Hesperantha coccinea

Mary Gutierrez norwesgard@earthlink.net
Wed, 01 Nov 2006 12:08:23 PST
Hello --

I've been doing some research on Hesperantha coccinea--I'm writing a  
short article on it for gardeners in the Pacific Northwest. I've run  
across something curious and wanted to see if any of you could  
enlighten me.

The S. African websites that I have looked at say that it is a summer  
or late summer bloomer--plantzafrica.com says that "flowers are borne  
in profusion in summer during the warm and wet months between  
December and April." Isn't that analagous to July–October in the  
northern hemisphere?

Here in Seattle it begins blooming in October and goes through  
December or January. It occasionally pops out a few flowers in early  
spring. It's perfectly hardy and evergreen, and makes a nice addition  
to the early winter garden.

It is from the eastern Cape, so has rainfall in summer. Since we get  
no rain in summer--our rain usually starts in October--is it the rain  
that stimulates the flowering, rather than the temperature?

Do any of you US gardeners with summer rain have a different experience?

USDA zone 8

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