Morea polystachya and Morea hardiness

Paul Tyerman
Sun, 10 Oct 2004 15:06:55 PDT
>Drakensberg. M. polystachya always sems to be a winter-growing plant and is
>therefore very unhappy to be frosted: it has never succeeded outside for me
>in southern England (where winters are not nearly as cold as in Missouri).
>It does very well in a pot in the alpine house, but even here the flowers
>sometimes fail to open properly and become a botrytis-magnet. it has never
>yet set seed either, and I've been growing it for 18 years!


What exactly do you mean by it "very unhappy to be frosted"?  I read that 
as it does not like any frost at all on the flowering scape?  I know we're 
not cold by any standard, but my M. polystachya definitely stand up without 
ANY problems at all to -8 or -9'C every year, flowering prolifically 
throughout the winter months.   (well the years that they decide to appear 
anyway).  I have a history with this plant that lots of them skip years as 
some of the Moraeas tend to do.  I now have a large pot of seedlings so 
hopefully should get flowers every year now! <grin>

Here, I have never had flowers burn off with frost in any form.  Does that 
mean I have a particularly cold hardy strain, or did you not mean that it 
is not supposed to like any frost?  I have to ask as the statement "unhappy 
to be frosted" could easily put people off a species that certainly does 
not shy away from blooming at least down to -8'C, which is definitely 
frost!! <grin>  Obviously we're not THAT cold, but definitely in the frost 
range each and every winter.

I have seed of one of mine that has been flowering this winter.  I sent 
some to a BX a couple of months back and will send more next time I am 
sending stuff to Dell.  Otherwise John, contact me privately if you'd like 
to try some of the seed from mine, as it might be hardier than your current 


Paul Tyerman
Canberra, Australia.  USDA equivalent - Zone 8/9

Growing.... Galanthus, Erythroniums, Fritillarias, Trilliums, Cyclamen, 
Crocus, Cyrtanthus, Oxalis, Liliums, Hellebores, Aroids, Irises plus just 
about anything else that doesn't move!!!!!

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