Hardy Crinum List

James Waddick jwaddick@kc.rr.com
Sat, 26 Jun 2004 06:14:48 PDT
>We need more people like Jim Waddick and Jim Shields in the colder zones to
>take our lists and keep pushing those envelopes.

Dear Tony;
	I agree fully. Although there are just a few what I'd call 
"Hardy Bulb Growers" on this list, I am surprised when one 'newbie' 
suddenly discovers that Crinum x powellii can be grown outdoors in 
Zone 6 or 7. I have been growing the Dutch commercial clone in Zone 5 
for more than a decade.

	I have tried a few cvs, certainly nothing like Jim S does in 
his somewhat milder climate or those in even milder climates. I have 
relied  on the generosity of friends willing to test some cvs here. 
They are too pricey for me to buy and die. Anyone have a form they 
want to test for hardiness?

	Currently in bloom:

	C. x powelli- commercial close. This is certainly about as 
vigorous and hardy as all, but the flowers are narrow petalled and 
skinny. Often barely opening more than a meager trumpet. I used to 
think it was pretty great, but compared to others now something of a 
weed. Trouble is that in my climate bulbs can 'dig' down 18 inches 
and deeper so it is a lot of back ache work to dig them out even to 
give away.
	However it is worth it as a dazzlingly exotic foliage plant 
in this climate. Nothing really like it.

	C.x powelli "alba"- a white commercial form, but much better 
bloomer with pure white, open flowers. I'd dig, divide and spread 
around, if I could borrow a back hoe.

	C. bulbispermum- various seedlings. Always the earliest to 
bloom and now almost done, but hardy and beautiful. Easy from seed. A 
'Giant' strain from M Sheppard has done beautifully with little care. 
Never seems to pup though.

	'Cecil Houdyshel'- a named x powelli is much improved with 
larger wide open flowers.

	That's all that are blooming right now, but my favorite 
remains 'Catherine' - pure white with the largest and flaring 
flowers. Lightly scented and a beauty.

	Although the color of 'Ellen Bousanguet' is gorgeous, it is 
slightly less hardy and slow to recover from winter and bloom, but 
has been here for 5 or 6 years.

	Various others are hardy enough, but less reliable in bloom.

	So I urge beginners in colder climate to start with C. 
bulbispermum as it is very satisfying to grow and easiest from seed. 
I'll try to get seed to Dell for the BX. Maybe it could be sent to 
cool climate gardeners as a priority.

	I also grow a few more tender sorts in large pots including 
striped and bronze foliage tropical sorts. Just worth it as pot 

	So if you have wondered about whether it is hardy enough to 
grow certainly try a bulbispermum of x powelli as these are fast 
growing and cheap enough to risk in colder climates.

		Best	Jim W.
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
E-fax  419-781-8594

Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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