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Diploid hybrid bulbs and corms

Diploid hybrid bulbs and corms
Photo: PIRSA
Invasive Plant
Diploid hybrid bulbs and corms
Narcissus pseudonarcissus, Sparaxis, Freesia, Babiana, Ornithogalum thyrsoides, Watsonia meriana

Many old favourites of the cottage bulb garden such as Narcissus pseudonarcissus, Sparaxis, Freesia, Babiana, Ornithogalum thyrsoides(chincherinchee), Watsonia meriana and Chasmanthe floribunda (Aunt Eliza) have encroached into the bush due to deliberate planting and dumping. These are often seed producing, and the weedier species have small bulbils on the stems that allow local vegetative spread.  All are summer-dormant, sprouting and producing grass-like leaves at the autumn break and flowering in spring. They compete with native ground flora and change the appearance of native vegetation because they have conspicuous flowers.

It’s better to grow some of the modern hybrid and polyploid cultivars. As well as having larger flowers in a wider range of colours and a neater compact growth habit, they are less able to live in the wild.



Corms and bulbs regrow annually from an underground swollen food-storing stem or bulb. They produce fruit which break open at maturity to release seeds which are dispersed by water and birds.  These invade disturbed areas, displacing native vegetation, particularly native orchids.

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Additional suggested alternatives: Dutch Iris cultivars (eg. Iris x hollandica 'Telstar', 'Purple Sensation'); peacock iris (Moraea aristata), day lily (Hemerocallis cultivars) as well as the more delicate, native Bulbine lily / leek lily (Bulbine bulbosa) 


Alternative Plants

Chocolate lily, vanilla lily
Photo: South Australian Seed Conservation Centre
Alternative Plant Chocolate lily, vanilla lily
Arthropodium strictum
Bulbous Plants
A perennial Australian native lily with scented mauve flowers from late winter through spring. Commonly named Chocolate or Vanilla Lily due to its sweet scent, the tall flower stalks continue flowering with multiple flowers to a height of 50cm.
Daffodil and jonquil cultivars
Photo: Botanic Gardens of South Australia
Alternative Plant Daffodil and jonquil cultivars
Narcissus cultivars and certain species
Bulbous Plants
Easily grown, spring-flowering bulbs, including trumpet flowered and hoop petticoat daffodils and the multi-headed sweet smelling jonquils, ranging from white through to sunny yellow.    Varieties are available that flower from mid winter to well into spring.  Narcissus are happy in full-sun or part-shade, but won't flower in dense shade.  They can be grown in either pots or as mass drifts in the garden.  Plant them under deciduous trees like and they will grow beautifully.
Popular cultivars and non-invasive species include Narcissus 'Erlicheer', N. papyraceus, N. bulbocodium, N. 'Fyno' and  N. 'Spoirot'.
Garland lily
Photo: Gondwana Landscapes & Consultancy and State Flora
Alternative Plant Garland lily
Calostemma purpureum
Bulbous Plants
A perennial succulent Australian Native Lily arising from a bulb with deep pink to wine red flowers arriving before the foliage. It is upright growing to 40cm in height and 10-20cm wide. Suited to full sun to dappled shade in well drained soils. Planted en masse they provide a stunning display in early Autumn. 
Watsonia cultivars
Photo: John Zwar
Alternative Plant Watsonia cultivars
Watsonia borbonica 'Arderne's White' and W. 'Lilac Towers'
Bulbous Plants
Watsonias make handsome clumps of sword shaped leaves. During, spring strong branching  flower spikes are produced, each spike has dozens of white flared dusky pink trumpets. Can flower for two months or more.  Foliage can be cut to the ground in early summer.  Thrives in full sun 120cm x 60cm.
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