The foliage of Asphodeline damascena is looking absolutely wonderful…like a blue beetle’s wig from the 1960s. This little-known member of the Asphodel family hails from the dry deserts of Turkey and Syria/Lebanon. Other current members of the family include the genus Aloe, Haworthia, Hemerocallis, and Kniphofia. The short spikes of white flowers will appear soon, but we’d be happy if this never flowered.
One of our favorite borage family members, Trachystemon orientalis is flowering this week in the woodland garden. Native to Bulgaria and Turkey, this late winter-flowering groundcover is quite tough. The foliage dies away in fall, but not long before the emergence of flowers and a new round of foliage. Hardiness Zone 6a-8b.
Flowering for the last week in the garden is the lovely winter iris, Iris reticulata ‘Painted Lady’. Iris reticulata is unusual in that it has bulbs instead of rhizomes. In the wild, it calls home the dry regions from Turkey to Iran. These spring ephemeral iris go to sleep for the year by late spring/early summer. Hardiness is Zone 5a-8b, at least.