Question about Naked Ladies

Jim McKenney
Fri, 14 Dec 2007 10:10:25 PST
Thanks, Tony. Friends who have traveled in parts of Mexico have described
similar things to be seen in the higher elevation forests of that country. 

Before posting on this topic today, I Googled Phoenix canariensis to double
check its cold tolerance. 

The wikipedia entry gives a low temperature tolerance for this species of
-10 to -12 degrees C (= roughly 10 to 12 degrees F) so long as those
temperatures do not persist for long periods. That puts it well within what
we here in the eastern states think of as zone 8 (in fact, almost borderline
very mild zone 7, Tony's  and my zone). But I don't think either of us is
planning to line the driveway with Phoenix canariensis! 

Obviously, duration of these temperatures plays a huge role. Evidently it's
just a serendipitous thing that there are places where it stays cold/cool
long enough to allow the Lycoris to thrive without getting cold long  enough
for the Phoenix to be damaged. And I'll bet that for both the Lycoris and
the Phoenix rainfall patterns influence this unexpected pairing. Dry
Mediterranean summers no doubt harden the Phoenix and allow it to withstand
a bit more cold than that which will be tolerated by Phoenix growing in
summer wet areas (e.g. eastern North America). As for the Lycoris, as long
as it doesn't get too dry, it's just biding its time.  

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7
My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

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