Blues on the Greenway

9, Apr, 2014 Darrah Cole

Crocus tommasinianus ‘Lilac Beauty’

The spring bulbs are beginning to bloom. The recent warm weather has encouraged the early small bulbs to get moving – growing and blooming. The crocus, followed by the Chionadoxa, are just about in full bloom, especially on the sunnier slopes and south facing locations.


The hybrid Crocus vernus ‘Grand Maitre’

In the Wharf district we have a mix of both hybrid and species crocus. The species crocus you will find is Crocus tommasinianus ‘Lilac Beauty’ – a pale pale lavender blue, delicate and fleeting flower surrounded by a slender cluster of leaves. The foliage of this crocus is more narrow and grass-like than that of the vigorous hybrid bulbs.

Chionadoxa forbessii 'Blue Giant'

Chionodoxa forbessii ‘Blue Giant’   Photo by Eric DiTommaso

Another bulb really starting to show off now is the Chionodoxa. This lesser known bulb, also called glory of the snow, is native to regions of Turkey, Cyprus and Crete. The flowers are small, a clear, bright blue with white streaks and flashes in the center, and often as many as ten to twelve blossoms per stem.  Longer lived than the ephemeral crocus these make a blue carpet along the seawall near the Rings Fountain along Altantic Ave. The Fort Point Channel parks also have some Chionodoxa tucked here and there along the bed edges and barely showing perennials.