Hardiness & Helicodiceros


Plant hardiness is a notorious concept to pin down.  There are two
hardiness classification systems quoted in the UK although most gardeners
here ignore them either blissfully or deliberately.  The European Garden
Flora uses a series of 5 Hardiness Codes defined as 'Temperatures withsto=
by plants in cultivation'.  The New RHS Dictionary uses a series of 11
zones defined as 'Annual minimum temperature range of coldest climatic ba=
in which plant will thrive'.  The RHS zones are in fact just centigrade
translations of the Fahrenheit figures used in the USDA classification (y=
another example of American cultural hegemony!).

I live in European zone H5 (0 C to - 5 C (32 F to 23 F)) which is roughly
equivalent to USDA zone 9 (20 F to 30 F (- 6.6 C to - 1.2C)).  Last winte=
we had about two weeks closer to H4 or zone 8.

In my experience Helicodiceros, Sauromatum venosum and Amorphophallus
konjac survive these conditions although I have not flowered the latter


There is one commercial source for Helicodiceros listed in the UK Plant

Avon Bulbs
Burnt House farm
South Petherton
Somerset TA13 5HE
Tel: + 44 1460 242177

The corms are =A34.50 each and they've got 6 or so left in stock.  For ex=
sales at this time of year, the phyto will cost about =A340 and p&p on to=
p of
that.  If there is a group in the US desperately wanting the plant
(personally I think it's fantastic) maybe it could elect one person to ac=
as the importer so as to share the cost of the phyto, p&p etc.=20
Alternatively individuals could wait until Sept./Oct. 98 when Avon Bulbs
organize their next major pre-export inspection in which case the cost
component of the phyto will be considerably reduced.

David Constantine
2 High Street
Somerset TA7 9PL
tel:          + 44 1458 210607
fax:         + 44 1458 210650

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