David Fenwick
Sun, 26 Jun 2011 14:44:39 PDT
Hi Peter and All,

>>>>>Lucifer and what is loose in the West of Scotland as C paniculata- 
>>>>>which is
probably missidentified, are not as hardy in colder parts of the UK in pots,
though no trouble even in colder spots in the ground.

Peter if you have material of anything from the West Coast of Scotland I'd 
like to be able to identify it. I'm the Botanical Society of the British 
Isles Referee for Crocosmia and responsible for the verification of any 
species of Crocosmia found growing in a wild state. Surprisingly there are 
some large errors when it comes to recording so I'd like to put things right 
at some point.

>>>>I have never managed to grown Chasmanthes here though I think some may 
>>>>have been in my fathers
garden which was much milder. It may be I did not treat them correctly. They 
are quite easy from seed. Many hybreds are very stoloniferous which means 
INVASIVE, but not all.

With Chasmanthe; in the UK they're best planted closely in a large group 
about six inches deep. They do best if planted under mature shrubs, which 
gives them protection from frost and wind. There's quite a large stand near 
me in Morrab Sub-tropical Gardens in Penzance, UK, on a north facing border.

Regarding getting rid and spraying; droplet size and time of year is 
important; adding washing up liquid to the mix helps the chemical stick 
better to the leaves, a small droplet size / mist also helps prevent run 
off. It also helps if there's no wind at all as wind will also cause run 
off. Time of spraying should be when the leaves are between 12-15 inches 
high; at least that's when I've done it for people and had good success in 
getting rid. Professional weed wands are good, these use more concentrated 
chemicals, application is also much easier. It is especially good to use 
where water is in short supply or where carrying a large amount of water any 
distance is a problem.

Re. viruses, Alberto is right, they do occur frequently. It's also quite 
likely that some of the older varieties bred before 1939 have virus too, but 
without showing any marks in the flowers; symptoms may be quite subtle, from 
slight dwarfing or leaf mottling. The way I look at it is this; if I'd been 
around for 80 odd years and not caught a virus I'd have been very lucky 
indeed. There's probably better odds on winning the lottery than not 
catching a virus in a lifetime. Not all viruses are harmful though. Probable 
vectors for transfer include their main pests, red spider mite, molluscs, 
black bean aphid and thrip but also from mechanical damage when leaves of 
two varieties rub together in the wind.

Re. Far Reaches Farm Stock in my opinion.

Babylon - does better in a pot than in the ground, large flower if grown in 
a pot and over-wintered frost free.
Citronella - nice colour and one of the hardiest Montbretias (smooth leaved) 
but sometimes shy to flower.
Emberglow - Usually a good bedder and pretty hardy.
Okavango - should do well, quite tough, mind you anything with pleated 
leaves usually is.
Solfatare - good colour, a good one for a pot or for overwintering in a pot, 
prior to planting out annually. Try planting under shrubs etc. to give 
Eastern Promise - I'd question hardiness with this one, have had problems 
keeping it in the past. Very nice for pot though.
Miss Scarlet and Hellfire - Should be very tough but not too different to 

Hardiest - Okavango, Miss Scarlet, Hellfire, Lucifer followed by Citronella 
and Emberglow

Regarding seed James; you only need one plant (clone) to produce seed, 
Lucifer usually produces quite a lot of seed. Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora 
varieties will produce more seed in cooler summers or in the shade. Pollen 
fertility is temperature related. Regarding two forms of Lucifer; this is 
because Lucifer has been seed raised in Holland for many many years now, 
it's quite likely you two seedling forms rather than the real thing, most 
seedlings do look similar to it. It was first bred 45 years ago now !!!

Best Wishes,

David Fenwick
84 Roscadghill Parc,
Heamoor, Penzance, Cornwall. TR18 3QY
Telephone: +44 (0) 1736 448392

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