Datura Trivia and other marginal "geophytes"

pelarg@aol.com pelarg@aol.com
Mon, 30 Dec 2013 11:17:06 PST

I collected seed of Datura wrightii near Kanab Utah many years ago, and they seem to be hardy near NYC, and I now have 2 plants grown from seed at our new location in Briarcliff Manor, a bit north of where we were before. I have seen plants of other provinence growing in the NYC area that are perennial as well (I think my collection might have slightly larger flowers, but not sure).  However the forecast calls for a recordbreaking low at the end of the week of -1F, which may or may not be preceeded by a snowstorm.  With snow cover I think the daturas and other things I planted out that I really hoped would not have to endure a really cold winter, such as Crinum bulbispermum (2-3 year old seedlings, planted deep), Musa bajoo, and various kniphofia species, gladioli hybrids that have been hardy in Tuckahoe NY for many years, among others should be safe but without snow cover I don't know how well they will get thru.  We've been down to 15 F or less, but near the house I still s
 ee at least 2 oxalis spp (melanosticta is one of them) from S Africa with undamaged leaves, but I would be amazed if even this protected spot they make it.  At my school garden along a wall Amaryllis belladonna has some foliage and Scilla peruviana is pretty well grown out--they have done well there for years, along with a Dierama that is almost evergreen (and is still green as of last week).  A mature Crinum x powellii has survived in the school garden in an unprotected location on a slope for a few years, it will also be tested by this kind of low I imagine.  I actually can't remember seeing 0F for decades in this general area just north of NYC.  
Spring can't come soon enough,
Ernie DeMarie
Briarcliff Manor NY
Z7 or maybe this year Z6? 


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