Original Post (as suggested by jmusser I reverted my edits and put them into an answer)

In my garden there is a bulb plant growing since the beginning of last autumn. The thin leaves have grown out 50 - 70 cm and a bulb has up to 6 leaves before winter came. It has survived some cold days (-15 C) in winter.

Now in spring the shape of some of them is changing (see below).

I would like to know what this plant might be so that I can take measures to beautify the spot and to know when to clean up, and of course, whether I can expect flowers ;-) .

Some photos (click to enlarge):

Last autumn

A sample

New shape this spring

  • If you cut or bruise a stem, does it smell onion-y? Apr 1, 2012 at 16:52
  • @KateGregory not really, maybe a little bit. I tasted it and it tasted quite sweet... Later on I felt a "reaction" in my throat. It burned for some hours. Yeah I know...
    – Patrick B.
    Apr 1, 2012 at 19:01
  • @PatrickB. Have you seen it grow in previous years? It is not like a bulbous plant to suddenly appear one Fall.
    – J. Musser
    Apr 2, 2012 at 1:17
  • @jmusser I moved into this house and garden last summer. There was no sign of them, though I saw them being there last Spring (when I was first visiting).
    – Patrick B.
    Apr 2, 2012 at 5:49
  • @PatrickB. When the flowers open, identification will be easier.
    – J. Musser
    Apr 2, 2012 at 13:07

2 Answers 2


I'm guessing it's a blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium), but the blub-like thickening at the base doesn't look right, so perhaps it's something else in the iris family.

[c.f Sisyrinchium bermudianum]

enter image description here

  • I search with google image search and found a picture of a plant of what your suggesting. I don't think it is this one. My plants only have a few leaves per bulb/root. Sisyrinchium seems to equipped with much more leaves per root.
    – Patrick B.
    Apr 1, 2012 at 19:04
  • Well, it's about to flower, so we'll see shortly!
    – Yewge
    Apr 2, 2012 at 4:08
  • Now accepted the answer even though the picture is wrong. But the hint with the iris family is correct. It is indeed an "Iris dark blue" (Dutch blues).
    – Patrick B.
    Apr 10, 2012 at 5:54
  • Are you sure it's Iris? I'm not particularly familiar with cultivated irises, but the leaves seems extremely narrow for that genus.
    – Yewge
    Apr 11, 2012 at 0:05
  • 1
    Iris X hollandica seems to be the botanical name of the one I have. Found here: calyxflowers.com/Floral-Library/Content/Dutch-Iris.aspx
    – Patrick B.
    Apr 11, 2012 at 11:35

I'm answering my own question as advised by @jmusser. I found out that this is a Iris X hollandica aka as Dutch Iris. I found this information here. (not a permanent link I suppose).

Voila, the flower is open:

Originally I asked about the identification because I wanted to know whether the plants growing in my garden are just almost dead leftovers of something planted years ago or not. The comments and answer have encouraged me to not remove it and to wait.

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