2014 Moraea hybrids

pelarg@aol.com pelarg@aol.com
Thu, 10 Apr 2014 17:49:42 PDT

Nice work Mike, but I doubt there is anyone else putting as much effort into breeding Moraeas as you are.  I think an interesting direction to go in, if its possible (and in at least some cases chromosome number differences might make it less possible--would have to check Goldblatts moraea book to be sure) would be to cross the Cape species, especially of the peacock types, with summer growing species to see if one could get either a summer growing plant which would be useful over a vastly larger area in the US as a pot plant, or perhaps even get a hardy one by crossing with some of the high Drakensberg species.  I also wonder which Cape species grow at the highest altitudes, there may be a degree of winter hardiness in them, after all many Mediterranean bulbs begin growth in fall but don't really do a lot until spring (muscari for example).  Certainly what you have created would make nice plants for California and other winter rainfall gardens and as pot plants for the rest 
 of us provided one has a cool greenhouse or, in my case, a cool garage with some windows and fluorescent lights. 
Ernie DeMarie
Briarcliff Manor NY where in the garage Oxalis obtusa continues to flower, Pelargonium incrassatum, Sparaxis elegans and tricolor, Gladiolus tristis, stellatus, orchidiflorus, etc are also blooming.   Ornithogalum maculatum is about to bloom.  
Outside at least some dieramas and agapanthus have survived the winter, but more time is needed to assess the effects of the worst cold we have seen in decades. Amaryllis belladonna along the wall in my school garden have survived, leaves are pushing up the burnt tips that were all they made during this winter, luckily they did not grow out very far before things got really nasty.  The wall protects the bulbs and one or two usually flower every August. Not far away Zephyranthus candida has also survived. 


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