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Hardiness for Helicodiceros and Dracunculus

  • Subject: Hardiness for Helicodiceros and Dracunculus
  • From: James Waddick <jwaddick@kc.rr.com>
  • Date: Sun, 31 Jan 2010 13:38:41 -0600

	I've grown Dracunculus in my Zone 6 semi-rural Kansas City 
area for over 10 years. This includes commercial tubers, a gift from 
pal Steve Marak and seed grown to bloom. Only the hardest late 
freeze, after they have really started to grow well, hurts them. We 
routinely get below 0F and usually spend days to weeks below 
freezing.  I get multiple flowers each year and the plants increase 
in number.

	I have grown Helicodiceros for years in pots  wintered over 
in a cool frost-free greenhouse where it is just now emerging for the 
year. I also have a single small plant on a sloped bank facing west 
that has grown for a few years (3 or 4) without any special 
protection. Each year this plant slowly gets larger and perhaps in 
some mild winter -not this one - it will grow enough to bloom.

	I have sent tubers to friends in cold climates encouraging 
them to try similar exposures and test for hardiness.

	I have found this to be something of pot weed with even small 
pieces of tuber sending up growth in many pots with reused soil kept 
frost free.

	While I have the 'stage' - Does anyone know where one can 
acquire the white/yellow/cream flowered forms of Dracunculus 
vulgaris. ?

	I'd call Dracunculus totally hardy here in my area, but 
Helicodiceros still unproven.

			Best		Jim Waddick
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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