Boyce Tankersley
Tue, 15 Nov 2005 06:40:37 PST
Hi Steve:

I grew some of the Agapanthus africanus from Monrovia when I worked in Fort Worth Texas. They lived but never bloomed or thrived like I had seen them do in other parts of the country.

I experienced the same frustrations when I was working on Galveston Island, Texas. I spent a lot of time with the Sunset Western Garden book to identify zones comparable to mine (with salt spray, etc.) and then selected new/different plants. Invariably they failed - I think due to relatively high night time temperatures/soil pathogens. My best luck was with subtropical plants that had a resting organ that would survive the 2 weeks of winter that we experienced.

Boyce Tankersley
Where Agapanthus outdoors are only a memory with snow forecast for this evening and tomorrow.

-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Burger, Steve
Sent: Monday, November 14, 2005 9:47 PM
To: Pacific Bulb Society
Subject: Re: [pbs] Agapanthus

Excellent suggestions so far (keep 'em coming please).  The "two" thing is somewhat arbitrary, but the point is that I don't plan to become a collector of them, I just want some representation.  

The toughest thing I'm encountering is getting information about their performance down here in the SE USA.  This is not a much used (although it is hardly absent) genus in this region.  

Most come from drop shipments to the big box chains that get things from California or Southern Texas.  Most are the evergreen sort.  Here I've seen some of the evergreen forms do alright, but they don't remain evergreen. Others don't do at all.

An English, or Western North American zone 8 is so different than my 7b.  I'm 7b due to one or two days in winter when Siberia moves to "Jawja" for some southern hospitality:)  Otherwise we have mild wet winters that are also fairly short. So hardiness doesn't always translate well here.  

Sometimes I read literature from England that speaks of a plant's tenderness and it shocks me because it is so tough here, then I'll read of another plant I would love to grow, and can't, since it is absolute lows, not duration of winter, that gets them.  Then my 6 months of heat and humidity coupled with ample (if unpredictable) rainfall in addition to red clay hardpan add another variable to the mix.  

Oops it's late and I'm getting tangental.  I think I will get one of these deciduous hybrids, and then strike out with some evergreens in some microclimates around the house and see how they do.  



-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Rodger Whitlock
Sent: Monday, November 14, 2005 05:06 PM
Subject: Re: [pbs] Agapanthus

On 13 Nov 05 at 23:29, Burger, Steve wrote:

> If one could only find room to grow two [agapanthuses] which
> two would you choose?

'Bressingham Blue' and 'Bressingham White'

One problem with Agapanthus is that many forms (species, 
cultivars, what-have-you) are fairly tender, while others 
aren't. In particular, I suspect that cultivars originating in 
California are less hardy than those which originate in 
England, say.

And both of these Bressingham cultivars are of English origin.

Neither is a large plant, inflorescences maybe 2' (60 cm) 
high. B.Blue is an exceptionally deep indigo blue, but B.White 
is, frankly, rather washy.

Nonetheless: I'm always tempted by the huge A. africanus forms, 
even though I know they'll need winter protection from frost. 
Some of them, esp. the whites, are outstanding.

But being a self-controlled and highly moral sort, so far I 
have resisted temptation...

We're zone 8b here, but are subject to "arctic outflows" of 
extremely icey air. Not every winter, but often enough that 
marginally hardy plants get nailed too often for comfort.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate

on beautiful Vancouver Island
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