5 Colorful Heirloom Bulbs to Plant This Fall

Forget tulips and daffodils. Stoke spring fever in your yard by planting uncommon bulbs that offer outstanding color.

Fall is the time to plant spring bulbs, and you can easily make the most of your efforts by focusing on ones that spark conversation as petals unfurl. Take spring starflower (Ipheion), for instance. This bulb pops up in mid-spring, opening fragrant flowers. The sparkling blooms stand above grassy leaves. Flowers open in white or sparkling blue (below).

Spring starflower is small, topping out at 3 to 5 inches, which makes it an ideal choice for edging a planting bed or walkway. This heirloom dates to 1836 and readily naturalizes—meaning they look like they grow that way naturally, and will thrive if left alone—to form colonies. It pairs beautifully with grape hyacinth or scilla. Use it beneath trees or shrubs for a springtime carpet of color.

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