A bulb is an underground, modified stem that develops in some flowering plants. Its purpose is to store food and water for the plant through a cold or dry season. Many popular flowers like the Tulips, Lilies, Narcissus, Gladiolus, etc., fall under the category of bulbs, through which they propagate. These flowers are thus popularly referred to as flower bulbs or bulb flowers.
Classification of Flower Bulbs
Flower Bulbs are classified broadly into 2 categories based on the season in which they bloom- spring-flowering bulbs, which are planted in the fall and summer and fall-flowering bulbs, which are planted in the spring.
Flower Bulbs are also classified into 2 more categories based on the hardiness- hardy bulbs (daffodil, tulip, lily, etc.), which survive the winter right in the ground to bloom again the following year and tender bulbs (canna, dahlia, etc.), which also flower year after year, but in cold climates, they must be dug up in the fall for replanting in the subsequent spring after keeping it indoors during the winter.
Spring Flowering Bulbs
The blooming season of spring bulbs is usually from late winter to early summer, depending on the species. After the blooming season, spring bulbs continue to grow and store food for a period of time before dying back to ground level and becoming dormant during the summer and the fall. Spring-flowering bulbs start to grow roots again in the fall and winter to prepare for the following spring bloom. Spring bulbs are planted in the fall or early winter.
Here is a list of some popular spring-flowering bulbs-
- Fritillaria (Guinea Hen Flower)
- Winter Aconite
- Glory of the Snow
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Summer & Fall Flowering Bulbs
The blooming season of these bulbs is varies a lot. Summer- and fall-flowering bulbs need both plenty of water while growing and well-drained soil. There are summer and fall bulbs that will grow well in sun or shade. Summer-flowering bulbs should be planted in the spring after danger of frost is past.
Here is a list of some popular summer-flowering bulbs-
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Following are some of the trusted bulb sellers in different countries or regions-
- Broadleigh Bulbs: Europe and UK
- Garden Express: Australia and Newzealand
- Veseys: Canada
- White Flower Farm: USA
Pseudobulbs are not true bulbs, but they resemble bulbs in certain features. They are of 3 types-
Corm: Solid, bulblike underground stem, resembling a bulb but without its scales and sometimes with a membranous coat. Typical examples are the corms of crocus and gladiolus. Corms bear roots at the base and nourish the young plant just as bulbs do.
Tuber: Swollen underground storage organ, modified from a root or rhizome, with buds where new shoots and roots develop after a dormant period. Examples are dahlias, and tuberous begonias.
Rhizome: Horizontal underground stem, often swollen into a storage organ. Both roots and shoots emerge from rhizomes. Rhizomes generally branch as they creep along and can be divided to make new plants. Typical examples are the rhizomes of iris and gingers.