Watsonia borbonica (was pyramidata)

Jim McKenney jimmckenney@jimmckenney.com
Fri, 02 Nov 2007 07:58:52 PDT
Thanks, Mary Sue, we're off to a good start. 

When I checked the wiki I saw the white-flowered Ardernei under W.
borbonica: earlier in the day I had read the account of Watsonia in Col.
Grey's pre-WWII Hardy Bulbs and had noticed that one described under W.
rosea. This white-flowered form has evidently been in cultivation for well
over one hundred years. 

So, pyramidata and rosea are now W. borbonica? 

I'm still puzzled about their culture. What in this case does winter growing
mean? The sources I've checked say this plant blooms in June. Does that mean
corms planted in November will bloom seven or eight months later in June?
What in the world is the plant doing all that time? Their close cousins the
Gladiolus come into bloom much more rapidly here. Garden gladiolus bloom
seventy to ninety days after being planted. The Eurasian Gladiolus I grow
bloom in May, but they do not appear above ground until early spring. 

Can I expect these Watsonia to put up foliage during the winter? Will it all
be foliage from the corm or will there be above ground stems? Some of the
Watsonia pictures on the wiki seem to show plants with thick clumps of
foliage, each leaf springing directly from the ground, with here and there
an inflorescence rising up. 

It will be east to protect leaves which arise from the ground; it will be
very hard to protect rigid stems. 

Any comments from you Watsonia growers will be appreciated. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where little Colchicum
procurrens is blooming. 
My Virtual Maryland Garden http://www.jimmckenney.com/
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