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Kazakhstan Revisited (5) - Old Friends


By AndrewR


There were many bulbs and other small plants that I saw in flower on my previous trip to Kazakhstan in April 2008. By climbing high into the mountains, we were able to see some of them again.

Kazakshstan is home to some 36 species of tulip, some of which are available from specialist nurseries to grow here in the UK. The secret to growing them successfully is good drainage, especially in winter when cold and wet bulbs will rot. This is tulipa dasystemon

And the similar tulipa heterophylla, (which does not hold its flowers vertically)

Allium atrosanguineum seems to spend much of its life in bud

But we finally found some in flower

Of the thousands we saw, there was just one albino plant

Of the many flowers that we saw on my previous trip, rosa persica stood out. Breeders in America have been trying to breed a new family of roses incorporating its red blotch, but with limited success. It now appears it is not a rose, but a similar genus, hulthemia, which may explain the problem. Whatever the name, I still think it’s a great little plant (it only grows to around 18 inches)

Gymnospermium albertii grows from a small bulb and flowers in early spring. It is related to the shrub berberis

More tulips now. Tulipa kaufmanniana is a very variable one, and there are many named varieties available. It is easy to grow in the UK

Tulipa greggii is easily identifiable by the blotches on its leaves. It hybridises with T. kaufmanniana, but the resulting plants still have the markings on the foliage

Similar to tulipa dasystemon is tulipa dasystemonoides

Up at the snowline, we found one plant of fritillaria stenanthera still in flower

And nearby was corydalis ledebouriana – this grows well in my own garden, and flowers early in spring

Finally for this section, an allium that is readily available and easy to grow, allium karataviense. I prefer to grow it in a position where gravel or small stones cover the soil, reminding me of it in its native environment

To be continued

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Previous post: Plants In The Foliage Garden

Next post: Kazakhstan Revisited (6) - Eremurus



Fantastic ! Thank you for sharing with us all.

My GC had a new supply of about 50 Alpine Campanulas in 2 weeks ago. I bought 3. Decided to go back today, get another 6" x 18" planter, and get 3 more different ones.

Guess what, there was only one left ! Little plants get a lot of loving.

15 Jul, 2013


What a great blog Andrew. Small flowers but beautiful. That must have been a wonderful trip.

15 Jul, 2013


Really enjoyed this blog - and the previous ones! How fantastic to see all those flowers actually in the wild. Are you planning your next trip...

15 Jul, 2013


'Fraid not Stera. Some big work is planned in the garden for this autumn

15 Jul, 2013


Another wonderful blog Andrew.....

19 Jul, 2013

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