Alberto Castillo
Sat, 03 May 2003 09:05:42 PDT
Hi Steve:
                The hardiest species of Tropaeolum is speciosum: it has 
naturalized (said to be a weed) in Scotland so should be hardy at least to 
zone 7. it comes from the Southern Chilean cold rainforests. Immense 
rainfall mainly in summer (up to 3,000 mm.) Tropaeolum tuberosum follows, 
this is an alpine and a normal vegetable crop in the Andes with a number of 
variants. Dry cold winter. Polyphyllum, incissum and sessilifolium spend 
their winter dormancy very dry under snow. The zone would be U. S. 8, always 
growing in scree. Andes of Argentina and Chile. Brachyceras, tricolor (not 
tricolorum) and azureum come from foothills of central Chile and are best 
grown as Cape bulbs (frost free). Very dry in summer. Pentaphyllum grows in 
the gallery forests of the big rivers  of Argentina. Subtropical climate and 
moistly humid soil year round. Summer dormant.This is the monster in the 
genus, a well grown plant easily reaching 5 m in stature with thousands of 
flowers for a couple of months.  Say zone 10 but acceptably well in a 
protected spot in zone 9.
As you see, not easy to grow all species well in the same climate.

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