Thursday 2 November 2017

Acis autumnalis - the Autumn snowflake

Autumn snowflake
If you investigate acis via a search engine you will find plenty about pubs, german shepherds and sea nymphs, lots about estate agents  and financial institutions but nothing about plants.

Every garden should have some
If you try Acis autumnalis you will fair rather better and find this slightly trendy exquisite late Summer/Autumn bulb. Every plant connoisseur should have one.

It appreciates my gravel garden
I do not remember where I first got my own. Probably a green plant from an alpine nursery. I now have hundreds as they bulk up very easily. Just as well as the going rate for the sturdy small bulbs is in the region of two pounds each!  Peter Williams who provides most of today’s pictures spotted some at very much more!

Actually not green, the stems and leaves are rather more brown
I suspect that they move best as a green plant or bulbs straight out of the ground. If you do buy dry bulbs get them fresh and immediately plant them - whenever this may be. If a friend forks out a few for you - at any time of the year - plant them as soon as you get home.

Spot mine
They grow best in an open well drained sunny position. Mine love the gravel mulch in my rock garden. They do well for Peter in the less shaded  parts of his woodland garden. Perhaps since learning about their value I have increased my stock all around my garden!
Apart from teasing apart small clusters of bulbs to divide them they set seed freely. I have not found them to self sow but if ripe seed is collected and sown in a pot straight away they are very easy. Sown seed is probably best overwintered in an unheated greenhouse and I suspect like most hardy Spring bulbs they require the Winter's cold before they germinate. Peter reports that his acis flowered in their second year from seed.

Peter's pictures below show how he divided his own acis this Summer

Peter has elected to dig out a complete clump
Rather a large lump!
What lovely fat bulbs
I suspect Peter potted two or three bulbs in small pots. Alternatively they can be divided and go straight in the ground.

Tough little plants enjoy the wet weather
Where to buy acis seed

My previous efforts on bulbs and corms

Ipheon - dubbed by a reader as a telephone plant!
Hyacinth (Bouquet)

There are three posts on cyclamen and three on daffodils linked to by clicking them in the theme column
Also you will find indoor bulbs  (amaryllis and clivia)

Also my posts on achimenes


  1. What a lovely little flower.
    Have you ever grown clivias from the seeds produced. The one that you gave me has several fat seed pods so I’m looking for tips on how to sow and grow. At the moment the pods are fat and red and I’m not sure whether they are ripe or I need to leave them longer.

    1. No I haven't Sue but It is a successful means of propagation..
      I understand that when the pods become soft and red is the time to collect seed which remains viable for at least several months.
      It does need warm conditions to germinate and is most successful in a heated propagator.
      I intended to have a try last year but Brenda cut mine off whist it was still hard!

  2. It is a very elegant little flower, and I must admit I have never consciously come across it until your post.

    1. I got mine perhaps ten years ago and promptly forgot its name! Peter Williams eventually tracked it down for me. And as mentioned just googling acts does not find it! And as you can see the wretched spell checker changes it.

  3. Oh ! That is so I,ve got to have one ! :)


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