Wachendorfia thyrisflora

Charles Powne via pbs pbs@lists.pacificbulbsociety.net
Thu, 01 Aug 2019 15:26:06 PDT
I’m attaching a pair of photos of Wachendorfia thyrsiflora blooming in late May in my front garden in Portland. They’re flanked by an expanding clump of Hesperantha coccinea, but seem to be holding their own for now.

This year we were blessed with a USDA zone 10 (30-40°F) winter right up the beginning of February, then there were 16 nights where it was zone 9 (20-30° F), spread over about six weeks. The two coldest nights hit a low of 23°F. Experience has taught me that W. thyrsiflora will die back to the ground at about 25°F, so I decorated the plants with holiday lights and covered them with a tarp for wind protection for that chilly period. They came through just fine and rewarded me with three bloom spikes. I’ll have lots of seeds to send to Albert in another week or two. 

A note on the cultural requirements for this plant: They love having wet feet, so make sure they have access to water at all times. There’s a child’s wading pool filled with gravel  submerged below these plants. It’s fed with rainwater from the downspout, which was disconnected from the sewer. In the summer I splash a bit of water on them every now then, but I think there’s a reserve under them most of time. 

Charles Powne
USDA zone 8b

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