At 09:58 AM 10/08/2009, you wrote: >I garden in Auckland, New Zealand; this is not only my first posting >but my first attempt to join one of these mail lists and I still >don't understand how one replies to posts but no doubt I will learn. >I want advice about my (probable) moraea huttonii. I found a website >which noted that huttonii's foliage remains evergreen 'unless >frozen' and here in frost-free Auckland, the leaves are now over six >feet long and a dreadful nuisance in the middle of my herbaceous >border. Presumably I should have pretended to be Jack Frost in April >or May and cut them to the ground, but do I dare do that now? >Remember I am in the Southern hemisphere, so April and May were my >autumn and we are now in very early spring and the moraea should be >blooming in about a month. >Any advice from anyone who grows this beautiful plant in southern >California (very similar to Auckland in climate)would be most appreciated. >Cheers >Rosalind Rosalind, I grow these types of Moraea here in Canberra, Australia. While we are not terribly cold (getting to -8'C or -9'C each winter) they keep their leaves here as well. This and M. spathulata have done well for me for years (although I lost my M. huttonii last year for some unknown reason, which is a real shame) with no care or attention. Bear in mind that these Moraea appear to only produce a single leaf each year, so cutting the leaves off will likely severely impact on flowering if you didn't time it exactly right. I tended to cut the leaves some years on the spathulata just as the flowers were finishing, knowing that a new leaf was produced each year right after that. I think I have the timing right in memory. Given that they only produce a single leaf each year I would certainly not be cutting them in April or May, as I would imagine that would stop flowering as they could not continue to feed and set the flowers up? Maybe others who more clearly know their internal mechanics can help to tell you whether there is a perfect time to cut the leaves. Good luck Cheers. Paul T. Canberra, Australia - USDA Zone Equivalent approx. 8/9 Growing an eclectic collection of plants from all over the world including Aroids, Crocus, Cyclamen, Erythroniums, Fritillarias, Galanthus, Irises, Trilliums (to name but a few) and just about anything else that doesn't move!!