cold hardy South African winter growers?

Ernie DeMarie via pbs pbs@lists.ibiblio.org
Thu, 29 Dec 2016 17:36:39 PST
Hi Charles, 
I have seen Brunsvigia gregorii in flower outside at Plant Delights along with Ammocharis coronica, the former being a winter grower, the latter a summer grower.  They have also sold Oxalis palmifrons and flava as outdoor plants in the past but they probably need more testing.  I have succeeded so far with O. melanosticta in a protected spot by the house but palmifrons didnt make it, then again I am in NY at the border of Z7/6.  They might require lifting during the hot and sometimes wet summer periods down south but there are winter growing bulbs that come from elevations where temps can get down into the single digits overnight, albeit not that often.  The areas to focus on would be the Hantamberg (especially), and high elevation areas around Sutherland and Calvinia up on the higher parts of the Roggeveld Plateau.  What we usually grow from S Africa's Cape is most often from lower elevations.   
While repotting numerous oxalis and bulbs this fall I set the left over potting soil mixed with coarse sand into a ditch in my South African garden in the backyard.  Many things came up, survived the lighter frosts, and when it got colder (teens) I threw some wood chips (maybe a couple of inches at best) over the plants, and will uncover in spring and see if anything makes it, this will be a good random test.  In a coldframe I have Oxalis obtusa (the large form from Anenouspas or hybrids thereof) that sowed in a pot of Brunsvigia radulosa which so far appears fine, but the lowest outside temp so far has been 12F I think. If anything in my "ditch" even survives I will put some in pots in the coldframe for next winter, figuring they should do even better in there.  
Ernie DeMarie 
Briarcliff Manor NY where no bulbs bloom outside but inside many oxalis spp are blooming, as is Hesperantha hantamensis, Moraea speciosa, Freesia sp, Moraea polystachya, Lapeirousia plicata, Walleria gracilis (blooms a long time), and I see the first buds forming on one of my Pelargonium incrassatum.   



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