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Discussion in 'Botany Photo of the Day Submissions' started by LPN, Feb 19, 2006.
Dispite the chilly overnight temps, my Grevellia 'Canberra Gem' is just itching to bloom.
Mine have been in flower for about 2 weeks, but they are in a polytunnel, whats the coldest temperature yours has taken?
The winter previous to this, we had one night of -7 celcius (19f) and so far this winter a two night drop to -3.9 c (25f). Not a mark on it with those temps. The hummingbirds come to this plant frequently when it's in bloom.
are both of you growing any other species, varieties of Grevillea as well? G. rosmarinifolia (tiny plant!) is in flower at UBCBG (bot gdn) now.
It's usual for various marginal plants to grow here for years, perhaps decades, then be lost when it gets below 10F. It's these single digit minimum temperatures that really thin out the crop.
Im pretty sure i tried and failed with rosmarinifolia, i read some where canberra gem was slightly hardier.....thinking about it, i'm quite sure i lost the rosmarinifolia, i have also grown Olympic flame, by all accounts its not as hardy as canberra gem.
My coldest temp in 25 years of gardening has been -12C (10.4F). I suppose if we have a zone 7b winter somehow, most of my garden will be toast. Well at least I'll have had two and a half decades of "marginal plants".
Waterfront locations in parts of Seattle had 12F in 1990, the coldest winter in 30 years. Back from the beach it was colder, we had 5F (or less) in Edmonds. We are probably less than 1/4 mile from the water but up behind a cliff. 2F was claimed for a location in NW Seattle. 5F-7F seemed to be what many locations got within several miles of Puget Sound, around Seattle.
An estate right off the beach in Seattle used to feature rhododendrons normally seen in northern California.
Thought I'd add a bit of advice from the plants home country. There a few hundred varieties of Grevillea available and some grow in the southern colder regions whereas others originate in warmer drier areas. 15 years nursery experience has shown whether grafted onto G. robusta for extra hardiness or grown on it's own roots, if it's a cold climate Grevillea it will not take warmer temps, and vice versa. Canberra Gem is one that will tolerate a slightly lower range of temperatures. Most grevileas are relatively short lived to 20 yrs, Phosphorus sensitive and require fairly regular pruning to maintain controlled and healthy growth.
'Porrinda Constance' has been good on Vashon Island, west of Seattle, as has Grevillea victoriae. I have several of the latter near a west-facing wall in Edmonds. It and various other kinds have been appearing in some local garden centers; these are usually trucked up from California.
Vashon Island has some great gardens. Is Colvos Creek nursery still operating there? Ron B, are you growing any Callistemon?
The 'Poorinda Constance' and G. victoriae I was talking about are in Colvos' test garden.
I have bottlebrushes planted both in Edmonds and on Camano Island.
I just bought a Canberra Gem. My neighbour has a lovely one in her yard. I have a Grevellia Victoria, and the hummingbirds LOVE it. I was looking for something to add to my garden that they might enjoy. I was pleased to discover that they are the same plant family! I hope it meets the hummers' 'criteria'! But, it is a lovely looking plant anyway. I've seen it in Victoria in median plantings for the past few years...and in my neighbour's yard. Hers made it through this snowy, rainy winter.
The soil here is shallow and not great. It's also very dry, windy and mostly sunny. However, both her plant and mine have done well.
I see someone here says the plant's life may be 20 years!!! Oh, no! I'll have to find another Victoria to plant soon as I LOVE that plant! It's a workhorse in my garden.
Not only are 'Canberra Gem' and G. victoriae in the same family, they are in the same genus.
If this is a true native of the Canberra [Aust.} area I can almost bet cold won't kill it. That place is so cold in winter it would rival some of the northen hemisphere locations.
We are positivley tropical down here by comparison.
Grevillea 'Canberra Gem' is of course named for Canberra, capital of Australia. We should be careful not to confuse it with our neighbour city, Victoria BC. Coldest extreme temp. in Canberra is -10c/12F, so yes, it can get cold there but would be rare indeed. Interestingly, -10c at the botanical garden at UBC in Vancouver seems to be a threshold not only for these plants but also Acacia baileyana, Banksia marginata and a few others we try to grow here (over and over again). We reached about -9c last November with a windchill and our G. victoriae was blackened in parts but has recovered well and is blooming again.
I have seen Grevillea Canberra Gem for sale at a gulf islands nursery. Does the shop at UBC sell it too? Or does anyone know of another source on the Lower Mainland? Has anyone grown it with a little winter protection?
Yes, it is occasionally available via the Shop. Do call ahead, of course!
No winter protection at my garden in Lantzville (north Nanaimo). It's well sited, southern exposure, good drainage.
I can't believe how much mine has grown since I planted it in May. It didn't need a lot of water, either. I'm really looking forward to those flowers! My neighbours' plant sadly died as they had to move it. But, it has survived some cold weather here on Lower Vancouver Island.
They are relatively fast growing and need space as well. Flowers attract hummingbirds too.
I'm experimenting with a grevillea Canberra gem this spring, to place in a dry east facing, full sun, ocean front spot. We have a grevillea victoriana that is thriving in a fenced in courtyard , blooms all winter, and is exceptionally healthy. The G Canberra will experience strong winter winds, drought in the summer. I chose the Canberra type because there are two abandoned and neglected canberras in a sunny dry unwatered spot in an abandoned golf course that seem to be thriving and blooming.
The lowest winter temp I've recorded here is -10c
Salt Spring Island