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CULT: Firenze vs. Texas, growing conditions (was ABBEY ROAD)

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: CULT: Firenze vs. Texas, growing conditions (was ABBEY ROAD)
  • From: "J. Michael, Celia or Ben Storey" <storey@aristotle.net>
  • Date: Tue, 2 Jun 1998 09:24:53 -0600 (MDT)

Donald asks:
>I expect most of this list is happy to share in good news of this
>sort.  Have you been to Firenze personally?  What is the climate
>of that part of Italy?  Dry and hot like Texas?  If so, performance
>there might be an indication it would do well here.
Firenze is the Italian for Florence. Florence as I remember it does not
have a Texas-like climate ... although that term is rather a broad term for
a multitude of situations. I grew up variously in the arid Dallas suburbs,
in sub-San Antonio thornbrush (Winter Garden Valley) and also along the
mosquito-laden Gulf Coast. Very different growing conditions in these
places, different weeds, different soils.

Glancing through somewhat difficult to decipher and perhaps completely
unreliable charts in a 1982 Bartholomew World Atlas (the mind is only as
good as its sources!), under "Rainfall and Oceanography" we find all of the
Italian boot striped in shades of blue, indicating annual rainfalls of
39-59". Texas, meanwhile, bears wobbly slashes of palest blue and pale
green, indicating about 20 inches to about 39 inches annual rainfall. (Hmm.
Coastal Texans may dispute that accounting.)

Amid the colorful blur of the "Climatic Seasons" chart, most of Italy
subscribes to the "Mediterranean" category, except for the central northern
areas which are "Mountain." Texas, meanwhile, seems to be divided between
Prairie-Steppe (this would be the piney woods, I suppose) and various
levels of "Semi-arid" country distinguished by rainfall infrequency.

"Length of Growing Season" shows all of Italy with "Over 9 months," while
Texas ranges from "Over 9 months" on the coast to "6-9 months" inland.

Under "Soil Groups," Italy has "brown soils" along the coast and "brown
forest soils" inland. Texas is said to have "yellow-brown, yellow and red,"
"brown soils" and "grey-brown soils."

On the "Cephalic Index" (roundness of heads) Southern Italy has
medium-headed people (mesocephalic), northern Italy, which appears here to
include Florence, has broad-headed people (brachycephalic). Texas has all
medium-headed people (mesocephalic).

This is more than I wanted to know about potential similarities between
Italy and Texas, and, as suggested above, may not be precisely accurate.
But one thing I do know, irises flourish in both places.

Little Rock, Arkansas USDA Zone 7b

"A boy is a chance to build your own Frankenstein, so to speak. You can
show the world what life would be be like if you were in charge of making
people." Hank Hill

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