Jane, perhaps I didn't make myself clear - or perhaps I didn't address the question directly. With our winters, winter wet per se is not a likelihood, as it's too cold for water to be liquid, and everything is blanketed for 2 or 3 months with snow. Our springs, however, are typically cold and wet, and the kniphofias freeze and thaw in muddy soil for weeks on end. And they seem to thrive on that. A few years ago, I had the privilege of hosting Rod and Rachel Saunders when they did their NARGS speaking tour. I mentioned to them that I was surprised at how the K. caulescens tolerated freezing and thawing in the at-that-season extremely wet ground, and Rod said something to the effect that "it probably feels right at home - that's very like conditions in the Drakensberg". And the more I've read (Codd's monograph, Pooley, etc), the clearer it's become to me that these are plants of damp to wet soils, and that those soils can indeed still be damp when temperatures fall below freezing at night, even if they're much drier in winter than summer. I keep hoping Rachel Saunders will jump into this discussion and straighten us all out. Rachel? Ellen Hornig Original Message: ----------------- From: Jane McGary firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Sat, 07 Feb 2004 10:54:53 -0800 To: email@example.com Subject: [pbs] Kniphofia adaptability again Ellen Hornig notes that Kniphofia species may be more susceptible to wet cold than to plain cold, and I think this is right to some extent. However, I also grow a number of species in this genus here in northwestern Oregon in the foothills of the Cascades, where winters are very wet indeed and also cold (near or below freezing most nights between mid-November and April). Even K. northiae, a peculiar species that resembles an Agave in foliage form and has a huge but rather unattractive flower, has persisted here for a long time in rather poor soil on a hillside. On the other hand, I have not found some of the named hybrids from England to tolerate winters here, especially the widely sold small light yellow whose name escapes me at the moment. To get tolerant border kniphofias, I started with a packet of "dwarf hybrid" seeds about 16 years ago. I took seed from plants that survived the famous Pacific deep freeze of 1990-91 and grew on a lot of seedlings from them. From these I selected one moderate-sized plant with bronze stems, narrow evergreen foliage, and clear yellow flowers. I have a planting of it in the garden now that does well every year, and have given divisions to a few people; I think one nursery was selling it for a while. It's not necessarily a better plant than other selections, but it's better for this particular climate. Anyone who has room to trial a batch of seedlings can perform the same experiment, and I did not find it difficult to get rid of the clones I didn't want (though it's pretty strenuous to dig up a full-grown kniphofia). Jane McGary Northwestern Oregon _______________________________________________ pbs mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/list.php -------------------------------------------------------------------- mail2web - Check your email from the web at http://mail2web.com/ .