leucojum! Leucojum vernum, Spring Snowflake

Leucojum vernum var. carpathicum

We planted some Leucojum bulbs 2 years ago and haven't seen any evidence of them until I spotted this plant yesterday. What a nice surprise. The plant is rather stubby not like the pictures I've seen in catalogs. Maybe it will grow taller as it matures.

There are two types of Leucojum, L. vernum the Spring Snowflake and L. aestivum the Summer Snowflake. L. vernum has yellow spots on the petals and L. aestivum has green spots. Now I hope the other Leucojum bulbs survived so we'll have a nice display of them. This is turning out to be a surprising spring.

According to a Wikipedia article on Leucojum some of the autumn blooming varieties are now classified as Acis instead of Leucojum. So that leaves only L. vernum and L. aestivum varieties to represent the Leucojum genus. Pretty amazing how these taxonomists think nothing of changing long held classifications of plants. Also, "Two varieties of Leucojum vernum are known: L. vernum var. carpathicum originates from the eastern part of its natural range and is a larger plant with yellowish spots on its petals rather than green; L. vernum var. vagneri from Hungary is a robust plant, often with two flowers per stem."

I just noticed, Blogger allows you to upload several photos at once instead of one at a time. It's about time. Most of the photo sites have had this feature for years.

My heart sank when I saw three more gray squirrels this morning. I hope these are not returnees - just more squirrels at the fringe of the neighborhood coming in to fill the void. Caught one of them so that leaves two plus the black squirrel. I can see this may be an endless task. Perhaps I should open a business as a wild game meat provisioner.


Blogger joey said...

Yea! Happy Spring, Ki. These are lovely photos ... forget the squirrels and keep photographing the garden. There are more of them than us ... you'll never win ;) (I think Blogger accepts 5 uploads)

9:31 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Blogger accepts 5 uploads at a time. But there are times when I use this feature several times for one post. It depends what you want to do. It does make it easier when you want to put them in a certain order without as much hassle.

For each squirrel you trap another will take it's place. I had a co-worker ask me once what good a squirrel was. I told her that in the manicured landscape "not much" but in the wild virgin woods, they are essential for maintaining the trees. They are nature's arborists, keeping the trees cleaned of dead and dying and out of place wood as well as providing food for woodland predators. Squirrels, however, are also opportunists, and the idea of an easy meal in a bird feeder or already maintained trees for easy nesting is just to much for them to ignore.

Trapping the squirrels might be an endless job, especially if the neighbors keep feeding birds and encouraging the squirrels to set up residence. You might be better to buy that Halloween corn that nurseries sell cheap after the season and tie it into the trees for the squirrels to find. It might keep them out of your hair and your garden for awhile. Also consider putting rabbit wire under the mulch over your bulbs. The bulbs will push up through the wire but the squirrels won't like it at all. It feels strange on their feet. Same way with cats.

This is just a suggestion for an alternative to the never ending job of trapping them. How do I know this? The last property I owned we had quite a nice colony of squirrels living in 100+ year old trees.

2:43 AM  
Blogger kjohnson said...

I love leucojums and have the green spot variety. Anemones, snowdrops and other bulbs sometime take a while to show. I had planted several hundred snow drops for a client some years back. They didn't show the first year and the client was quiet put out! I reimbursed her for the bulbs. She moved the next year. I should drive by her house - I am sure her front lawn is filled with them now!

10:31 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Joey, thanks for the kind words. My heart sank even deeper this morning when I saw three squirrels turn to 5 then 8. I thought oh no they all returned! But I only saw the black squirrel this afternoon so I think these were scavengers from the periphery of the 'hood. I did see two high tailing it towards a house a block over so I'm hoping that I'm right. :( I only noticed the five uploads when I posted this blog. I wonder if I haven't set some preferences correctly?


Hi Julie, as I mentioned to Joey I only noticed the five upload feature when I posted this blog. I haven't seen it previously as you both implied it was always available.

I beginning to think ridding the yard of squirrels will be an endless task. We are to blame because we have many bird feeders which are squirrel magnets. I was thinking of spraying the sunflower seeds with hot pepper sauce. I know they feed parrots dried hot pepper pods but I don't know if all birds lack the ability to taste something hot. I'll give it a try. If I see birds avoiding the seed I'll stop spraying the seeds. Should be a nice surprise for the squirrels!


Hi K. Johnson,

I thought I ordered the green spot ones too but I don't see any evidence of them. I guess they come up later in the year so I do hope they will make an appearance then. We planted quite a number of snowdrops too and I don't think any came up the first year. This is the second year for them and I see only three sparse groupings if you can even call them that. I guess I would have been upset too if I paid someone to plant hundreds of snowdrops and none appeared the following spring when I would expect to see a mass of white blooms. Luckily the bulbs are fairly cheap. It would be interesting to check out the former owner's yard to see if they actually came up after all. Thanks for your comment.

5:12 PM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

Hello Ki - these yellow dotted Snowflakes are something new - the only ones I've seen in person have green dots and they're taller.

The option to upload 5 photos at a time has been around for a long time. And I usually upload them in any old order, sometimes before I write the post, sometimes at the end, sometimes importing the post from a word file then adding the photos one by one.

Ki, I'm not very technical but this may interest you:
In Explorer I can just grab the photo and move it around, usually attaching it onto either the first or last word of a paragraph.
But lately my husband and son have been ragging on me to use Firefox. I've noticed that this works better for viewing certain blogs, especially yours and India Garden's.

However...when composing a post while on Firefox the photo grab-and-move doesn't seem to work! I've had to save the post to draft and switch back to IE.

I have no idea how it works - maybe it's the browsers, maybe it's my computer, but this is what seems to happen here.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

8:24 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Annie,

The Leucojums are growing taller but not by much. According to the Wikipedia article the later blooming green dotted one does grow taller.

Thanks for the information on IE. I usually don't use it except to check stuff and when FireFox is unable to bring up certain elements in blogs. For instance I couldn't read the comments on David Perry's blog with FF beta v.4. I used IE and it brought it up easily. I didn't try it with the regular FF but I should try it. I also downloaded Opera again because I read an article that said it was the most capable browser for the new web offerings. I'll give IE's ability to grab and move the photos in blogger a try. Thanks for the tip. Strange how different all the browsers are.

5:51 PM  
Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

Weird... I use the grab-and-move in Firefox all of the time. Could there be a difference in the version?

In any case, I enjoyed learning about snowflakes. After having read your post, I clicked over to my photo folder and checked... my 'Flore Pleno' is a "summer snowflake," because it has green instead of yellow. :)

7:57 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Kim,
I'm using the beta version of FireFox and that may account for the difference. I'll try using the regular FF.

Isn't it interesting your "summer snowflake" blooms in early spring. I wonder if someone was confused naming the variety when they thought the green spots indicated the plants were Leucojum aestivum rather than the green spotted L. vernum? Highly confusing.

4:45 AM  
Blogger Gotta Garden said...

Oh, I've never seen the yellow dotted ones! I only have green dotted snowflakes...I was thinking I had two different varieties as the blooms look slightly different to me...but maybe not. Enjoyed seeing yours and learning about them.

Ki, I just recently saw the multiple upload as well. I thought it was something new as I have spent so much time individually uploading photos! Live and learn.

9:23 PM  

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