With the national debate on immigration raging, and Independence Day just past, we’ve been thinking a lot lately about the plants in our gardens that have come from other countries.
From tulips and peonies to dahlias and iris, our gardens are filled with immigrants. And although it’s possible to have a garden of only native plants, and some immigrant plants have turned out to be thugs, I think gardeners of all persuasions would agree that our lives have been enriched by 99% of the once-foreign flowers that have made themselves at home here.
So here’s a list of where most of the bulbs we offer came from originally. As you may notice, some are listed in more than one area because, to Nature, it’s all one world.
Mexico and South America – dahlias, tuberoses, rain lilies, oxblood lily.
Africa – gladiolus, freesia, crocosmia.
China, Japan, and Korea – most peonies and daylilies, tiger lily, Formosa lily, gold-band lily, red spider lily, pink surprise lily.
Asia from Turkey and Syria to Afghanistan and Mongolia – tulips, hyacinths, crocus, bearded iris, regal lily, Madonna lily, Byzantine glads, Elwes snowdrop, Turkish glory-of-the-snow, Allium sphaerocephalum, sowbread cyclamen, sternbergia, Siberian squill (which, despite its name, is not from Siberia).
Europe – daffodils, bearded iris, crocus, martagon lilies, Madonna lily, Byzantine glads, lemon daylily, traditional snowdrops, snowflakes (Leucojum), Spanish bluebells, winter aconite, snake’s-head fritillary, Grecian windflower, Allium sphaerocephalum, sowbread cyclamen, sternbergia.
North America –trillium, jack-in-the-pulpit, Dutchman’s breeches, Lilium superbum.