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Forgotten Flowers

RWC tutor Jannette Rodriguez discusses a few lesser known flowers.

Roses, sunflowers, and tulips are typically flowers that come to mind when asked what your favorite flower is, but what about the bleeding hearts, skeleton flowers, black prince snapdragons, or even Persian lilies? These flowers do not get much recognition or appreciation. March 21st is a day for all flowers. Celebrated after the first day of Spring, National Flower Day is a day to “stop and smell the roses,” but not just the roses, all flowers. A day to appreciate nature’s beauty, with its pops of color and sweet aromas to remind us all that Spring has arrived.

Asian Bleeding Heart--

This plant gets its name from its appearance. The puffy, heart-shaped flower and its white petal protruding downwards, portraying a droplet, exhibits  a bleeding heart. They represent unrequited or rejected love but refer to all love in general. They are shade-loving woodland plants and tend to bloom during late spring. After several weeks, the flowers will wither  because  of  the  heat,  but  it will bloom again during the fall or next spring. Their size ranges from 1-3 feet; after 60 days of planting, they reach maximum length.

Diphylleia Gray--

Commonly known as the Skeleton flower, these little white flowers bloom early to midsummer. When it rains, these flowers become translucent, revealing the intricate "skeletal" veining and yellow center, giving them a frosted glass appearance. This mountainous woodland plant has a slow growth rate but is easy to care for. The skeleton flower thrives in cold temperatures and high humidity, growing best in shady areas. They are a perfect addition to a goth garden. Just be wary to provide sufficient water to these flowers.

Black Prince Snapdragons--

Snapdragons are heirlooms that “snap;” these flowers resemble a dragon’s head, and if squeezed from the side, they appear to snap their jaw. Black Prince Snapdragons bloom with the darkest crimson and bronzy foliage from mid-spring to late fall. These heirloom plants can reach 18 inches tall and about 12 inches wide. Their seeds can be directly sown or started indoors for earlier blooms. They are cool-season annuals, so they excel in cooler seasons. In hot locations, they may wither if mulched. They do best in full sunny to lightly shaded areas. A disturbing fact about these flowers is that when dried, they look like human skulls; but do not try killing them to see this, instead reference the picture. Remember, plants are living organisms too.

Purple Fritillaria Persica--

The Fritillaria persica, commonly known as the Persian Lily, was first introduced to gardens in the late 1500s. These bulbous perennials of the lily family produce attractive racemes of plum purple to gray-green flowers in the spring. Each raceme contains up to 30 conical, nodding, bell-shaped. flowers with a stem extending 2 to 3 feet tall. They bloom mid to late spring. To see these bloom, plant them in the fall in a sunny area in organically rich, moist, but well-drained soil for the best results.

They are prone to bulb rot if the soil is not well-drained. Make sure to put them in some shade if the day is too hot during the summer so they do not dry up.

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