Why bad tasting bulbs are a good thing

Thu. Aug. 18, 2016

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Why bad tasting bulbs are a good thing

Why would bad tasting bulbs be a good thing?  Because deer, squirrels and other rodents list them as last choice on the buffet called your garden!  Colorblends President Tim Schipper is a 3rd generation bulbsman out of Connecticut and he shared a list of bulbs that are a feast for our eyes but not on the squirrels menu.

  • daffodils
  • snow drops
  • snow flakes
Snowflakes

Snowflakes

Daffodils - Golden Echo

Daffodils – Golden Echo

All three of these bulbs contain lycorine, a bitter alkaloid that’s toxic when eaten.

These bulbs are critter resistant in varying degrees due to their bad taste:

  • alliums
  • starflowers
  • glory of the snow
  • blue squill
blue squill

blue squill

 

Unfortunately, tulips and crocuses, which are eye candy for us are candy for deer and rodents!  Your best bet if deer are the biggest problem are:

  • allium
  • camassia – which looks a bit like hyacinth (with varying shades of white and purple)
  • glory-of-the snow
  • winter wolf’s bane aka winter aconite – a darling little yellow cutie
  • crown imperial – again yellow but the flower heads hang down
  • snake’s head –  a purple flower whose single bloom hangs downward is also called checkered lily
  • starflower
  • blue squill
Crown imperial

Crown imperial

Snakeshead aka checkered lily

Snakeshead aka checkered lily

Camissia

Camissia

And there you have it, no smelly sprays, fences or firearms… just bad taste.

 

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