A lovely bloom, whether accidental or on purpose

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 24, 2019

Star flower creates masses of small, bright blooms

Along with the normal springtime blooming flowers, there are masses of small, bright, colorful flowers spotted in the landscapes of the homes along Main street in Spencer and throughout Rowan County.

Most of the flowers are vivid white, but some are light shades of purple.

The flowers, spring star flower Ipheion uniflorum, appear to be scattered as weeds in some lawns and landscapes while in other landscapes they appear as a formal planting.

The pea-sized bulb is native to Argentina and Uruguay has been adopted since the mid-1800s as an ornamental bulb throughout Great Britain and France.

Locally, however, it has been naturalized as wildflower in landscapes and lawns.

Spring star flower is a member of the onion family, with blooms lasting from 2-3 weeks. The bulb easily naturalizes in wooded areas as well as cool season fescue lawns and is immune to rodents and deer.

The flowering bulb is tough, surviving annually in mowed lawns and one of a few species of plants that can survive living under black walnut trees.

Many regard them as weeds while others openly allow them to naturalize freely in their lawn as a welcome addition to their landscape.