Jim McKenney
Sat, 08 Dec 2007 14:32:04 PST
Susan asked  "Jim, do I understand correctly you had these rootstocks
outside, exposed to cold air and snow??  Didn't they freeze??"

The weather has been relatively mild here so far, at least until earlier
this week. We had freezes earlier, but only light ones. The Eremurus were
exposed to the air, but right against the house wall - it probably didn't
freeze there, or if it did not by much or for long. 

Earlier this week, when heavy freezes were predicted, I put them into the
cold frame. 

So it's unlikely that they froze ever, and they never had snow on them
(although I can't imagine that snow would hurt them). 

I think I've read that in the early part of the twentieth century it was
usual for Eremurus to be supplied early in the year in the American trade.
Presumably slow transportation (the plants back then were probably largely
wild collected) made it difficult to supply them in the autumn. I doubt if
they got the best of care during the long transport. 

Incidentally, the Eremurus which sprouted in the late fall last year (and
then went on to bloom spectacularly) has so far remained under ground this
year. I checked it a few weeks ago - the sprout had not enlarged much, and I
suspect that it will not bloom next year. But we'll see. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where Iris unguicularis
continues to bloom.
My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

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