Lilium bolanderi germination

Jim McKenney
Fri, 19 Jan 2007 19:57:44 PST
Diane Whitehead's data on the time it takes certain lily seeds to germinate
are interesting. 

Most of the seed of west coast lilies which I've had over the years has come
from the seed exchange of the North American Lily Society. This seed arrives
at a very inconvenient time for west coast lilies: March or April. In our
climate we are already having 80+ºF days in April on occasion. As a result,
the dry seed has always gone into the refrigerator until the following
autumn. Then sometime in the autumn I bag it up in a moist medium and put it
in the refrigerator – and then forget about it until sometime after the

When I’m bored during the winter, I check the seed in the refrigerator. By
then it is usually showing obvious signs of germination – typically a little
bulb but for some species also a first leaf will also be developing. It's
not unusual for all of the seeds to germinate, and for all of them to
germinate apparently at once (based on sporadic observations during which
they all seem to be at about the same stage of development).  The germinated
seed will survive for months in this condition in the refrigerator.

Once they are brought out into the light and warmth, they grow readily. The
challenge here is to keep the resulting seedlings alive once they enter
their summer dormancy.  

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7
My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

More information about the pbs mailing list