don journet
Fri, 18 Apr 2003 07:03:01 PDT
          As Mary Sue Ittner stated I am growing quite a number of Lachenalia in Australia. As you will see from Mary Sue's notes from myself I live in a zone 9(b) area and do experience some frost. However I would think that Cologne would be cold enough to cause problems in an unprotected site. I am quite surprised by the timing of the appearance of these bulbs but they may be able to be converted to early spring growing instead of their native autumn/winter. The hybrid names mean absolutely nothing to me but if they have resulted from dutch breading that would not be a surprise.
     A Trevor Crosby of southern England was growing quite a number of Lachenalia back in the 1980's or earlier and wrote an article for The Plantsman a Royal Horticultural Society publication. The article appeared in the 1986 Volume 8(3) edition. In this comprehensive treatment of the genus he states that Lachenalia start to grow between late July and early October and flower between November and April in the northern hemisphere. He suggests a minimum temperature of 5 degrees Celsius which I would say gives a margin of safety. Mine have certainly tolerated -5 degrees Celsius for relatively short periods during our winter.
     If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. Best of luck with your find, it will be interesting to hear how you get on with the late planting.

Don Journet

Jamie wrote:

> Jamie Vande    Cologne    Germany    Zone 8
> This lovely little and mixed-up genus is currently available in Europe as a pot plant.  Normally, one see's them in the stores around September, blooming in a charming clay pot in a peat mix (?), for about Euro 8.00.
> I just saw some corms in pre-pack at the garden centre and, being hopelessly addicted to trying out items I've never been sucessful with, such as Lachenalia, I purchased 3 packs of three corms each of the following hybrids; Rolina, a speckled leafed gold-yeelow with pink blush; Robijn, a deep pink, closed trunpet, lightly specked leaves; and Romand, with plain leaves, speckled stems and lime green to citrus blooms.  The people at the garden centre are very understanding and used to me inspecting most carefully each and every pack to obtain the best possible specimens.  It's amazing what some people will buy, not realizing that those mummies will never sprout!  I snatched-up the best.
>  OK, I'm ready, what should I do with 'em?  I've read one uses a well-drained, rich soil.  How about compost, garden soil and grit in equal parts?  Or 50% grit?  From what I can figure, these are summer growing hybrids.
> I, also, found (are you ready for this!!) a yellow-apricot Clivia (pronounced according to preferance or time of day, not to mention present company or need to impress one's self that they have mastered all possible manifestations of this all too illusive language!) for the niffty price of Euro 16.98.  I think it was a bargain.  Admittedly, it won't win an award as the floral segments are quite narrow, the umbel had but 8 flowers, but the flowers are pretty large and a lovely shade of golden apricot.  Plus, it had bloomed on another spike recently, so it is pretty robust (and over-fertilised, not to mentioned having been rejected by the hyridizer).  What I found interesting is that, around this single yellow plant, the others on the table were not typical orange, but various shades of deep apricot-red to scarlet, again with poor flower form.  Someone is clearly working on this plant in my area, but who!?
> All in all, a good start to the Easter weekend, which, as we all no, is only a step away from Christmas for hellishness on the highways!  Please drive safe and don't forget your patience (as well as a flask of water, it's hot, here!)
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