Just thinking a little more about this question of the hardiness of South African plants here... The plants we're talking about are mostly from the Drakensberg: dry winters, but decidedly wet summers (wet soil, wet air). The kniphofias are all plants of summer-damp to summer-wet soils (check Codd's monograph). Unprotected winter cold certainly might be a problem, but I bet summer heat and dryness are equally problems (summer highs in the Drakensberg are not extreme, though I'm too lazy to go check a source for particulars). I should post a photo of my opulent K. caulescens, a group of which grow in a swale (next to Iris ensata and Iris pseudacorus) that is a small creek in early spring...and another group of which grow in a drift out in the field (here, the grass may overwhelm them)... I'm guessing that the damp-soil-loving plants are simply not getting anything close to the summer conditions they need in Kansas, and probably not in Indiana either. They're hot, they're dry (top and probably bottom as well, even if you irrigate), they're miserable. If they can't grow, they can't store up reserves, and their chances of overwintering are that much poorer. The point is: this is not a straightforward "hardiness" question. If I take a plant from the western Plains, one that is hardy down to -30F or so, and attempt to grow it in my eastern garden, it will not thrive, will it? It's adapted to a hot, dry summer, wind, and alkaline soil. It will probably rot. Still, it's certainly interesting that the Drakensberg plants seem to find a viable niche in upstate NY, which can hardly be said to resemble the Drakensberg. Guess I'll just relax and enjoy it. Ellen Seneca Hill Perennials Oswego NY USA Zone 5 From: James Yourch firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Wed, 14 Jul 2004 11:10:00 -0400 To: email@example.com Subject: [pbs] Gethyllis--TOW Hi All, Looks like a very interesting genus and one I am completely unfamiliar with. I know it probably varies with the species, but what kind of temperatures and light do they want during their winter growing season? Thanks, Jay Yourch _______________________________________________ pbs mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/list.php -------------------------------------------------------------------- mail2web - Check your email from the web at http://mail2web.com/ .