SPECIES, HYBRIDS, CULTIVARS:
T. asiaticus ‘Byrne’s Giant’-lemon yellow; 24 to 30 inches. T. cultorum ‘Prichard’s Giant’-large flowers; 30 inches. T. ledebourii-orange flowers; 30 inches.
BLOOMS: late spring
DESCRIPTION: Globe flower has large buttercup-shaped yellow or orange flowers, usually measuring 2 inches across. The plant grows 24 to 30 inches tall. The foliage is dark green and finely dissected.
CULTIVATION: Globe flower likes rich, damp soil and partial shade. It is good to use in a corner of the garden where the soil stays too damp for many other plants. If it is given sufficient moisture, globe flower can also be grown in full sun.
Globe flower makes a very good cut flower, the yellows blending well with blue of for-get-me-not or some of the bellflowers. After the flowers have been cut, dip the stems in boiling water for several seconds, and then put the length of the stem in cool water.
The genus name is from the German word trollblume, meaning “globelike flower,” and refers to the multitude of lovely buttercuplike sepals that surround the tiny, insignificant petals, forming a round globe shape.
A Scandinavian fairy tale says that trolls would unlock the flowers at night, putting a drop of poison in the cup. In this way they hoped to trick the herdsmen and dairymaids who would come to the fields the next day.
The Scottish name for globe flower is lucken gowan, lucken meaning “closed” or “shut up,” and gowan or gollande, meaning “flower.”
The flowers are particularly fragrant while drying, and the Sweden people would strew them over the floor on holidays.
The yellow globe flower was particularly abundant in England and was often found growing near water mills, since they thrived in the damp, rich ground found there. The blossoms were oftn gathered with much festivity during the month of June and used to decorate churches and cottages.