BOTANICAL: Chionodoxa luciliae
PRONOUNCED: kye-oh-no-DOKS-uh luh-SIL-ee-ay
BLOOM: Late March to mid April
HEIGHT: 6″ – 8″
ZONE: 3 – 9
March – Blue or pink flowers with white centers.
COMMENTS: Six-pointed, 1-inch upward facing flowers with conspicuous white centers, generally 8 to 10 to a stalk. Easily naturalized by self-seeding and bulb offsets. Plant in the fall.
Chionodoxa gigantea sport blue flowers with white centers.
Chionodoxa sardensis (4″ – 6″) is a deeper, porcelain blue and more open-flowered than C. luciliae. The 3/4 inch blossom has 6 to 8 florets with small white centers on purplish brown stems. Needs cool, moist, well-drained soil.
BOTANICAL: Crocus vernus grandiflorus
PRONOUNCED: KROH-kus VER-nus gran-dih-FLOR-us
COMMON: Dutch crocus
BLOOM: Mid March to mid-April
HEIGHT: 4″ – 6″
ZONE: 3 – 9
March – Blue, purple or white
COMMENTS: The largest flowering of all, these crocus have showier blossoms and wider, thicker foliage. They self seed readily. Plant in the fall in average fertile soil. These are the best crocus for indoor forcing. Naturalization is best achieved in Zones 4 – 8. Other blue cultivars:
C. v. grandiflorus ‘Enchantress’, silvery blue.
C. v. grandiflorus ‘Flower Record’, rich violet-blue.
C. v. grandiflorus ‘Grand Maitre’, deep blue-purple.
C. v. grandiflorus ‘Queen of the Blues’, blue-lavender (shown).
C. v. grandiflorus ‘Pickwick’ pale blue, striped white.
BOTANICAL: Iris reticulata
PRONOUNCED: EYE-ris reh-tick-yoo-LAY-tuh
COMMON: Dwarf iris, Netted iris.
BLOOM: Mid-March to mid-April
HEIGHT: 5″ – 6″
ZONE: 4 – 8
March – Blue, purple or yellow.
COMMENTS: Violet scented, the showy flower appears between narrow, upright leaves which disappear by early summer. Attractive in drifts, in the rock garden or border, they also force easily for Christmas. Requires well-drained, average soil. Suggested cultivars:
Iris reticulata ‘Cantab’, light blue.
Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’ (shown), deep sky blue with gold markings.
Iris reticulata ‘Royal Blue’, deep blue.
BOTANICAL: Scilla siberica
PRONOUNCED: SKIL-uh sy-BEER-ah-kuh
COMMON: Siberian squill, Squill, Wood squill.
BLOOM: Late March to late April
HEIGHT: 3″ – 5″
LIGHT: Sun to light shade
ZONE: 2 – 9
March – Blue or white
COMMENTS: Readily colonized by self-seeding into huge displays. Best grown in cool, moist, well-drained locations of average fertility in sun to light shading. Scilla tubergeniana, another Scilla cultivar, has a close resemblance to Puschkinia, but the stamens are bright yellow and the petals have a dark blue dividing line at the top. New plantings are best made in early autumn into moist, cool soil. Dislike hot and dry exposures.