What's Blooming Oregon

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Mon, 01 Jun 2009 10:59:21 PDT
We've had several posts on this topic from western Oregon, where I 
live too. Ken wrote,
         This garden is in what is now USDA Zone 8, though for many years I
>regarded it as Z7b.  Even that designation is a little iffy, as I've
>twice seen -5F, and once -12F.  However this past winter saw a low of
>only +14F (twice) so perhaps Z8 is accurate.  When I see some of the
>things offered in garden centers, I still cringe.

It got down to only +17F here this winter, probably because Ken lives 
at a lower elevation and there was a temperature inversion. I would 
not depend on plants rated Z8 in this garden, though. It depends 
where they come from. Western American woody plants with that rating 
do fine, but eastern American and Asian ones usually die. I can't 
grow Agapanthus or Begonia grandis, but Ken does. "Callas," by which 
he probably means Zantedeschia aethiopica and not Calla palustris, 
are hardy here in the ground, but Canna would not be. I had some 
Crinum for years and never got a flower, probably because it's not 
warm enough for it, so I gave it to someonel down in the valley and 
it flowered for them.

He writes:
"Alstroemeria--the first opened a day or so ago, a hybrid,
>rather pale orange, and rather tall.  A. "pulcra maxima" will be open
>in a week or so."

I kind of doubt that a real Alstroemeria pulchra would survive in 
those temperatures. I wonder if Ken has A. ligtu ssp. incarnata? I 
grow the latter, and I'm afraid I may once have misidentified it as 
A. pulchra ssp. maxima and he may have obtained seed under that name. 
I don't think, though, that I sent it to the NARGS exchange. It is a 
very large plant with "warm" pink flowers. A. pulchra has flowers 
with very rich markings of gold and purple. I flowered it in the 
solarium this year, out of a half-gallon pot, which really surprised 
me; I'll have to get it into something bigger.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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