Lookin' for Bulbs (in All the Wrong Places!)
(11/07/2004) - I've seen plenty of bulbs in my time - daffodil, tulip, etc. - and even eaten a few - onions & garlic. The Cardiocrinum bulb is a little bit different, at least at this tender age. First, I dug a big hole and filled it with wonderful light, fluffy soil, displacing the nasty blue clay that occupies most of my yard. Then I inverted the pot, hoping to eject an intact cube of soil into my hand to be gently placed directly into the waiting hole. Much to my horror, a big pile of loose dirt dropped into my hand, sans that elusive 'bulb'. I turned the pot back over and peered into the now vacant darkness. This can't be good, I was telling myself.
After a little prodding the remaining soil and the plant emerged. Take a look at this. Essentially, the 'bulb' is the joining of the fleshy leaves, terminating with a bundle of rather fat roots. So, after quickly snapping this picture (I was prepared as I planted the second one - camera in one hand, baby cardio in the other) I carefully placed the delicate plant in the ground.
The vulnerability of the plants at this age is a little surprising when you consider the eventual size it is expected to achieve. It just kind of sits there on top of the soil all exposed and vulnerable anchored only by a few fleshy roots. Beware of any activity that could bump or bend the plant. I'm pretty sure it'll just snap off of its roots and that'll be the end of it. I'll be curious to see how this configuration changes as the plant matures. To be continued...