Thursday, April 01, 2010

Frost damage after a disgustingly cold snap

Friday 26 March- overnight low here -8.5C, Saturday high -3C, Saturday overnight low -12C. (Schizophrenic weekends; the forecast for the valleyfor the coming weekend approaches +20C!) Then daily highs above freezing and generally warming temperatures. Hellebores showed some damage in places depending on plant and location; mostly it was brown patches on open sepals, or stems that turned a bit translucent and folded over. Were the reproductive parts of the flowers damaged? I don't know- the flowers face downwards, so perhaps enough warmth was trapped in the parasol to keep the ovaries from freezing, if not the anthers. Following photos show some of the damaged and undamaged flowers.

Frost damage on Helleborus orientalis/caucasica, above. The first 2 photos are of the flowers featured a couple of days ago, the third is the plant recently shown with snow on it.

A group of potted Helleborus niger; those on the south side of the group (first photo) were seriously frost-damaged, others on the north side of the group (second photo), not.

Helleborus orientalis hybrid, the plant near the warmest foundation. Some flowers affected, some not. Predictably, those closest to the foundation are still fine.

And some daffodil (Narcissus) stems likewise folded following frost damage:

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