Re: [IGS] Evergreen Hardies
Dear GreenHouse Nursery:
You asked about a list of evergreen hardy geraniums for Zone 8. Aside
from some perennial geraniums that normally go dormant in cold climates,
but remain evergreen if the winters are mild, there are a few that
remain evergreen, no matter what. Foremost of these is Geranium
macrorrhizum, its innumerable color selections and different named
forms. G. x cantabrigiense, and its color selections would also be
evergreen, because one of its parents is G. macrorrhizum. Its other
parent, G. dalmaticum becomes dormant.
G. maderense, G. palmatum, G. canariense and G. rubescens grow in the
winter, but if the temperatures fall into the low 20's F, they can
suffer leaf damage. Below 20 F. they may die. The South African
geraniums are also evergreen: G. harveyi, G. incanum, G. robustum, G.
'Frances Grate' (G. robustum X G. incanum), G. pulchrum, G.
ornithopodon, G. schlecteri, G. magniflorum and others. I really don't
know what their lower limits are. We tell customers not to grow them
out of Zone 8, but this is being cautious. It may be that they are
hardy to say, 0 F. Not enough people grow them in gardens here for us
to say definitively.
The New Zealand geraniums also remain evergreen. G. traversii has leaf
damage in the mid 20's, and death follows at lower temperatures. G.
sessiliflorum and its color selections are also evergreen, or rather
everbrown. The green form of G. sessiliflorum grows at 15,000 feet in
the Andes of South America, and collections made from high altitudes are
probably much more cold resistant.
In Zone 8, G. phaeum, G. x oxonianum and their innumerable color
selections and forms would stay evergreen, whereas they might become
dormant in lower temperatures.
I may have left a few out, but those are the main ones. If anyone else
has others that remain evergreen below Zone 8, it would be good to hear
from them. We depend on interested gardeners for most of our
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