knowledgable south african

bobbejaantjieJanuary 20, 2007

hey guys

i see there is much confusion about south african plants. do they like it dry or wet, sunny or shady etc. truth be told in our country we have about15-20 microclimates...so depending where the plant comes from will deteremine what conditions they prefer. the reason the south western cape has about 10 000 plant species is because rainfall and temperature changes excessively. rainfall in the meditarrenean areas vary from 150mm to over 3500mm(about 7inches to over 130inches)mountains block rain and create cool very moist pockets where the plants can handle extreme colds and snow. soils are generally immature and lack organic humus. coastal soils are mostly sandy, this also where most cultivated bulb species originate from.this results in the tricky part of growing cape bulbs, they love generous watering, but hate poorly drained soils. you do however find bulbs that prefer the malmesbury shale soil types and may grow in clay soils. sounds complicated...not really as a general rule keep the soil well drained, not rich and water regularly in the growing season. south africa however does not only consist of fynbos(cape flora)...clivia's are from the wet east of south africa where very high rainfall and forest canopy requires much mulching and watering. this area is similiar i guess to say northern florida and southern georgia. the north generally consists of bushveld with typical savannah and the west of desert shrubs. the extreme south is similar to northern california/southern oregon with rain throughout the year, thick temperate rainforest and cool temperatures. and i haven't even started on south africa's wet and dry alpine flora....a mouthful...if you want to know anything, i have fairly sound knowledge on the flora and associated climes, so ask if you have a question...

speak soon bobbejaantjie(babiana bulb)

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hawaii50(z10 HI)

Thank you for offering to share your knowledge, bobbejaantjie. I bought some seeds from Silverhill without knowing the climates those plants grow under. I planted them about a month ago, and a few have germinated. I live in Honolulu, where the climate is subtropical, with a low temperature of about 58 degrees F. and a high of about 92 degrees F. Another member of the forum already told me that only a couple of my seeds will grow here. I wonder if you could provide information about the climates in South Africa where the following plants are found so that I can improve my chances on growing them:

Dombeya cacuminum
Geum capense
Geissorhiza inflexa
Geissorhiza radians
Geissorhiza splendidissima
Moraea polystachya
Moraea ramossisima
Romulea amoena
Romulea diversiformis
Romulea komsbergensis
Romulea rosea

Also, I wonder if you could inform me about which areas of South Africa are tropical or subtropical so that next time I get seeds I'll limit my selection to plants that grow in these areas. Thank you.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 4:42AM
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bobbejaantjie

if you want specific warm temperate to sub tropical seeds and need province names ask for seed from eastern cape, kwazulu natal, limpopo, mpumalanga and prob northwest province

    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 3:58PM
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