Charming little bulbs from alpine meadows of Crete, Cyprus, and Turkey. They are among the first flowers to bloom in spring; each bulb produces a stem to 6 in. high, with six-pointed, starlike blossoms in blue, white, or pink, spaced along upper part. Straight, narrow leaves are a little shorter than flower stem. In fall, plant bulbs in rich, well-drained soil, setting them 23 in. deep and 3 in. apart. When bloom quality declines, dig and divide clumps in early fall. Plantings may also increase from self-seeding. Ideal beneath deciduous trees. Resistant to rodents and deer.
C. forbesii. Grows 48 in. high, with rich blue, white- centered flowers. 'Blue Giant' is more vigorous, with larger blooms. 'Violet Beauty' is more pink than violet.
C. luciliae. Most commonly grown species; often confused with other species. Stems typically bear one to four 112-in., violet-blue blooms. 'Gigantea' has larger leaves and larger blossoms; 'Alba' has white flowers larger than those of the species. 'Pink Giant' (C. 'Pink Giant') has large pink blooms.
C. sardensis. Inch-wide violet-blue flowers with a very small white eye, carried 4 to 12 to a stem.