Return of some borderline plants

Ellen Hornig
Sat, 26 May 2007 08:54:38 PDT
Speaking of borderline plants, Rhodohypoxis baurii seems to have settled 
into my garden extremely well, multiplying and blooming like crazy.  Not of 
interest to Pacific coasters, I know, as my original stock came from a 
Californian who said it was a weed in his garden; but I was a little 
surprised to see how easily it took to conditions here.  It grows in a 
raised garden in clayey loam - neither wet in summer nor dry in winter. 
Nearby are Cyrtanthus breviflorus, Tritonia disticha (both a quite dwarf and 
a quite large form), and Hypoxis hemerocallidea, all hardy so far. Three 
cultivars of Agapanthus campanulatus overwintered with ease (too much ease?) 
And (non-bulb warning) it appears that Xysmalobium undulatum, a statuesque 
South African milkweed, also made it through.  Now to see whether Erythrina 
zeyheri (very large rootstock, not technically a geophyte) comes back.


Ellen Hornig
Seneca Hill Perennials
3712 County Route 57
Oswego NY 13126 USA
Zone 5, annual snowfall around 3m/10ft (14 ft in 2006-2007)
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jim McKenney" <>
To: "'Pacific Bulb Society'" <>
Sent: Saturday, May 26, 2007 11:24 AM
Subject: [pbs] Return of some borderline plants

> Whenever a purportedly tender plant survives the winter outside, it's a 
> bit
> like finding money blowing down the street.
> While weeding the garden this morning I had a nice surprise: three
> borderline hardy plants have reappeared and are growing well. One, Begonia
> sutherlandii, is known to be reliable in some parts of the greater
> Washington, D.C. area. In my garden there have been several failures, but 
> I
> think I've finally found a good place for it. It's now in its third year
> there.
> Another is the gesneriad Sinningia  leucotricha,  This I've had for 
> decades;
> it survived here as a houseplant because it is winter dormant, and it was
> that characteristic which prompted me to try it outside.  The emerging
> sprout at this point looks like a huge, silvery, hairy four leaf clover. I
> have this planted in the rain shadow of the roof overhang, and the foliage
> remains in good condition well into the summer.
> Also emerging in strength is a plant received as Scilla natalensis. This 
> has
> not bloomed yet, and I'm hoping it really does turn out to be Merwilla
> plumbea - to use the new name. Looking at the pictures on the wiki, I
> decided that the flowering scapes must be about three feet high. Does that
> sound right?
> I ate breakfast and read the paper out on the deck this morning: the roses
> on the pergola are coming into bloom and now and then I was enveloped in a
> cloud of rose fragrance. I thought for a moment about the poor souls
> struggling to get to some holiday destination in a car engulfed in 
> congested
> traffic. I'm staying put and have no regrets whatsoever. Please pass me
> another slice of the lemon cake and say, didn't I just hear a veery?
> Jim McKenney
> Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where the first water lily
> buds are above water.
> My Virtual Maryland Garden
> Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS
> Editor PVC Bulletin
> Webmaster Potomac Lily Society
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