Another Lycoris question & hawk moth
Sat, 15 Aug 2009 07:10:36 PDT
NOTE: Apologies to Anita and Mary Sue for duplication...

Hi, Anita. You are likely remembering the observations of the late Sam  
Caldwell. I have a main bed of L. squamigera that is 4'x 48' long with  
bulbs planted 5 years ago about 4-6" apart in all directions. In that  
time splitting has occurred. I bring this up in an effort to help us  
visualize the potential quantity of flower stalks that can come up any  
particular season. Last season, because I'm stubborn, I daubed and  
tagged various random stalks with pollen from whatever other species  
was in bloom resulting in no seed, but this was a very small quantity  
of the population. When all was said and done, I DID get about five or  
so open pollinated seed that looked big enough and dark enough to be
viable, but this is out of that entire plot, and I did not hang stalks  
upside down.

I put these seed in a 3 1/2" pot and got no foliage this spring, but  
with a little bit of finger probing this summer I'm fairly certain I  
have at least one bulb below the surface (probably just a piece of  
bark; whimper, whimper). Chances are nothing will ever happen, but  
with this possible success, I wonder what might have happened if I had  
been able to germinate the seed in a sterile tissue culture environment.

I bring all this up to suggest, if you want to pursue such an  
adventure, volume of stalks is probably needful. If you don't have  
such volume, keep your eyes open for properties that do. I know of one  
location in our area that has a large population, but don't know if  
they would give me permission to collect seed. Also, I'm of the belief  
you will find greater hope for success getting to plant stage from  
seed with tissue culture. Additionally, you may be able to attempt  
germination with less developed seed that you would otherwise be  
certain would not germinate under normal conditions.

A quick note to everybody: Hawk moths, which I have not seen here  
since we moved to the new location 4 years ago (planted 5 years) have  
finally found my Lycoris beds. They are so fun to watch, and, like  
busy bees, don't seem to mind my presence while they find nectar.  
Hoping you all are having a good weekend.

Quoting "by way of Mary Sue Ittner <>"  

> Somewhere in the Lycoris literature, someone mentioned that cutting the L.
> squam. bloom stalks and hanging them up (rarely) induced seed formation.
> How long after the flower petals fade away is this done?
> Yes, I do understand that L. squam. is a sterile triploid (I've had college
> level Genetics), BUT I'm curious to see what happens--if anything.
> And if seed is by some miracle produced, what then? Grow them in agar via
> sterile tissue culture?
> [Hey, winter will be here before you know it, and I'm a housewife who has
> plenty of time on her hands during winter.]
> Thanks,
> Anita Clyburn
> Terre Haute. Indiana
> Zone 5B and the clay soil is rapidly becoming hard as bricks around here.
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