Started by: AGS EncyclopaediaGo to latest contribution by Tim Ingram, 25 May 2012, 18:48. Go to bottom of this page.
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I have a plant which is >20 years old and which has spread gradually to form a clump a metre or so across. It is growing in a bed at the base of a N-facing wall in soil that never dries out, which is probably one reason why it does so well. Perhaps surprisingly, given its provenance, it has been unaffected by the very cold temperatures during the winters of 2009-10 and 2010-11.
It's not surprising that Philesia is cold hardy. It occurs in the extreme South of the Argentine and Chilean mainland. We found it last year growing in Chile to the west of Torres del Paine National Park, a few kilometers from the Southern Ice Field. It was growing at the margin of woodland together with Drimys winteri, Fuchsia magellanica, Escallonia rosea, Lomatia ferruginea, Nothofagus betuloides, Maytenus boarii & Pilgerodendron uviferum. In our dry Southampton garden Philesia grows reasonably well but does not flower every year.