old seeds

Shirley samclan@redshift.com
Fri, 28 Mar 2008 19:25:17 PDT
I suspect the seed companies wanted us to buy new supplies each year and 
inferred, by dating their packets with a particular year, that fresh was 
needed for germination.  Not only geophytes but also perennials and annuals 
maintain their viability longer than we expect.  You may get a smaller 
percentage of  seeds germinating, but you still may be pleasantly surprised. 
So at least give them a try.

Last year at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont, CA, I saw some 40 
year old seeds they had germinated after being stored in a deep freeze. 
Almost 100% came up.   They were part of the Center for Plant Conservation 
project to save endangered plants and restore them to their natural habitat.

Shirley Meneice

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "piaba" <piabinha@yahoo.com>
To: <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, March 28, 2008 2:03 PM
Subject: [pbs] old seeds

> marguerite,
> i wouldn't try this, but i read that some scientists a
> few years ago germinated seed from a magnolia tree,
> that was a few thousand years old (the seeds, that
> is).  so yes, some seeds do maitain amazing viability.
>>    I found a package of seeds, including some old BX
>> seeds, while
>> cleaning this winter, and decided to try some of
>> them before I threw
>> them out.  Good thing!      I planted 5 pkts of
>> Romulea species and 2 of
>> Lachenalia from BX 5, sent in August, 2002.   They
>> all germinated and I
>> have full pots of small seedlings growing strongly.
>>   I was amazed at
>> the excellent germination rate from seeds so old.
>> What a miracle
>> geophyte seeds are!     Now to try the remainder.
> =========
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