Interesting stuff, Bob! I’m one of the stubborn ones giving it brownii a go this year. I received a specimen from Wolfgang Gießler last October, grafted on delavayi-root. That root sure looked great when I planted it. I have good hopes it will flower this spring already, as is usual for these types of plants.
From what I understand from Wolfgang, brownii is fine with wet winter conditions, but it cannot handle water on the crown in the summer (that critical time would be starting after flowering, I presume). Well, that will be tough luck for it in our Dutch climate…..
I am hoping for multiple flowers, and will try to get some pollen from it and keep it for an odd-ball pollination. Probably the best I can do, since I don’t expect it to live long – brownii just doesn’t seem designed for our Dutch “summers”. Although I remain hopeful that the furious power of delavayi will keep it alive for more than one growing season. I’ll try to give an update here in April when it decides to show top growth for me.