Cardiocrinum cordatum in a Maryland woodland

Jim McKenney
Thu, 20 Nov 2014 10:14:27 PST
Lee, I don't know where it grows in modern Japan, but evidently the species in one form or another  grows from Kyushu to Hokkaido.  This plant has been known to westerners since the seventeenth  century when it was brought (c. 1690) to the German physician Kaempfer who was more or less confined to a little island off Nagasaki. So yes, it takes heat and humidity. And heat and humidity describe the typical Maryland summer.The big forms of the species grow to the north in Hokkaido, and should be hardy well to the north. If you do Google images for Cardiocrinum cordatum you can see tall ones growing in a garden in Finland. So winter cold, pure and simple, should not be a problem. I don't know how, or if, the small southern form of C. cordatum differs from C. cathayanum. I don't know anything about gardening in Califormia; my only successes with Califormian plants come when I treat them as desert plants according to my east-coast sensibilities of what "desert" means. So to have success with them in southern Califormia you'll probably have to jump through some hoops.
Jim McKenney
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