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Three Legal Immigrants


By AndrewR


This time last year, I was getting ready to fly to Kazakhstan for a two week botanising holiday. While there, we saw many interesting plants and since my return, I have been trying to track them down to grow in my own garden. Sadly, not all of them are in cultivation and others are extremely difficult, if not impossible, in our different climate. But three so far are growing for me and are in flower now.

We saw several tulips growing in the mountains in Kazakhstan but so far I have only managed to get hold of one, tulipa kolpakowskiana. This is only eight inches tall and needs a sunny spot with protection from winter wet. This is it growing in its home

And in my home

Fritillaries are a family I am becoming fascinated with. We saw absolute stunners on the holiday, growing quite happily in the mountains. Over here, they have to contend with wet winters and slugs but I hope I can make them happy. Fritillaria stenanthera has pink flowers on stems about nine inches high in the wild

My plant was forced a little by the grower so is a little taller (and the stems require support)

Fritillaria sewerzowii was one of the holiday highlights. Growing a little taller at twelve inches, it came in various yellow, green, brown and purple shades. This is one of the best plants we saw in the wild

And here it is, fighting off the slugs here in Berkshire

There are several other plants I hope to track down but for now, I have these three to remind me of my time in the mountains of Kazakhstan.

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Thanks for the pictures, Andrew. I love seeing plants in the wild. Try as we might, we can never manage to recreated their home environment in our gardens. Your Fritillaria stenanthera, for example is a wonderful bulb but is a little drawn because we just don't get the same levels of light in the UK as in Kazakhstan.

10 Apr, 2009


You are right about light levels bulbaholic. I bought it at the RHS Show last week and the grower had kept it in a cold store for a week as well to hold it back (the flowers were almost white when I bought it but are colouring up again now) so that would have 'drawn' it too

10 Apr, 2009


Thanks for the interesting blog with the photos of plants.

10 Apr, 2009


What beautiful flowers. Thats what I like about GOY. You get to see so many lovely plants that you have never seen before and some you never even knew existed.

10 Apr, 2009


I love the Fritillaria sewerzowii, now that would look good in my garden. Where did you get that one from?

10 Apr, 2009


I have just put a picture of my kolpakowskiana in my photo file, Andrew. It would seem that the cultivated form is slightly darker than that in the wild?

10 Apr, 2009


TnT - it came from a company called Living Colour, Long Rock, Penzance, Cornwall - tel: 01736 335851 (I don't think they have a website). I've been ordering from them for several years and always had good service

Bulbaholic - I think the wild ones were going over when we saw them. I seem to remember mine faded too as the flowers aged

10 Apr, 2009


what a smashing blog and so good to get these wonderful plants growing in your garden.

10 Apr, 2009


Very interesting blog,pleased that you have managed to get some of these plants and also to actually grow them in our climate, stunning photo,s.......

10 Apr, 2009


Living Colour of Penzance is the paper catalogue of Jaques Amand International. The actual connection is more compex than that and I don't understand it completely.
For a web site go to I can personally recommend their stock.

11 Apr, 2009


Thanks for that I shall give them a call.

11 Apr, 2009


Incredible how you managed to have them growing in your enviroment.
Thanks for sharing the pictures Andrew

13 Apr, 2009

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