Bulbs and bulblike plants, Herbs, Vegetables
About 500 species, all from the Northern Hemisphere, many from the mountains of the West. Relatives of the edible onion, they are peerless as cut flowers (fresh or dried) and useful in borders; smaller kinds are effective in rock gardens. Bear small flowers in roundish, compact or loose clusters at ends of leafless stems that range in height from 6 in. to 5 ft. or taller. Many are delightfully fragrant; those with onion odor must be bruised or cut to give it off. Bloom in spring or summer, with flowers in white and shades of pink, rose, violet, red, blue, and yellow.
All prefer well-drained soil (preferably on the sandy side), enriched before planting with organic matter. In fall or spring, plant bulbs as deep as their heigh or width, whichever is greater. Space smaller species 4–6 in. apart, larger ones 8–12 in. apart. Cut back on watering or let soil go dry when foliage begins to yellow after flowering. Foliage dies to the ground, even in mild-winter areas. Lift and divide only after clumps become crowded.
From Southeast Asia. Clumps of gray-green, flat leaves 1/4 in. wide, 1 ft. long or less. Abundance of 1 to 1 1/2 ft. tall stalks bear clusters of flowers in summer. Flowers have scent of violets, are excellent for fresh or dry arrangements. Leaves have mild garlic flavor, are useful in salads and cooked dishes.
Native from Europe to Siberia. Clumps grow 2 ft. high (usually shorter). Leaves look grasslike but are...
The tomato is an Andean native. Easy to grow and prolific, tomatoes are just about the most widely gro...
Mediterranean native grows 1 to 1 1/2 ft. high, 9 in.wide. Delicate fernlike foliage; flat clusters of...