Bud-Burst: Nectaroscordums

Nectaroscordum 3
A newly-opened head of nectaroscordum flowers, with some of the buds still pointing upwards.

As spring becomes summer, there are new flowers opening every day. I wander round my garden, eyeing up the fresh buds with great anticipation – just waiting for the first glimpse of colour as the petals begin to unfold and burst out of their casings.

Nectaroscordum siculum (Sicilian honey garlic) is one of the plants I like to watch develop from bud to flower. It starts off with its buds all wrapped up in a papery covering, which you can see in the photo below. The buds look almost like a bunch of miniature tulips in a florists’ wrap as they peep out from behind their thin cover.

Nectaroscordum Buds 2
Buds emerging from their paper-like covering.

Gradually the individual flower buds manage to wriggle free of their protection. They then begin to move from sitting upright to hanging downwards as the bell-shaped flowers get ready to open. It takes a little while for the buds to get from being upright to hanging down, so that the flower head goes through a stage of having some of its buds still sticking upwards – making it look a bit like it has an unruly hair-do! (Top photo.)

Nectaroscordum Buds 3
And they’re out! The first buds emerge.

Eventually, all the flowers hang down, in a graceful umbel at the top of a tall stem. (And it sways in the slightest breeze, making it a little tricky to photograph if the air isn’t still!) Later, after the flowers have been pollinated, the seed pods will all turn upright again. Those little flower stems are extraordinarily mobile!

The flowers are a lovely sight, coloured with a soft blend of purply-pinks and cream that rather reminds me of mother-of-pearl.

Nectaroscordums are very easy to grow in a well-drained soil in sun and seem drought-tolerant in my garden. They multiply well too, though it will take a few years before the seedlings flower. If I’m lucky, maybe I’ll end up with a sea of them – that would certainly keep me happily taking photographs!

Nectaroscordum Flower 1
The top buds are starting to point downwards before opening.

23 thoughts on “Bud-Burst: Nectaroscordums

    1. Thank you for the lovely comments, Ali! They’re very easy to grow. (Trying to do for your ‘plants to buy’ list what you do for mine, hehe! 🙂 )

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  1. Hi Ann, I really enjoyed this, and I have shared this on my site. I am not familiar with this flower, and I know I have some gardening readers who would enjoy it. It is great to read about a plant that thrives on shade and proliferates. Thank you. If you would like me to take it down I will, as you don’t have the re-press icon on your site. Hermione

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    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Hermione! Nectaroscordums prefer sun, but they will be OK in dappled shade too. I hope your readers enjoy the post too! 🙂

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      1. Doesn’t it just, hehe! Sometimes it feels as if there was no breeze at all until you decide to take a photograph! There’s a lot of waiting involved in flower photography! 🙂

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    1. Thanks Syd! The buds are very small – and the number on each head varies a lot. I need to remember to pick one to photograph in the studio today ‘cos it won’t be long before they’ve gone over.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you like them Jill! I never saw them either, until I saw them in a gardening magazine a few years ago and was smitten. Fortunately they’re easy to grow in well-drained soil and sun. 🙂

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