Lee Poulsen
Mon, 19 Jul 2010 13:27:24 PDT
Josh Young wrote:
> Arnold,
>    Believe me, I wrote them, he kinda got snippy with me.  He said that the US 
> is way too Hostile and it wouldn't survive.  I decided to leave that one alone 
> :)  
>     I don't know how people ever find some of these plants!

I'm not sure why, but in southern California, Paramongaias grow almost 
exactly like typical mediterranean type bulbs (California native bulbs, 
Cape bulbs from western South Africa, etc.) they start leafing out in 
late autumn or early winter, grow through the winter (although in my 
experience, the foliage is very sensitive to air temperatures below 
about -1°C but have no problems with temperatures above that 
whatsoever). They tend to bloom in late winter and go dormant in late 
spring or early summer. But other than treating them as mediterraneans, 
as Michael Benedito said, they are very easy to grow in my opinion. In 
no way is the US too hostile for them. I think it is Longwood Gardens 
that used to grow lots of them and produced seeds regularly. (That seems 
to be the challenge although I think someone else on the East Coast of 
the U.S. has gotten them to produce seeds, and someone down in New 
Zealand has also gotten them to produce seeds but not regularly.) I 
don't know what happened to that program; maybe they're still growing 
them but not telling anyone...

There is another variant, and it is a true variant, that emerges in late 
winter or spring, flowers later than the first type, and doesn't go 
dormant until late summer. Tomorrow's Plants is supposed to possess both 
types. An article in Herbertia reports that there are two distinct 
populations where it is found: One is in low elevation coastal hills 
near the Pacific in Peru. The other is in the Andes of Peru at about 
2000 m of elevation. I surmise that the second variant comes from this 
population, but I've never seen it myself.

Josh, my experience is that you just have to have a little patience for 
opportunities to get your hands on some of these rarities to occur. I 
guarantee they will. For some number of years I was certain I'd never 
ever get to grow any of the really neat things I kept hearing about or 
seeing photos of that nobody sold. Slowly, and sometimes unexpectedly, 
over the years different kinds of opportunities have popped up. There 
are some I'm still looking/hoping for (anyone have extra Eucrosia 
aurantiaca?). But I'm still confidant the opportunity to obtain even 
those will eventually appear one of these years...  ;-)

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena, California, USA - USDA Zone 10a

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