Hardiness of Haemanthus

Paul Tyerman ptyerman@ozemail.com.au
Thu, 04 Aug 2005 15:40:56 PDT
>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.


A private reply....

This may not be anything new to you by way of information, but Haemanthus 
coccineus doesn't skip a beat during winter here in Canberra, 
Australia.  Planted out in the open (i.e nowhere near the eaves or against 
walls or anything like that) it sails through -8'C at least each winter 
(even in 8 inch black plastic pots that tend to magnify the cold to the 
roots it doesn't have a problem at all).  Plenty of -5'C and below through 
winter, but I don't know exact figures (but could probably find out for you 
if you want). I realise that in the scheme of things this is negligible 
cold, but thought it might be at least some data you didn't have.

>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!

I don't have either humilis or montanus so I can't help there.  I know that 
H. albiflos gets toasted if it gets frosted here, but that it does 
regenerate later on even if frosted, and in most cases even flower despite 
the short duration of the leaves.  This is an observation from a friend's 
garden not my own.  Mine are protected.  I also have H. barkerae in 
slightly less protected area and it doesn't have any problems but it is not 
exposed to much cold there either.

As I said above... this info probably isn't much use to you, but I thought 
I would send it anyway just in case.


Paul Tyerman
Canberra, Australia. 

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