A new plant received as Nerine sarniensis began to bloom last week. The catalog photo had me expecting a bright scarlet flower - I had my hopes up that they would be the wonderful old cultivar 'Corusca'. Instead, the flowers are a color which I can't quite put a name on: it reminds me most of the color of some blackberry ice creams, near where the fruit just starts to mix with the cream. And as I was looking at the flower I began to think I was tasting blackberry icecream. Maybe I'm a bit synesthetic? The only other Nerine here now is N. bowdenii, and that does not yet show signs of bloom. Is the growth cycle of the cultivated Nerine bowdenii, i.e. winter dormant and summer active, the natural growth cycle of the wild plants, or were the cultivated plants selected for this characteristic? Nerine bowdenii is the only Nerine which will survive the winter outside here (sometimes). Because it has no leaves in the winter, it can be mulched heavily, and with a heavy mulch it's just about a sure thing. Are there hybrids which have the growth cycle of Nerine bowdenii and the colors of Nerine sarniensis? Jim McKenney firstname.lastname@example.org Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where instead of blackberry ice cream, I'm about to whip up a batch of zabaione to serve with strawberries.