The Top 50 Most Popular Spring Blooming Bulbs and Succulents

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Posted by @dave on
We made it! Winter is over and it's springtime! Let's celebrate with a special week dedicated to these beautiful bulbs and succulents that brighten our gardens every spring, and we open that week with a look at the most popular of these plants.

#3: Daffodil (Narcissus 'Tete-a-Tete')

@valleylynn says, "Early blooming backcross of N. cyclamineus × N. 'Cyclataz' (N. cyclamineus × N. tazetta 'Grand Soleil d'Or').

This Narcissus is a good choice for pot forcing.
It multiplies freely so should be divided every 5 to 10 years to prevent overcrowding of the bulbs.

Jan. 2013. I dug up some of the bulbs to send home with a friend. The bulbs have grown to a very large size and have already produced many offset bulbs, after only one year of planting."

#4: Checkered Lily (Fritillaria meleagris)

@BookerC1 says, "I look forward to this shy little flower every spring! It multiplies very slowly, so don't count on it filling in an area very quickly. The foliage is very narrow and barely noticeable, so be careful not to weed them out before they bloom. Very pretty with Sweet William "Sooty" and heuchera "Plum Pudding.""

#5: Spanish Bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica)

@Newyorkrita says, "Great naturalizing plants which grow very well in shade or mixed sun. Bulbs are planted in fall and flowers in the spring after which folliage dies back."

@jmorth added, "In cultivation historically since at least 1601."

#6: Common Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis)

@Mindy03 says, "Honey bees get nectar from this plant."

@Newyorkrita added, "Vivid jewel colors and lovely scent on the Hyacinth flowers."

#7: Grape Hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum)

@sandnsea2 says, "Muscari armeniacum is a wonderful, early-spring-blooming bulb. It is planted in fall along with the Tulips and Daffodils. I love this plant because it naturalizes nicely when it is in a happy situation. It complements any other plants near it.
I also appreciate the way this bulb produces its leaves in the fall.
The species name denotes its country of origin, Armenia."

#8: Peruvian Lily (Scilla peruviana)

@Skiekitty says, "Supposedly this plant does NOT make a good cut flower as it supposedly will smell of cat urine if the stem or leaves are bruised or cut."

#9: Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis)

@Mindy03 says, "Valuable source of nectar and pollen for honey bees"

@Marilyn added, "I love these precious and beautiful little gems! They're wonderful to see in the late winter - early spring when not much else is blooming! They always put a smile on my face and in my heart when I see them blooming in my garden every year!"

#10: Siberian Squill (Scilla siberica)

@Ispahan says, "An exquisite little bulb that is an excellent source or early spring bee forage for native bees. Will naturalize and spread by seed very easily but, in my experience, will never choke out other plants. It sets seed and the unobtrusive foliage dies down rapidly soon after flowering. I love this plant!"

#12: Species Tulip (Tulipa tarda)

@valleylynn says, "Tulipa tarda is an easy to grow species tulip. It will come back year after year and will naturalize well in good growing conditions.
Very low growing. Multi-blooms per stem.
Native to sub alpine meadows in central Asia. In cultivation since about 1590.
Only species bulb ever honored with the title of 'Flower of the Year' in Holland in 1997.
Uses: Rock gardens, in beds, border fronts or naturalized around trees or shrubs."

#13: Aztec Lily (Sprekelia formosissima)

@jmorth says, "Distinctive presentation. Larger bulbs capable of more than one blooming stem. Overwintered dry in basement.
"Looks like an Amaryillis that wants to be an orchid"
Seem to flower best when left undisturbed in pot following year."

@valleylynn added, "Sprekelia formosissima is native to Mexico. They do best in well-drained alkaline soil kept dry during their winter dormancy. However in my very wet winter and spring here in the Pacific Northwest it has survived and bloomed two years in a row before succumbing to a gopher. I am going to try it again and plant euphorbia beside it.
They benefit from a feeding in the growing season the same as say tulips and daffodils.

Requires genetic material from two different clones to set seeds. Once you have mature seed it takes about 7 years for the plant to mature and bloom."

#14: Spring Starflower (Ipheion uniflorum)

@piksihk says, "Very early blooming; one of the first to bloom here"

@jmorth added, "Ipheion is a true bulb. Originally from South America. Onion scented.

Forcible - Pot up in the fall, about 5 buls per 5 inch pot. Amend the potting medium with one part sand to three parts mix. Cover the bulbs. Needs 10 to 12 weeks of cold period (35 to 40 degrees). Should bloom within 3 weeks. (Best if kept on the cool side around 60 - 65 degrees after removed from cold cycle.)"

#15: Society Garlic (Tulbaghia violacea)

@flaflwrgrl says, "This is an excellent choice for xeriscaping. It withstands the worst drought. The blooms are delightful and it looks quite nice paired with rain lilies. The leaves and blooms smell something like garlic, but not as strong. Oniony garlic, I would say. Some people find the odor offensive. It does not have to be disturbed for you to smell the odor --- you can smell it when you get near it. Personally, I like the odor of it and I know a number of people who feel the same way. It is suitable for growing in containers. That way, if your visitors dislike the fragrance, you can always move the plant location so that they will not have to smell it."

#16: Phillippine Ground Orchid (Spathoglottis plicata)

@plantladylin says, "Spathoglottis plicata, a terrestrial (ground) orchid is an evergreen perennial plant popular in tropical and subtropical gardens. Used as a ground cover or as a container plant, it forms clumps of crowded pseudobulbs just below the soil surface. The arching leaves grow up to 24" in length and clusters of flowers are borne at the end of tall spikes emerging from the base of the pseudobulbs. Ground Orchids prefer high humidity, a bright shady location and well draining potting medium. Spent bloom spikes should be removed to promote continuous blooming."

#17: Peruvian Daffodil (Ismene x deflexa)

@eclayne says, "Hybrid Formula: I. longipetala x I. narcissiflora"

#18: Golden Garlic (Allium moly)

@Mindy03 says, "Honey bees get nectar and pollen from this plant."

#19: Dutch Iris (Iris x hollandica)

@Newyorkrita says, "Dutch irises are a true bulb, unlike bearded irises or Siberian irises, but they do have the typical iris flower form. Flowers come in truly striking colors and color combinations."

#20: Baby's Toes (Fenestraria rhopalophylla subsp. aurantiaca)

@SongofJoy says, "Exposure to some direct sunlight will intensify the color of this plant.

Water only when very dry."

@SongofJoy added, "In its native areas, the plant grows mostly buried in sand. Each leaf has a translucent window at the tip where sunlight is filtered to enable photosynthesis throughout the leaf."

#21: Nun's Cap Orchid (Phaius tankervilleae)

@plantladylin says, "The Nun's Orchid gets its name from its "hooded" blooms. This is a terrestrial orchid with a bulb-like root system. The leaves grow to 3 feet in length and the Reddish/Rusty flowers appear on tall 4' stalks in mid to late spring. The flower color darkens a bit as the flowers age. The plant requires bright light, no direct sun. It makes a wonderful house plant that needs repotting every three to four years."

#22: Grecian Windflower (Anemone blanda 'Blue Shades')

@Marilyn says, "I love seeing these little daisy beauties every spring. They attract bees, giving them a source of early nectar, and that warms my heart. I've planted the other colors of Anemone blanda before, but the blue shades are my favorite ones to plant and grow. I've always read that tubers should be soaked in water overnight before planting, but if you plant in soil that is consistently moist during the growing season, they can be soaked for only a couple of hours before planting. These little bulbs look something like hardened brown raisins and don't have a distinctive top and bottom, so plant them on their sides so that they will come up and bloom. When planting, make sure it is going to be a spot that you aren't going to be digging up later. Otherwise, you'll be digging up future blooms. Wonderful and easy to grow!"

#23: Trout Lily (Erythronium 'Pagoda')

@JRsbugs says, "This is a cross between E. californicum 'White Beauty' × E. tuolumnense.

I bought it in a pot with three small bulbs about 12 years ago, I planted them deep at the base of an east facing bank in semi-shade. It took many years for the two which survived to bulk up, in 2010 I had a good display but in 2011 they didn't do well. Perhaps the harsh 2010/11 winter then very dry year didn't suit them, or maybe the bulbs have split. I have noticed over the years they scarcely show in some years but they make a great show when they do."

#24: Dutch Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis 'Delft Blue')

@BookerC1 says, "Excellent for forcing, for color and fragrance during the winter months. Fragrance can be overpowering in a small room. Spent forced bulbs can be planted outdoors when soil warms, and will reliably return for 2-3 years."

#25: Amaryllis (Hippeastrum 'Blossom Peacock')

@critterologist says, "I've been growing amaryllises since we moved to Frederick, and of the dozens of varieties I've had, 'Blossom Peacock' is still my hands-down favorite. The color and shape of the bloom are just exquisite. I think my neighbor pinned it down for me when she commented, "It's like a beautiful water lily!" It has all the "extras" -- double petal count, picotee edges, white "star" formed by central stripes on the pink-streaked petals. Some even say it's fragrant, although any fragrance seems very faint to me. Relatively small bulbs will put up multiple bloom stalks. Like most doubles, it doesn't set seed readily, and it's been at best a modest increaser for me."

#27: Lily (Lilium martagon)

@ge1836 says, "I found the bulb nearly completely emerged in March 2013.
I covered it with a combination of dirt and compost. It put up 4 stems in a month. Now it looks like there will be tons of blossoms.
I will dig and replant in fall."

#28: White Fawn Lily (Erythronium albidum)

@wildflowers says, "The flowers bloom from just mid-March until mid-April. White Trout Lily is a very special woodland plant that usually blooms a little earlier than other spring flowers, although, immature plants that don't bloom always out-number mature plants.. Trout lily bulbs produce just one leaf in the first 6 years, then 2 leaves, a scape-stem, and finally a flower in the 7th year. White Trout Lily can produce large colonies of plants if it is left undisturbed for several decades. Both the flowers and mottled foliage are attractive. The flowers are primarily pollinated by both long-tongued and short-tongued bees; for nectar and pollen."

#29: English Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta)

@Mindy03 says, "Honey bees get nectar and pollen from this plant."

@Dodecatheon3 added, "'English Bluebells' have the following characteristics that help distinguish them from 'Spanish Bluebells':
Narrow pointed leaves about 1/2 inch wide, strong sweet scent, cream colored pollen, flowers mostly on one side & nodding top portion of stem."

#30: Persian Lily (Fritillaria persica)

@jmorth says, "Twice these plants failed to show the following year.
Introduced in 1573.
Placed with a light colored or white background it really stands out."

#31: Iris (Iris 'Miss Saigon')

@plantladylin says, "This is the only Iris I've ever grown. Someone told me it wouldn't do well here in Florida, but our big box stores sell this one every spring and so a few years ago I thought I'd try it and purchased one package of bulbs. Although the blooms probably don't last as long this far south it's become a favorite of mine and seems to return each spring."

#32: Snowdrop (Galanthus elwesii)

@Mindy03 says, "Valuable source of nectar and pollen in winter. Pollen color is pink."

#33: Cusick's Quamash (Camassia cusickii)

@Marilyn says, "This beautiful wildflower is native to America.

It is light blue in color and when seen in masses, it is stunning and a joy to see!

Where my parents used to live for many years, they had these on a hillside and there were a lot of these plants growing and blooming happily every year! The plants prefer a damp site and the location where they were growing had to have been damp. They were so thick that you couldn't even walk up or down the hillside. I always loved seeing them when they were blooming!

I'm thinking about making a spot for them, getting them online and growing and enjoying them!

A wonderful wildflower!"

#34: Wild Hyacinth (Camassia leichtlinii)

@flaflwrgrl says, "Camassia leichtlinii has 2 subspecies. Ssp. suksdorfii is a strikingly dark violet blue color. Ssp. leichtlinii is a light creamy yellow color which is often mistakenly considered or commonly called white.
They like moisture but do not like to stay wet. Can tolerate dry conditions after the leaves have died down in summer.This camassia is not frost tender."

#35: Mountain Death Camas (Anticlea elegans)

@jmorth says, "Grows in Alaska where able to handle -60°F.
Habitat - mountain meadows and forests and on rocky slopes.
Flowers face up and outward in midsummer.
One of the showiest species.
Poisonous. Contains a toxic alkaloid (causes vomiting, breathing difficulty, and coma in humans; fatal to livestock)."

#36: Argentine Rain Lily (Habranthus robustus)

@krancmm says, "One of the largest-flowered and robust rainlilies, the aptly named Habranthus robustus hails from Argentina and Brazil. Unlike rainlilies in the Zephyranthes genus, its flowers face at an angle to the stem giving them the look of a multi-flowered miniature amaryllis. Each trumpet flower is 3"-4" long and as wide at the flared petal tips. It's common for the Argentine Rainlily to repeat bloom throughout the warm season. In warm climates, the nicely arching flat leaves remain evergreen. It's a fast multiplier by both fresh seeds and bulb off-sets. Although it can survive some drought, it performs best with adequate, even substantial, rain throughout its growing season and revels in the steamy heat of a Deep South summer.

A limiting factor to cold hardiness is that the bulbs lie very close to the soil surface, often having parts of the bulbs above the soil lne. Some gardeners have reported success north of zone 8a by heavily mulching the bulbs for winter. Typically a pass-along plant in areas where it grows, it's also available through good on-line vendors."

#37: Turkestan Onion (Allium karataviense 'Ivory Queen')

@jmorth says, "Baseball sized blooms (appx. 8" dia.) low to the ground above large grey-green leaves (sometimes w/red margins or flushed purple coloration). A ball-shaped allium, spheres made up of tightly packed blooms.
Have only experienced moderate success in my garden. Lasted but a couple of seasons.
Origin - central Asia."

#39: Violet Wood Sorrel (Oxalis violacea)

@plantladylin says, "Violet Wood Sorrel is a herbaceous perennial native to North America. It grows to about 6" tall with grayish green leaves and little violet-pink bell shaped flowers with greenish-white centers and bright yellow anthers. The plant spreads by runners from little bulbs beneath the soil. The flowers attract bees, small butterflies and skippers.

I spotted this plant growing in a shady spot behind my neighbor's shed when I was at the fence talking to her one day this past spring. We both admired the pretty little blooms and noticed a little butterfly flitting back and forth between flowers."

#40: Poison Bulb (Crinum asiaticum)

@SongofJoy says, "Crinum asiaticum is native to tropical southeastern Asia. It is a widely used landscape plant in California, Florida, the Gulf Coast, and other warm climate areas.

C. asiaticum prefers well-drained soil (of just about any type) in sunny locations but will tolerate partial shade. Give it average water."

#41: Crinum Lily (Crinum 'Sangria')

@SongofJoy says, "This Crinum lily originated in 1983 as a cross between Crinum procerum 'Splendens' x an unknown Crinum bulbispermum (or hybrid). It was discovered by Scott Ogden as a seedling in the garden of the late Marcia Clint Wilson.

The dark purple foliage is reflexed and makes a dramatic clump that is topped with 18" spikes of rosy pink flowers in late spring and again in fall.

Crinum 'Sangria' is much more winter hardy than other purple leaf crinums. The majority of plants that are sold as Crinum 'Sangria' are most likely actually Crinum procerum 'Splendens'."

#42: Nuttall's Deathcamas (Toxicoscordion nuttallii)

@jmorth says, "The most infamous species, found in U S from Tennessee west to Texas and Kansas on prairies and in open woodland. Flowers in the spring.
Introduced in 1883.
Entire plant contains a toxic alkaloid that can be fatal to livestock. Causes vomiting, breathing difficulty, and coma in humans.
You'd be well-advised to grow something else!"

#43: Lily (Lilium 'Summer Night')

@jmorth says, "Outfacing blooms of a near black hue (very dark red) grace this somewhat 'picky' plant. Needs good drainage. Not an overly vigorous specimen. Asiatic. From Buggy Crazy."

#45: Rain Lily (Zephyranthes 'Libra')

@flaflwrgrl says, "One of the most delightful plants in the world! I call them my giggle flowers because every time I see the blooms I giggle like a six-year-old. Tough, hardy, and able to take sun & drought like nobody's business, these lovely plants take it all and then present you with marvelous blooms. There simply isn't enough good I can say about them! I will say that they self seed freely as well as multiplying. They will certainly naturalize in short order. But they're so sweet --- who can resist?"

#46: Cowhorn Orchid (Cyrtopodium punctatum)

@plantladylin says, "This epiphytic orchid is a rare Florida native; once common in the Big Cypress Swamp and the Evergaldes in the southern part of the state, often found growing low on Cypress trees (Taxodium sp.) and Buttonwood trees (Conocarpus erectus), but due to loss of habitat this orchid is considered rare today. In winter after the leaves are gone, the old pseudobulbs are visibly wrapped in papery sheaths that resemble cow horns or cigars, hence two of the common names for this plant. In spring new growth and stems emerge forming multi-branched panicles expanding to 3 feet in length. The one inch wide ornate flowers have three heavily curled golden yellow petals, barred with purple spots, and a tri-lobed red lip with a yellow center spot. During mid day the flowers are highly fragrant, which attracts numerous bees; hence the other common name of Bee Swarm Orchid."

#47: (Bellevalia pycnantha)

@jmorth says, "Shaped like a miniature X-mas tree, appears similar to Muscari, Distinguished from grape hyacinth by tiny yellow margins at bottom of the diminutive blue black bells. Usually blooms later than Muscari.
With a history back to 1835, considered an heirloom in the garden.
Can be forced over winter."

#48: Oxalis (Oxalis versicolor)

@valleylynn says, "Native to flats and slopes in the southwestern region of the Western Cape, growing in low-lying, wet areas in fields

When grown as a summer grower in warmer climates, or under lights, the foliage will form nice, tight mounds. In weaker winter light or shade, specimens will be more lax in habit.

In researching this plant I found that this is one of the Oxalis species that love moisture when in growth, and appreciate discontinuing of all water during the summer (which in nature would be their resting period). Start back with watering in September, as that is when the shorter days and cooler temperatures will trigger them to continue growing."

#49: Fire Lily (Cyrtanthus breviflorus)

@SongofJoy says, "The foliage and the flower shape and colors of this species can vary greatly. Does best in bright conditions and well-drained soil that is damp during the summer. Frost hardy to at least 0 and 10F, USDA zone 7. Good pot specimen."

#50: Nun's Orchid (Phaius 'Dan Rosenberg')

@plantladylin says, "Phaius 'Dan Rosenberg' is a hybrid terrestrial orchid that prefers a well draining compost/potting medium. It grows to four feet tall and three feet wide and does best in conditions of bright shade with good air circulation.

Seed Parent: Phaius Tankervilleae
Pollen Parent: Gastrorchis tuberculosa"

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