Lachenalia aloides quadricolor

Lee Poulsen wpoulsen@pacbell.net
Fri, 04 Oct 2013 18:10:27 PDT
Ina, I grew up in Austin, Texas and then went to grad school in the San Francisco Bay Area in northern central California. My first year there, I felt like I was "freezing" all the time, except for a few hours in the afternoons during the summer. However, one of my professors there was from Auckland, New Zealand; He told me once that he felt like he was melting from the heat all the time during his first year there! So "hot" is certainly subjective...

Both locations are USDA Zone 10a as far as the coldest temperatures typically experienced during the winter. However, I spent about 3 weeks in New Zealand a couple of years after that, first in Christchurch in the South Island in November. I wore a jacket all the time even though it was clearly spring with flowers in bloom everywhere. I finally made it to Auckland in January and rushed to the beach now that I was so much further north, it was "summer", and I thought I could finally warm up. I was there about an hour because that was all I could take of the cool breeze.

Now that I'm in southern California, the ocean water is still too cold all the time compared to the Gulf of Mexico, but South African bulbs from the southwestern (Cape) part of South Africa grow like a charm here during the winter. Lachenalia aloides in particular, is incredibly easy to grow and flower here in pots during the winter. I have several pots full of them starting from just a couple of bulbs many years ago.

I think Jim M. should be careful to distinguish between bulbs from the eastern half of South Africa vs. the western half (generally speaking). South Africa is unusual in this respect in that the western half (including the Cape) is a mediterranean type of climate with rain in the winter and dry in the summer, while eastern South Africa is more humid with rain in the summer and dry in the winter. The middle of the country where the two opposite climates switch over can be variable. In southern California, almost all of the bulbs from the western half will grow well here with little to no special care. The ones from the eastern side will need to be watered during the summer here. 

However, despite all these differences, winter low temperatures are very similar in California, South Africa, and New Zealand--unlike a lot of the eastern coast of the USA, such as where Jim lives.

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena, California, USA - USDA Zone 10a
Latitude 34°N, Altitude 1150 ft/350 m

On Oct 4, 2013, at 4:19 PM, Ina Crossley <klazina1@gmail.com> wrote:

> Depends on what you call hot Jim.  Upper 29 C is hot here. 30 and up has 
> been a rarity here, but with climate change, it is not so rare now.  29 
> would be the top generally for Auckland in summer.  4 C the lowest in 
> winter.
> 
> It is the difference in the day to night time temperatures though, isn't 
> it? The difference for here would probably be about 10 C generally. More 
> in spring and autumn.
> 
> Ina
> 
> Ina Crossley
> Auckland New Zealand zone 10a
> 
> On 5/10/2013 12:08 p.m., Jim McKenney wrote:
>> Ina, to say that cold is necessary is not the point I was trying to make. I was trying to emphasize that heat is the enemy. In our climate, it's too cold outside for these bulbs and too warm inside. Does it ever get hot anywhere in New Zealand?
>> 
>> Jim McKenney
>> 
>> 
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