Hardiness of Haemanthus

J.E. Shields jshields@indy.net
Thu, 04 Aug 2005 13:01:19 PDT
Hi Jim,

Thanks for your comments.  The multiflorus of commerce is Scadoxus 
multiflorus multiflorus.  The Scadoxus are rather different from the 
Haemanthus in plant structure as well as in DNA.

Scadoxus multiflorus multiflorus grows outdoors in the ground and blooms in 
the deep South, along the Gulf Coast, as far as I know.  Haemanthus 
albiflos is a hardy garden plant in Southern California.  I've heard that 
Haemanthus coccineus can take "a lot of frost," but I'm not sure just what 
that translates into as degrees, hours, and days.

Haemanthus humilis hirsutus is native to the High Veld while H. humilis 
humilis is found in the Eastern Cape and Free State provinces (the two 
subspecies appear to overlap somewhat in range.)  H. montanus occurs at 
1000 m (ca. 3300 ft.) elevation and above in Eastern Cape, Free State, 
KwaZulu-Natal provinces, and parts of the high veld, probably present-day 
Mpumalanga province.  I would like to breed montanus with some of the 
others from colder locations, and test the hybrids for frost tolerance 
here.  This project is not coming along very well!

Jim Shields
in central Indiana (USA)

At 02:57 PM 8/4/2005 -0400, you wrote:
>Jim, I can't answer your question the way you asked it, but I can tell you
>that Haemanthus multiflorus of horticulture has been known to survive a
>winter outside here against a wall.
>What "against a wall" means varies from year to year, but in a typical
>winter, plants underground and against a wall evidently do not experience
>freezing temperatures. They are also in the rain shadow of the house, so
>they are relatively dry. I've never known plants wintered outside to bloom,
>In my experience, just about anything which is winter dormant and does not
>have live foliage above ground can be wintered outside this way.
>Jim McKenney
>Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, except within five inches of
>a south-facing wall where it is (below ground at least) zone 9 or 10.
>pbs mailing list

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:    http://www.shieldsgardens.com/
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Tel. ++1-317-867-3344     or      toll-free 1-866-449-3344 in USA

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