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Re: hardiness of Sauromatum

  • To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
  • Subject: Re: hardiness of Sauromatum
  • From: DeniBown@aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 23:29:23 -0500 (CDT)

My personal experience may not be relevant, as I live in the UK, but I have 
found it much hardier than gardening manuals say.  For instance, the Royal 
Horticultural Society's A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden plants gives "minimum 5 
degrees C (41 degrees F), while my plants stand several degrees of frost.  
First I planted surplus tubers at the base of a wall that stays warmer and 
drier than the border.  When they survived and multiplied I then tried them 
in the open ground and last winter (which was pretty mild though of course 
with some brief frosty spells - and loads of rain) they came through again, 
no problem.  I live in Norfolk, which is not a particularly warm area of 
Britain.  Also we don't have hot summers, but they grow very nicely just the 
same. Plants currently have leaves 60cm (2ft) across, with leaflets 30cm 
(12in) long, on stems 60cm (2ft) tall. From a single tuber, most plants now 
have four or five other leaves in addition to the main one that develops 
after the inflorescence withers. They have infructescences developing at 
ground level too.

I have also found that plants grown in the open ground, rather than in pots, 
get much bigger, stay much healthier, and multiply faster.  They form very 
handsome clumps of leaves and in my view should be much more widely grown as 
garden ornamentals. They are also happy in full sun, which most arisaemas 
don't like. Even in areas that have a hard freeze, they could be treated like 
other bulbs, and lifted in the fall. 

Next winter I'll try to keep records of actual temperatures.

Hope this helps.

Deni Bown

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