The top 8 lesser known summer bulbs, corms and tubers
- Ornithogalum saundersiae (Giant Chincherinchee, Ivory Coast Lily) is one of these lesser known gems. This Ornithogalum species bears white umbel-shaped inflorescences on stems one metre tall from the end of July to early September depending on the weather conditions.
- Tigridia (Tiger Flower, Mexican Shell Flower) has colourful fluttering flowers and wide, grass-like leaves. This summer bulb used to be available only in colour mixtures but is now sold in single colours as well.
- Gladiolus callianthus ‘’Murielae’ (Abyssinian Gladiolus, Acidanthera) is a highly ornamental summer bulb with a delightful fragrance and sword-shaped leaves. Its white, star-shaped flowers with a maroon centre are produced late in the season.
- Leucocoryne (related to Allium) is an elegant, strong, slender bulbous plant bearing fragrant flowers on stems 25 to 50 cm tall.
- Ixia produces star-shaped flowers on long stems between 30 and 45 centimetres tall and is available in a range of colours.
- Cosmos atrosanguinea is a summer-flowering tuberous plant with slender stems that bear deep red, velvety flowers similar to single-flowering dahlias. Because the flowers smell like chocolate, this tuberous plant is also known as Chocolate Cosmos.
- Zantedeschia (Calla Lily) produces decorative leaves and elegant, very dramatic flowers on long stems. Calla lilies are available in a wide range of colours.
- Galtonia (Summer Hyacinth, Spire Lily) has white to greenish-white bell-shaped flowers that make it a lovely addition to any planting. It is also a favourite of honeybees.