cold hardy South African winter growers?

Ernie DeMarie via pbs pbs@lists.ibiblio.org
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 13:22:27 PST
Hi Nick, 
I am sure there are quite a few winter growers from the higher altitudes of the Cape that could do well in your climate, though they might need protection from your hot summers with rain.  I have seen Brunsvigia gregaria in bloom (summer time, but its leaves grow in winter) at Plant Delights in Raleigh, also they have grown Oxalis palmifrons and flava I think outdoors there.  I suspect anything from the Sutherland/Calvinia/Hantamberg area would be worth trying like Hesperantha hantambergensis or Romulea hantambergensis (not easy to germinate, I am still working on it, may need quite a bit of cold so I stuck a recalcitrant pot of seeds in my new cold frame this time).   Oxalis melanosticta exhibits great frost hardiness against a wall here so it probably would do fine in NC, as might O stenorrhynca,which like Moraea polystachya tends to come up in late summer and bloom before cut down by frost, but unlike the moraea it can also come back again for a repeat performance in sprin
 g here against a wall before going to sleep for summer.  So there should be a number of possibilities, its just a matter of trying out different things. 
Good luck,
Ernie DeMarie
NY, Z6/7 border



-----Original Message-----
From: Nicholas plummer <nickplummer@gmail.com>
To: Pacific Bulb Society <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Mon, Dec 19, 2016 1:22 pm
Subject: [pbs] cold hardy South African winter growers?

The Moraea polystachya planted in my garden has been blooming all autumn,
despite several frosts.  I'm not sure if it will flower again after several
nights in the mid 20s and a low of 20 F (-6.5 C) on Friday morning, but the
foliage still looks good.  This is its third winter planted in the ground.

Are there other South African winter growers that exhibit similar hardiness
and would be worth trying here in Zone 7b?  Ideally, they'd be plants that
bloom closer to the beginning of the growing season, so I'd be more certain
of getting flowers before a hard freeze.

Any suggestions?

Nick Plummer
Durham, North Carolina, Zone 7







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