What’s In Bloom?
Autumn Crocus (Colchicum byzantium)
Colchicum byzantium is a fall flowering bulb native to the Mediterranean. As one can see in the photograph, it has a rather interesting growth habit as it flowers without any leaves present on the plant. It is not leafless however, Colchium byzantium does produce large glossy leaves in the spring, but these die back in the late summer. The plant is then often briefly forgotten until the flowers emerge from the ground in early to late fall. Due to its common name, Autumn Crocus, Colchium is often confused with true fall-flowering Crocuses such as Crocus cartwrightianus and Crocus medius. They can be easily differentiated in two ways: first, the flower of true Fall Crocus tends to be a blue-lavender or white color, whereas Colchium flowers are pinkish or a pink-lavender. For those willing to take a closer look at the flower, Colchicum will have six stamens, whereas the true Fall Crocus will have only three.
Colchicum is a new addition to the Rose Kennedy Greenway, planted just a few weeks ago in the small planting bed near the corner of Stillman and Endicott streets.
Fireworks Rough-stemmed Goldenrod (Solidago rugosa ‘Fireworks’)
A fall flowering perennial native to most of the Eastern United Sates, Rough-stemmed Goldenrod is an aggressive grower and colonizer growing to approximately three feet tall (though specimens up to twice that size have been recorded). The cultivar ‘Fireworks’ is often used in gardens as it does not spread as quickly as the wild variety, and the flowers tend to be longer and thinner than that of the standard species. Fireworks Rough-stemmed Goldenrod can currently be seen flowering in both the Fort Point Channel and Wharf District Parks.
Winter King Green Hawthorn (Crataegus viridus ‘Winter King’)
Winter King Green Hawthorn is a thornless cultivar of Hawthorn which should grow to approximately 20’ tall. Though it does flower well in the mid-spring, the main reason ‘Winter King’ is planted is for its fruits, which are nearly half of an inch in diameter, significantly larger than the standard species. The fruits appear green in the mid summer, slowly turning into a deep red as fall approaches. Several Winter King Trees can currently be seen bearing full loads of fruit in the Wharf District Parks.
Also in Bloom:
• North End Parks: Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia), Robust Grape-leaf Anemone (Anemone tomentosa ‘Robustissima’)
• Wharf District Parks: Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis), Perennial Sunflower (Helianthus strumosus and decapetalus)
• Urban Arboretum: Zebra Chinese Silvergrass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’)
• Fort Point Channel Parks: Winter Red Winterberry (fruiting) (Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Red’), Chocolate Snakeroot (Eupatorium rugosum ‘Chocolate’) Whirlwind Anemone (Anemone ‘Whirlwind’)
• Dewey Square Park: Pamina Anemone (Anemone ‘Pamina’)
• Chinatown Park: Adagio Chinese Silvergrass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Adagio’), Annual Chrysanthemums.