Gladiolus tristis and other gladioli
Tue, 19 May 2009 18:27:42 PDT
Once when I was working at the NYBG I grew G. tristis to flower in a sandbed against one of the greenhouses.? It, along with G. citrinis (now I think considered a form of tenellus which itself has a new name, I think) and Watsonia aletroides survived and bloomed after a mild el Nino winter in the early 90's.? They were also planted late to prevent too much early growth, and protected at times with conifer branches.? Foliage starts to show damage below 20 or so, and during that unusually mild winter we only got to 15F twice. Not an ideal way to grow them, but possibly a coldframe could work in colder regions.? Also consider the summer growing glads--G. longicollis is very much like G tristis and comes from high altitude in SA, though I have not had it long enough to have tried it outdoors yet.? In this area many glad hybrids (but not all) will make it through winters, and the species G. papilio and G. oppositiflorus are utterly hardy. "Boone", a dalenii form or hybrid also seems to do fine. G. saundersiae should also be hardy as well, I am just trying it outdoors this year. 
More people should be adventerous and try things that seem impossible--the latest pleasant surprise in my school garden is seeing a shoot (admittedly only one thus far) of a lantana emerging from under the ground at the base of a lantana, probably Ms Huff.? It got some leaves for protection, but otherwise is not protected. 
Ernie DeMarie
Tuckahoe NY Z6/7?? plantblog:

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