Blooming in the heat.

James Waddick
Fri, 29 Jun 2012 21:53:25 PDT
Dear PBSers,
	This is a challenging climate under the best of conditions, 
but lately the temps have been exceedingly the norm. We've had a 
couple days ranging from 105 to 107 F, baking sun, drying winds and 
worse. A few hundred miles west of here in Central KS it has been up 
to 118 degrees and that is in the shade. Yesterday I was driving 
across the Missouri River and the car thermometer measured 112, but 
that reflected heat from the pavement and the water reflections.

	Needless to say the plantings are wilting almost daily and we 
have to water almost everything and almost every day. Pots evaporate 
amazingly quickly.

	So what takes this weather:

	Crinums are doing great. They all show some water stress with 
browning leaf tips, but 'Super Ellen' is the star just putting up its 
6 or 7th flower stalk up to 6 ft tall.  The color is an rich rose 
red, but the flowers do not last as long as they might in cooler 
weather. Still with many flowers in succession and many stalks 
there's been a show for well over two weeks.

	Various Crinum x powellii are also going to town. The typical 
pink form's flowers seems very stressed. The petals are normally thin 
and narrow and the hot drying winds really do damage. The white form 
I dug last year and donated dozens to the PBS BX, but kept 2 large 
bulbs. Both have put up two stalks -so far - and look surprisingly 
good considering they are not well established plants.

	We also have a few odds and ends- 'Catherine'  is very 
unhappy with stems falling over and flowers very fleeting; 'Nestor's 
Pink' an improved x powellii is doing much better than typical and is 
a winner. 'Cecil Houdeyshel' is also holding up well.

	The first Crocosmia are also starting up. 'Lucifer' "was' an 
explosion of color in full sun until water hungry deer ate most of 
the flowers. The smaller and later 'George Davidson' has just started 
and so far avoided being eaten. Others will follow later.

	Gladiolus - Over the last couple years I acquired a few 
different G. papilio 'Ruby' from various seed and bulb sources. There 
seem to be two distinct color forms masquerading under this name. One 
is a clear bright red and seems the 'real thing', the other is  a 
shade in dull mauve over red and definitely less showy.  Still the 
more subdued color is interesting. The real test is if either will 
survive the winter now as both were planted out early this spring.

	Odds and ends	Anthericum probably ramosum. Dozen of tiny white stars.

	Iris domestica and dichotoma the two parents of Candy Lilies 
(I x norrissii).

	A few Rain lilies, Zerphranthes and Habranthus; not due to 
any rain, but an occasional soak with the hose.

	Musa basjoo producing lots of foliage, but not attaining any 
height due to lack of rain. Others that get better watering are 
growing higher too. The strong winds sure filter out those that shred 
in a wind and those that keep entire foliage.

	There's probably something else, but most flowering is very 
set back by the combination of heat, drought and wind. Fingers 
crossed and enjoying what does manage to show some color.

		Best		Jim W. in the Hot Heartland of Kansas 
City, Missouri
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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