John Grimshaw
Sun, 18 Jun 2006 21:29:27 PDT
In view of the appparently abject failure of Zantedeschia aethiopica to
perform in Mid-West gardens, has any thought been given to provenance? The
species is very widespread in South Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope
itself in coastal fynbos to the marshes of the Drakensberg. It has always
seemed to me that it gained its reputation for tenderness in Europe because
winter-growing Cape material was the first to be grown, whereas if it had
been of Drakensberg(summer-rainfall) origin the story might have been very
different. I wonder if the hardy clone 'Crowborough' is not one of these
mountain plants. The fact that 'Green Goddess' grows in some places proves
that there are clones of the species that can tolerate the climate - seek
and ye shall find (one hopes). Another form that I have found remarkably
hardy is 'Marshmallow' ('Kiwi Blush') which survbives and flourishes in open
wet ground in Holland. In the UK at present it is difficult to judge because
almost all clones survive outside. Plants grown from seeds collected on the
Sani Pass (lower end!) are extremely vigorous here and a crop of seedlings
is appearing around them this year. I will collect this year's seed.

John Grimshaw

Dr John M. Grimshaw
Garden Manager, Colesbourne Gardens

Sycamore Cottage
Nr Cheltenham
Gloucestershire GL53 9NP


More information about the pbs mailing list