It’s always a nice surprise to discover a plant in flower in the garden that I thought long dead! Yesterday I discovered a plant that I’m pretty sure is Ornithogalum pyramidale (Pyramidal star-of-Bethlehem). I planted 8 two year old plants in this location in 2016. This species is used in a similar way to Bath asparagus (Ornithogalum pyrenaicum) as I wrote in my book: “There are at least three other similar species used in a similar way in the Mediterranean, Ornithogalum narbonense (mainly in eastern parts) and O. pyramidale and O. creticum (Dogan et al., 2004; Rivera et al., 2006).” I’ll have to rediscover it a bit earlier next year!
On my way north from Vienna to Oslo, I found myself unexpectedly with a 4 hour wait in Gothenburg in Sweden, and there was no hesitation to visit one of the great botanical gardens. I had no idea what there would be to see in January but with the mild winter I was surprised how much there was to see. Here are a collection of wierd and wonderful edibles in the unique bulb house!
It seemed that it was going to be spring before I could plant my garlic this year after the soil froze solid at the end of October, taking me by surprise! Then a long mild period starting at Xmas, the soil finally became workable the day before leaving for England and I got all my varieties planted, although I was unable to mix in compost as the compost heap was still frozen! About 10 varieties this year! This is the latest I’ve planted garlic since I planted my first shop bought garlic in 1984!
On the other hand oriental hybrids “are based on hybrids within Lilium section Archelirion,specifically Lilium auratum and Lilium speciosum, together with crossbreeds from several species native to Japan, including Lilium nobilissimum, Lilium rubellum, Lilium alexandrae, and Lilium japonicum. They are fragrant, and the flowers tend to be outward facing. Plants tend to be tall, and the flowers may be quite large. The whole group are sometimes referred to as “stargazers” because many of them appear to look upwards”
I’ve never tasted hybrid lilies, but maybe I should as two of the asiatics and all the 6 oriental species involved are eaten in Japan…most importantly L.auratum which is cultivated for markets on a field scale, the others mainly foraged I think! I wonder if anyone has hybridised lilies for food rather than beauty….an interesting project for someone perhaps?