At 09:12 10/10/03 -0700, you wrote: >Dear All, > >Dell tells me that 30+ people asked for the Brunsvigia grandiflora seeds >from Rhoda and Cameron. I think this is a splendid opportunity to document >how long Amaryllid seed can remain viable and still produce bulbs. > Mary Sue et al, If they are anything like Haemanthus (I have never tested this with Brunsvigia) then some of them can germinate and live for months without ever being planted..... How do I know, well OK... Confession time <grin>. A couple of years aback I availabled myself of some Haemanthus albiflos seed frm the IBS BX, received them and they <cough>, erm.. got lost for a while. 3 months later I found them. All 4 had germinated in the packet and formed tiny bulbs with a somewhat sickly looking short yellow leaf on the top. I think the leaf had started, realised it wasn't going to happen and then stopped itself until ligth etc was available. The bulb was a little larger than the original seed, despite the fact that there was no light at all available to the seed when it germinated. I carefully planted these tiny bulbs at ground level and they grew happily. It was a real surprise to me!! Interesting that this discussion arose now. A while back I wrote on one of hte lists about how I had removed a seed head from a Haemanthus albiflos after hearing that virus could possibly be transferred via pollen (I had of course been madly pollinating this particular plant with one that i had just learned was virused). I put the flower head in a vase to enjoy the flowers for a while and then left it there as there looked to be some activity. It survived many months and produced happily viable seeds which I harvested about 6 weeks ago (one of the berries contained a seed which already had a 1cm radical still WITHIN the berry before harvesting!!). There were still some small berries on the head to I left it just in case. This morning I went to throw it out and thought I'd check the berries just to be sure. 2 of the berries had tiny leaves poking out of their shriveled remains so I harvested about 8 or 9 tiny berries which were still on there. Every one of these contained a viable seed, all of which were producing radicals of some description. The couple which had leaves poking out had no actual seed remaining, but instead had used the seed to produce a small bulb in a similar way to what I outlined happened to me a few years ago in the packet. These tiny bulbs had healthy green leaf on top and I'll be planting them this afternoon. All the others will be similarly planted and I expect all of them will quite happily produce bulbs and grow successfully now. I have no idea whether this applies to Brunsvigia or not, but certainly never give up until the seed is gone and rotted. It was just so cool finding them already germinating before even being picked. I am rather glad I checked before I threw the old head out <grin>. Anyway, I thought this might interest some of you. I also seem to recall one of the South African suppliers (Rachel, Rhoda?) saying that they find that seed germinated much better if left in a warm dark cupboard rather than being sown. I have certainly found that fresh seed that is sown immediately may sit for a number of weeks before it does anything (in this case anything may be germinate, or rot!) whereas the same seed kept in an envelope will germinate within a week or two and be WELL ahead of anything from the pot as it will have weeks more to produce food and bulb before it goes dormant. Since I heard that others felt this way I have kept all of my fleshy amaryllid seeds in an envelope until they start germinating, then I sow them. This has included belladonnas, Nerines, Haemanthus etc. It really does produce SO much better germination I have found. Cheers. Paul Tyerman Canberra, Australia. USDA equivalent - Zone 8/9 mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Growing.... Galanthus, Erythroniums, Fritillarias, Cyclamen, Crocus, Cyrtanthus, Oxalis, Liliums, Hellebores, Aroids, Irises plus just about anything else that doesn't move!!!!!