There is a general tendency not to equate acquiring new bulbs with growing them from seed. Unfortunately, there are many myths involved in raising bulbs from seed. People generally think that they take many years to grow and flower but that is only true for very few bulbs, usually in Amaryllidaceae. The majority of bulbs in other families will flower within three years of growing and many in their second year (relate that to how many years does an herbaceous perennial or a shrub need to reach adult size from seed!). People also believe that bulb seed is hard to germinate. Fresh bulb seed, especially of Mediterranean taxa, is usually guaranteed to sprout (and in most cases without specific germination techniques like cold stratification). Don’t be afraid to try some new bulbs from seed. It is very likely that this is the only way to find some species and you can fill a whole pot with flowers for the price you’d pay for one bulb or less!
Bulb Seed List
Acis autumnalis ‘September Snow’ 4€/20seeds
One of the cutest things for your autumn flowering bulb collection, these are really early flowering, usually responding with the first watering I give them in late August or early September. White flowers with a pink hue.
Albuca – An interesting genus from South Africa with peculiar flowers, the following are all spring flowering species and most tend to stay evergreen, keeping some leaves during winter but then coming back to full growth in spring. I like to sow their seeds in autumn and in case of a frost I protect the young seedlings. Keep the adult bulbs relatively dry during winter.
A.sp. Crackpot Hill, 3€/20seeds
A. sp. Graat Reinette, 3€/20seeds
A. sp. Graat Reinette, 3€/20seeds
A. suaveolens, 3€/20seeds
Allium – A mix of different species here, including winter and summer dormant plants, but if you’re serious about your garlics, then you’ll be able to find many details online. They range from tiny species like A.rubrovittatum that look best in small pots or the rockery, to huge species like A.nigrum that fit borders and bigger plantings.
A. acutiflorum, 4€/20seeds
A. amethystinum, 3.30€/20seeds
A. caeruleum, 3.50€/20seeds
A. carolinianum, 3.50€/20seeds SOLD OUT
A. convallarioides pink form, 3.50€/20seeds
A. crenulatum, 3.50€/20seeds
A. falcifolium, 3€/20seeds
A. fistulosum, 3€/20seeds
A. flavum subsp.tauricum yellow/brown forms, 3€/20seeds
A. flavum subsp.tauricum pink forms, 3€/20seeds
A. ´Forelock´, 3€/20seeds
A. gomphrenoides, 4€/20seeds
A. gutattum subsp. gutattum, 3€/20seeds
A. haematochiton, 4€/20seeds
A. komarowii, 3€/20seeds
A. macedonicum, 4€/20seeds
A. meteoricum, 4€/20seeds
A. myrianthum, 4€/20seeds
A. nigrum, 3€/20seeds
A. pallens, 4€/20seeds
A. plummerae, 3€/20seeds SOLD OUT
A. 'Red Mojican', 3€/30seeds SOLD OUT
A. rubrovittatum, 4€/20seeds
A. stamineum, 3.50€/20seeds
A. unifolium, 3€/20seeds
Arum– Winter growing tuberous plants that grow and flower in winter and spring and they stay dormant during summer. A.pictum is a fall flowering species and its bad smelling spathes appear before the leaves. Most have decorative seedheads in summer due their bright orange fleshy fruit.
A. apulum, 4€/10seeds
A. concinnatum, 4€/10seeds
A. pictum, 4€/10seeds
Babiana– South African corms with a range of sizes and colors. Once established they will multiply fast.
B. angustifolia, 4€/10seeds
Babiana stricta purple forms mixed, 3€/20seeds
Babiana stricta cream form, 4€/20seeds
Bellevalia – Mediterranean bulbs that look like Muscari but usually bigger. Easy to naturalize in the garden and they have beautiful inflated seedpods after the flowers are gone.
B. cyanopoda, 4€/5seeds SOLD OUT
B. dubia, 3€/20seeds
B. hyacinthoides, 4€/20seeds
B. kurdistanica, 4€/10seeds
B. pycnantha, 3€/20seeds
B. pycnantha ‘Green Pearl’ 3€/20seeds
B. romana, 3€/20seeds
B. trifoliata, 3€/20seeds
Brimeura amethystina, 4€/20seeds
A small bluebell like bulb from the Pyrenees, with the most clear sky blue flowers. Easy in a pot or in the garden. Too cute.
Brodiaea – Californian Allium relatives that flower usually late in the season, mostly late spring and early summer, with some exceptions. Their flower heads and individual flowers have a wide range of sizes and colours mainly in the purple spectrum.
B. californica, 4€/20seeds
B. californica Giant Pink form, 4€/20seeds
B. coronaria, 4€/20seeds SOLD OUT
B. elegans, 4€/20seeds
B. purdyi, 4€/10seeds SOLD OUT
Bulbinella – Winter growing rhizomatous perennials that flower in early spring with upright, candle like spikes of flowers in different colors. They will flower after 2-4 years from seed. They will clump up in time. Perfect accents for the Mediterranean summerdry border.
B. latifolia subsp.doleritica, 3.50€/20seeds
B. nutans, 3€/20seeds
Calochortus venustus, 3.5€/20seeds SOLD OUT
A pink form with red blotches that I collected in California.
Chasmanthe bicolor, 3.5€/20seeds
A smaller plant than its well-known C.floribunda relative, with very upright flower spikes of orange red flowers.
Chasmanthe floribunda var. duckitii, 3€/20seeds
Rather than the classic orange Chasmanthe, this is a yellow variety of the well-known species that leafs out early in the fall and flowers in early spring. Stunning massed.
Colchicum cupanii, 5€/20seeds
A Mediterranean species needing a long dry rest in the summer and flowering in October/November after the first autumn rains.
Conanthera campanulata, 7€/20seeds
A Chilean bulb with a very late flowering (late May and June for me). The blue pendant flowers on wiry stems make it look very dainty but it is a tough bulb.
Crocus – All of these are autumn flowering species and they usually flower the third year from seed.
C. cartwrightianus, 4€/20seeds
C. cartwrightianus 'Albus', 4€/20seeds
C. laevigatus, 3€/20seeds
C. pulchellus, 4€/20seeds
C. speciosus subsp. speciosus, 3€/20seeds
Cyanella hyacinthoides, 3€/20seeds
An interesting member of the Tecophilaeaceae from South Africa, this very late flowering beauty, sometimes into early summer, has basal leathery leaves that develop in winter and ever-expanding panicles of small blue flowers. Takes about 3 years to flower.
Cyclamen – A small selection of Mediterranean Cyclamen, these are all winter growing and autumn flowering species apart from C.persicum that leafs out early but flowers in spring.
C. graecum, 3€/20seeds
C. graecum ‘Album’, 4€/20seeds
C. hederifolium, 3€/20seeds
C. persicum, 3€/20seeds
Cypella herbertii, 4€/20seeds
A rather evergreen bulbous perennial from South America with beautiful orange yellow flowers for a long time in spring and summer. Sow in spring.
Dichelostemma (new name Dipterostemon) – Relatives of Alliums from the West Coast of the USA, I enjoy these for extending high above all other bulbs to expose their peculiar flower heads. One species, D.volubile has twisting flower stems in order to climb through shrubs of the chaparral in California. One of the few ‘climbing’ bulbs.
D.capitatum white form, 4€/20seeds
D.capitatum Giant form 4€/20seeds
D. congestum, 3€/20seeds
D. volubile, 3€/20seeds
Dipcadi serotinum, 3€/20seeds
A late winter/early spring flowering species from the Iberian Peninsula and northern Africa, with chocolate colored on stem up to 80cm high.
Dracunculus vulgaris, 3€/10seeds
The giant of the Mediterranean aroids, this will take a few years to flower from seed but once it does, it won't go unnoticeable, either duet to its size but also due to the corpse scent it will fill with you garden.
Drimia numidica, 4€/20seeds
Has gone through a lot of name changes (originally Urginea maritima). It takes patience to grow them from seed as they need to form big bulbs in order to flower. They like a dry baking under summer sun.
Drimia pusilla, 5€/20seeds SOLD OUT
A tiny species from South Africa that I keep with my cacti collection as it can easily root if watered too much.
Ennealophus fimbriatus 5€/20seeds
An Argentinian summer growing Iridaceae, with peculiar small blue/purple flowers on panicles over a long time. Sow in spring.
Ferraria – South African members of Iridaceae, these get great reviews for their exquisite flowers but rather mixed feelings for their perfume. You need to grow them to decide for yourself. Winter growing, summer dormant and they tend to send their bulbs to bottom of their pots.
F. crispa brown edges, 4€/20seeds
F. crispa dark yellow edges, 4€/20seeds
F. divaricata brown edges, 4€/20seeds
Freesia – Not your typical florists Freesias, here's an interesting selections of smaller but very beautiful species. F.leichtlinii has a great fragrance, better that most varieties you’ll find at your local flower shop. All are summer dormant.
F. corymbosa, 4€/20seeds
F. fucata, 4€/20seeds
F. leichtlinii, 3€/20seeds
F. verrucosa, 5€/20seeds
F. viridis, 3€/20seeds
Geissorhiza – Small south African iroid beauties, with flowers that open in full sun and have the most exciting combinations of flowers. Summer dormant.
G. corrugata, 4€/20seeds
G. inflexa var. erosa, 3€/20seeds
G. radians, 3.50€/20seeds
G. splendidissima, 3€/20seeds
G. tulbaghensis, 3€/20seeds
Gladiolus – Probably the most well-known genus of South African Iridaceae and quite likely the most varied. These are all winter growing species and flower in spring, including G.byzantinus and G.italicaus which are widespread around the Mediterranean.
G. angustus, 4€/20seeds
G. byzantinus, 3€/20seeds
G. carneus, 3€/20seeds
G. debilis, 4€/20seeds
G. gracilis, 4€/20seeds
G. italicus, 3€/20seeds
G. meliusculus, 4€/20seeds SOLD OUT
G. pulcherrimus, 4€/20seeds SOLD OUT
G. tristis, 3.50€/20seeds
G. uysiae, 4€/20seeds SOLD OUT
G. watermeyeri, 4€/20seeds SOLD OUT
Herbertia pulchella, 4€/20seeds
This beauty from South America with clear blue flowers looks dainty but it’s one of the easiest winter growing bulbs you can grow and flowers within 2 or 3 years of sowing. Stays dormant in summer.
Hesperantha - Winter growing South African iroids, this genus surprises me with how different individual species can look. Easy and flowers within 2 years from seed.
H. bachmanii, 3€/20seeds
H. cucullata, 3€/20seeds
H. oligantha, 3€/20seeds
H. pilosa, 4€/20seeds
Hyacinthella– Some of the smallest but most beautiful Hyacinth relatives, these are choice bulbs that will look best in display pots, to allow you to have closer looks at their flowers.
H. lazulina, 5€/20seeds SOLD OUT
H. leucophaea, 5€/20seeds SOLD OUT
Hyacinthoides – The Spanish bluebells (H. hispanica) are woodland bulbs under late leafing trees or semi-shady situations whereas all the other species can look rather different, but always in blue shades. They all prouduce bulbs that will multiply fast once established.
H. hispanica blue, 3€/20seeds
H. hispanica pink, 3€/20seeds SOLD OUT
H. mauritanica 3.5€/20seeds
H. reverchonii 4€/20seeds SOLD OUT
H. vicentina, 3.5€/20seeds
Hypoxis hemerocallidea, 3€/20seeds
If you thought Hypoxis species are small, you haven’t seen this one. With a rhizome that can reach the size of a volleyball and long Hemerocallis like pleated leaves between which rise stems of yellow flowers for a long time in late spring and summer. Goes dormant in winter but doesn’t have to stay dry.
Ipheion – Starflowers are perfect for naturalizing and multiply fast to form beautiful clumps that get covered in flowers in spring. Summer dormant but can take some summer moisture.
I. dialystemon, 4€/20seeds
I. 'Alberto Castillo' 3€/20seeds
Iris – The following are great Mediterranean species for the dry garden. Keep the dry in the summer for a good summer bake.
I. cycloglossa, 3€/10seeds SOLD OUT
I. hoogiana ‘Αmphion’, 4€/10seeds SOLD OUT
I. hoogiana ‘Antiope’, 4€/10seeds SOLD OUT
I. hoogiana ‘Hippolyta’, 4€/10seeds
I. missouriensis 3€/20seeds
I. orientalis, 3€/20seeds
I. palaestina, 5€/10seeds SOLD OUT
I. reichenbahii 4€/10seeds
Ι. spuria yellow form, 4€/20seeds
I. tuberosa ‘Smokey’ 6€/10seeds SOLD OUT
I. unguicularis subsp.unguicularis large flowered form 5€/20seeds
Ixia – Another group of winter growing iroids from South Africa. Most are rather delicate plants with long thin leaves and tall flowering stems with dainty flowers. I.pumilio is the dwarf of the group.
I. flexuosa pink form, 3€/20seeds
I. maculata orange form, 3.5€/20seeds
I. pumilio 4€/20seeds
I. ramulosa 3.5€/20seeds
Lachenalia – A big genus of South African Hyacinthaceae, sometimes with scented flowers. Summer dormant bulbs tend to dry up if the pots are out in full sun so I transfer them in a cold shady spot and I might give them just a little water, about once a month in the summer so that they will stay alive.
L. aloides var.bicolor, 4€/20seeds
L. anguinea, 4€/20seeds
L. arbuthnotiae, 3.50€/20seeds
L. bachmanii, 3.50€/20seeds
L. bulbifera, 3.50€/20seeds
L. elegans var.suaveolens, 4€/20seeds
L. liliiflora, 3.50€/20seeds
L. matthewsii, 3.50€/20seeds
L. mutabilis, 3.50€/20seeds SOLD OUT
L. orthopetala, 3€/20seeds
L. unicolor, 3€/20seeds
L. zeyheri, 3€/20seeds
Lapeirousia – South African winter growing iroids, with quite an amazing diversity. They are generally small, but they will multiply fast.
L. anceps, 3€/20seeds
L. jacquinii, 3.50€/20seeds
L. oreogena, 5€/20seeds
L. pyramidalis, 4€/20seeds
Leopoldia weissii, 3€/20seeds
Mediterranean species, similar to the more common L.comosa (Muscari comosum).
Massonia – Well known among bulb collectors for their large ovate leaves that hug the ground and beautiful short spikes of flowers.
M. echinata, 4€/20seeds
Melasphaerulea ramosa, 3€/20seeds
Dangling green flowers on 30/40cm branched stems, this vigorous bulb can turn into a weed in your bulb pots if you let it go to seed.
Moraea – A favorite genus, for its variability of forms and flower colors, they are easy to grow from seed and flower within 2-3 years.
M. britteniae, 3€/20seeds
M. ciliata, 3.50€/20seeds
M. comptonii, 3.50€/20seeds
M. flaccida, 3€/20seeds
M. macronyx, 4€/20seeds
M. miniata, 4€/20seeds
M. ochroleuca, 3€/20seeds
M. pendula, 3€/20seeds
M. polystachya , 3€/20seeds
M. ramosissima, 4€/20seeds
M. setifolia, 4€/20seeds
M. simulans, 4€/20seeds
M. sisyrinchium, 3€/20seeds
M. tricuspidata, 4€/20seeds
M. vegeta, 3€/20seeds
Muscari – Mediterranean genus, with numerous species, easy to grow and self-sowing once established.
M. armeniacum, 3€/20seeds
M. azureum, 3€/20seeds
M. commutatum pink form, 4€/20seeds
M. comosum, 3€/20seeds
M. latifolium, 3€/20seeds
M. leucostomum, 4€/20seeds
M. macrocarpum, 4€/20seeds
M. muscarimi, 4€/20seeds
M. neglectum, 3€/20seeds
M. pulchellum, 5€/20seeds
M. spreitzenhoferi, 5€/20seeds
M. tenuiflorum, 5€/20seeds
Narcissus – I like to grow the smaller Mediterranean species in pots, where I can control drainage much easier than in the open garden. You’d think daffodils would take a lot time to flower from seed but these smaller species do so usually on the third year from sowing.
N. ‘Arctic Bells’, 3€/20seeds
N. bulbocodium, 3€/20seeds
N. cordubensis, 3.5€/20seeds
N. ‘Oxford Gold’, 3€/20seeds
N. tazetta, 3.5€/20seeds
N. willkomii, 3.5€/20seeds
N. x romieuxii ‘Julia Jane’, 3.5€/20seeds
Odontostomum hartwegii, 3.40€/20seeds
A rather peculiar member of Tecophilaeceae from California this will form clumps in time and multitudes of upright spikes of white flowers with drooping tepals. Summer dormant.
Ornithogalum – All the following are summer dormant species that flower in spring. They origin from the Mediterranean or South Africa.
O. montanum, 3.5€/20seeds
O. nutans, 3€/20seeds
O. suaveolens (Albuca suaveolens), 3€/20seeds
Polyxena– Now transferred into Lachenalia, these early flowering (autumn) South Africans are easy to grow from seed and flower within 2 to 3 years.
P. corymbosa, 4€/20seeds SOLD OUT
P. ensifolia, 4€/20seeds
P. longituba, 4€/20seeds
P. paucifolia, 3.5€/20seeds
Prospero autumnale, 3.50€/20seeds
A small Mediterranean bulb, that used to be included in the genus Scilla. It flowers with the first autumn showers and it multiplies fast by seed.
Pseudomuscari azureum, 4€/10seeds
This has proved to be a very slow growing but beautiful species, only a few cm high when in flower. Choice bulb.
Romulea – My favorite genus of bulbs from South Africa that comes in every color imaginable and flower within 2 or 3 years from seed. Give them full sun and keep them dry in the summer.
R. albomarginata, 3.50€/20seeds
R. bulbocodium early white form, 3.5€/20seeds
R. bulbodoium late purple form, 3.50€/20seeds
R. bulbodocium subsp.nivalis, 3.50€/20seeds
R. columnae, 3.50€/20seeds
R. clusiana, 4€/20seeds SOLD OUT
R. cruciata var.intermedia, 4€/20seeds
R. crocea, 4€/20seeds
R. diversiformis, 3.50€/20seeds
R. engleri, 3.50€/20seeds
R. flava, 4€/20seeds
R. gigantea, 3€/20seeds
R. grandiscapa dark purple form, 3€/20seeds
R. grandiscapa light purple form, 4€/20seeds
R. hirta, 3€/30seeds
R. kamisensis, 4€/20seeds
R. komsbergensis, 4€/20seeds
R. leopoldtii, 4€/20seeds
R. linaresii, 3.50€/20seeds
R. monticola, 4€/20seeds
R. multisulcata, 4€/20seeds
R. obscura, 3.50€/20seeds
R. rosea, 3.5€/20seeds
R. sabulosa, 4€/20seeds
R. sp. tiny deep orange 3€/20seeds
R. sp. tiny soft orange 3€/20seeds
R. sp. tiny white 3€/20seeds
R. tabularis, 4€/20seeds
R. tetragona, 3€/20seeds
Scilla – Quite a varied genus with mainly European species, those listed here I have found that do well in Mediterranean conditions (many other well-known species need a colder winter to grow well)
S. cilicica, 4€/20seeds
S. greilhuberi, 4€/20seeds
S. hyacinthoides (floriferous form) 4€/20seeds
S. peruviana blue form, 3€/20seeds
S. peruviana white form, 3€/30seeds
S. ramburei 4€/20seeds
S. scilloides 3€/20seeds
Sparaxis – The easiest of South African bulbs, this genus has some of the most rewarding bulbs you can grow. Having usually contrasting colors, they will clump up in time and give lots of color to your garden. Summer dormant. Bear in mind that these hybridize easily with each other, especially S.bulbifera, S.elegans, S.grandiflora and S.tricolor.
S. auriculata, 3.50€/20seeds
S. bulbifera white and yellow form, 3€/20seeds SOLD OUT
S. bulbifera pure white form, 3€/20seeds
S. caryophyllacea, 4€/20seeds
S. elegans orange form, 3€/20seeds
S. elegans white form, 6€/20seeds
S. fragrans, 5€/20seeds
S. grandiflora var. acutiloba, 3€/20seeds
S. grandiflora var. grandiflora, 5€/20seeds
S. maculosa, 4€/20seeds
S. parviflora, 4€/20seeds
S. tricolor mixed varieties, 3€/20seeds
S. villosa, 4€/20seeds
Sternbegia lutea (sicula), 5€/20seeds
Classic Mediterranean species with yellow flowers that come before the leaves.
Triteleia– Californian Allium relatives that are usually the last of the winter growing bulbs to flower in late spring and they often do so while their leaves have started drying up. Keep dry in summer.
T. bridgesii, 5€/20seeds
T. clementina, 5€/20seeds SOLD OUT
T. hyacinthina, 3€/20seeds
T. laxa Butte County form, 5€/20seeds
T. laxa 'Foxy', 3€/20seeds
T. laxa ‘Queen Fabiola’, 3€/20seeds
T. laxa 'Rudy', 3€/20seeds
Tritonia – Another genus of South African Iridaceae, these easy winter growing bulbs include a wide array of hybrid colors and some interesting species.
T. crocata 'Avalanche', 3€/20seeds
T. crocata 'Pink Sensation', 3€/20seeds
T. crocata 'Plymouth Pastel', 3€/20seeds
T. crocata 'Prince of Orange', 3€/20seeds
T. crocata 'Princess Beatrix', 3€/20seeds
T. crocata 'Tangerine', 3€/20seeds
T. deusta, 3€/20seeds
T. flabellifolia, 5€/20seeds
T. pallida, 4€/20seeds
T. squalida, 3€/20seeds
Tulipa – Some of the smaller species offered here that will take our rough Mediterranean climate.
T. saxatilis, 3€/20seeds
T. sylvestris, 3€/20seeds
T. tarda, 3€/20seeds
T. undulatifolia, 5€/20seeds
Wachendorfia paniculata, 3€/20seeds
From small rhizomes, this Haemodoraceae member has short pleated leaves and the most beautiful fuzzy covered flower stems with light yellow flowers. The seeds are fuzzy as well. Needs almost a month to germinate. Summer dormant.