Zantdeschia hardiness

Jane McGary
Sun, 14 Jun 2009 11:10:28 PDT
OK, I didn't change the subject line even though it's spelled wrong: 
understand "Zantedeschia."

Jim McKenney wrote,

>I've had problems with Z. aethiopica too, but I think the root of that is
>that this species is a winter grower which only very reluctantly changes

This is news to me. Here in Oregon, Z. aethiopica is dormant in 
winter and emerges in mid-spring, going dormant by late summer. It is 
in flower now. Another odd thing is that although this is widely 
regarded as a wetland plant, clogging ditches when it escapes in mild 
climates, here one sees it flourishing in sites that become 
completely dry in summer: last week I drove by a magnificent colony 
of it growing in a parking strip in front of a storefront, where it's 
probably never irrigated.

British garden books (the main kind we used to have) recommend 
growing it as a shallow aquatic to enhance its winter-hardiness. I 
sometimes see other callas offered as water-garden plants, but as far 
as I know none of them is winter-hardy here in Zone 7 or 8, or 
whatever we choose to number it.

To return to another aroid recently discussed, Arum dioscoridis is 
coming into flower here, and like other correspondents, I find it a 
bit early relative to previous years. Also noticed an inflorescence 
rising yesterday on the dreaded Dracunculus; maybe I'll try drowning 
it as suggested here.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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