Chionodoxa

Chionodoxa

Chionodoxa is popularly known as the ‘Glory of the snow’. It is a bulbous genus belonging to the family of Hyacinthaceae. The species are mainly from mountain habitats in Crete, Cyprus and Turkey and most of them are endemic to the eastern Mediterranean region. They grow on mountains and in forests and they bloom as the last snow melts. They are strong enough, that it could live through the winter without any protection from the weather and like cool summer temperatures as well. The plant is named from Greek words, ‘chion’ for snow and ‘oxa’ for glory. There are six species of Chionodoxa that occur in those regions, stated above. Some countries have naturalized them from gardens outside of their native regions. Their bloom times are usually, later winter or early spring and mid spring. Their foliage is dark or black herbaceous. The flowers are usually star-shaped, blue in color, have white centers and appear in racemes of four to twelve flower heads. Chionodoxa seeds about freely in many gardens and therefore it intrudes itself into unwanted places, which is quite irritating.

Cultivation: Growing Chionodoxa is very easy. Moreover it self-seeds freely and usually forms colony, which makes it easier. They do well in full sunlight exposure, though some prefer to grow in light shades. Growing them under deciduous trees is a good idea because they bloom very much earlier, before the trees leaf out. Glory of the snow, requires even moisture when it grows. It is dormant when the summer in ahead and can withstand even drought. However, it is good to offer them a consistently moist soil and also do not let the soil dry out between watering. It is preferable to plant these bulbs about three inches deep and the fall for very early spring bloom is suitable for this. Even though growing Chionodoxa is very easy, care must be taken for better results. Their bloom color includes medium blue, violet and whitish. It is good to prefer mildly acidic and mildly alkaline soils.

Propagation: There are certain methods for propagation in Chionodoxa, which are not so complicated. The propagation methods includes, by dividing and by seed. Propagation can be done by dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets). This quite easy to do, though many do not prefer this method of propagation since the other method is much easier and convenient. Thus in this method, bulbs are divided and planted. They have to be planted about three inches deep in the fall for ever early spring bloom. Much space between the bulbs may not be left. The other method of propagation is by the seeds. This method is very easy and many prefer this one. To collect the seeds, allow pods to dry on the plant itself and break open, collect the seeds. The plant can be gown from the collected seeds in a cold frame. Usually the plant seeds about freely and starts to grow in almost all places forming a colony. Though, the bulbs are would not be deep and can be easily move.

Varieties: There are almost seven species in the genus Chionodoxa. Four of them occur in the West Turkey, one in Southwest Turkey, two in Crete and one in Cyprus. Some species such as Chionodoxa siehei and Chionodoxa luciliae have been naturalized from areas out of their native range. For example, UK, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands have taken Chionodoxa to their gardens. There are various other varieties which are called by various common names, as follows. Chionodoxa forbesii, is known as ‘forbes glory of the snow’ from Southwest Turkey. Chionodoxa albescens, is known as ‘white glory of the snow’ from Crete. Chionodoxa lochiae, is known as ‘louch’s glory of the snow’ from Cyprus. Chionodoxa luciliae, is known as the ‘lucile’s glory of the snow’ from West Turkey. Chionodoxa nana, is known as ‘dwarf glory of the snow’ from Crete. Chionodoxa sardensis, is known as ‘lesser glory of the snow’ from West Turkey. Chionodoxa siehei, is known as ‘siehe’s glory of the snow’ from West Turkey. Chionodoxa tmoli, is known as ‘Tmolus glory of the snow’, from West Turkey. Since the common name of Chionodoxa is popularly known as the ‘Glory of the snow’, their varieties are also called by the same.

Disease and Cure : The Chionodoxa does not seem to be prone to disease. They are hardy, and resistant to diseases. Thus they can even thrive in winter without any protection towards the weather and that’s why, they are called Glory of the snow. Their foliage dies back and mostly disappears in the summer. This is one of the characteristics of the plant and may not be misunderstood as a disease. Chionodoxa is also not seemed to be attacked by pests. Therefore it may be considered that there no problems with Chionodoxa.


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