Attractive, low growing, spring flowering bulbous perennials. Ideal for the edge of the border or the rock garden.

Family: Amaryllidaceae
Botanical Name: Ipheion (i-FAY-on)
Common Names: Spring starflower

Foliage: Lax, narrow, strap-like, pale green leaves. Deciduous (dies back after flowering).

Flowers: White, pink or light blue, star-shaped flowers with six petals. Sweetly fragrant.

Flowering Period: March to May.

Soil: Moist but well-drained soil (chalk, clay, sand or loam). Acid, alkaline or neutral pH.

Conditions: Full sun. Plant in a south, east or west facing aspect, in a sheltered location.

Habit: Tufted.

Type: Bulbous perennial.

Origin: South America.

Hardiness: Hardy in most regions of the UK.

Planting and Growing Ipheion

Grow in any well prepared, well-drained, moderately fertile soil. Best in full sun, although they will grow well in partial shade but produce less flowers.

Appears most effective when planted in large groups in the rock garden or at the front of the border. Plant well away from other more delicate bulbs as they spread well and can become quite invasive.

Plant from September to December at a depth of 3in (8cm). Space apart 4in (10cm).

Taking Care of Ipheion

Keep the site weed free. Tidy away the dead leaves and flowers once they have died back in the summer.

Apply a winter mulch in very cold regions.

Pests and Diseases

Young growth can be affected by slugs and snails.

Propagating Ipheion

Divide clumps when dormant. Ripe seed can also be sown under the protection of a cold frame.

Popular Varieties of Ipheion

Bulbs are usually for sale from August to November. They may also be available in April-May as pot grown plants.

Ipheion uniflorum pale to greyish-green leaves and milky-blue flowers in late spring. Height 8in (20cm). Cultivars include:

  • 'White Star' is a pure white form.
  • 'Wisley Blue' (RHS AGM) bears solitary, fragrant, violet-blue flowers.