General information: around 1100 taxons

Area: 0.3 ha

The collection of bulbous, rhizomatous and tuberous plants presents taxa belonging mainly to the following families: Garlic (Alliaceae), Lily (Liliaceae), Iris (Iridaceae) and Amaryllidaceae. These plants produce underground storage organs which enable them to survive adverse winter conditions in temperate climates or the dry season in tropical and subtropical regions.

Different species of plants that flower in early spring have been planted on the shady bed to the north of the yew row. Bulbs, irises, sapphires, snowdrops, snowdrops, tinsel and many others can be seen there. There are also spring-flowering crocuses, narcissi and chequerwort nearby.

The collection includes almost 50 taxons of  garlic. They are planted in a gravel-strewn plot among the chinchocks. Some garlics grow vigorously in spring, but their leaves dry out when they flower (in May/June). Examples include giant garlic (Allium giganteum) or ‘Globemaster’ garlic, both of which have huge, purple, spherical inflorescences. Other species retain their foliage throughout the growing season but usually have less striking inflorescences. The following are worthy of note: an ornamental variety of chives (Allium schoenorassum ‘Forescate’) and ‘Spirale’ – a variety of blue garlic (Allium senescens) with its decorative arrangement of leaves. In addition to the garlics, desert candles (Eremurus) and asphodelus (Asphodelus) grow among the irises. Unlike the garlics, they have very long, narrow inflorescences.

The collection of species and varieties of irises includes 234 taxons. Among these the so-called botanical species are especially valuable. They belong to four different types of habitats: water, marsh, wet and dry. Bearded irises are the most numerous and, on the basis of flowering time and growth, can be divided into three groups: short, intermediate and tall (often called American). So far, tens of thousands of varieties have been bred, and differ in colour and shape of flowers, height of inflorescence stems and time of flowering. In addition to modern varieties, the collection also includes old varieties of iris, some even dating back to the 19th century. Although they have smaller flowers, they are characterised by more luxuriant flowering and greater resistance to fungal diseases.

The collection also includes several dozen species and varieties of lilies. Asian hybrid varieties are the most numerous group. Their flowers have various colours, from white to dark red, which we can enjoy at the turn of July and August. Lilies from the group of oriental hybrids are less numerous. Their flowers are usually white, pink and fragrant.

The gladiolus also blooms in the summer. The collection includes the Abyssinian Gladiolus, a species with small, strongly scented flowers. Late summer is the time of flowering for the canna, one species and more than 50 varieties of which are included in the collection. Like gladioli, they are not hardy, so their rhizomes must be dug up for the winter. Summer-flowering plants also include lesser-known species such as the calla lily, tulbaghia, tuberose or the galtonia.

Winterberries which bloom from late August until the coming of frost are also noteworthy. Their leaves appear in spring. In July, they dry up and the plants go into apparent dormancy before flowering in the autumn. However, it should be remembered that, although beautiful, they are very poisonous plants. Autumn varieties of saffron, such as the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus), bloom right after colchicum. The stigma of the saffron crocus are one of the world’s most expensive spices.

Photo authors:

Mirosława Kamińska

Wiesław Gawryś

Monika Kloss

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