Surprise in the seed department, and a near freebie comes into good form

Robin Hansen
Sun, 13 Dec 2009 17:12:28 PST
Jim and All,

The florists' cyclamen, if they get enough light and enjoy coolish temperatures will bloom for months.  The mini hybrids (large florists' cyclamen backcrossed with persicum species) are particularly floriferous and have some fragrance, bloom for many months, taking only the briefest of breaks, and then flowering again.  They set little seed, however, unless they get a great deal of light - not full sun - light.  Even so, I have to help things along by giving them a good shake periodically or by using a camel's hair brush.  The seed germinates well - just don't expect the seedlings to be identical to the parent, although they will be similar.  

The nice thing about the minis is that the stay decidedly smaller than the large hybrids and do have fragrance.  The fragrance is not as intense as the species, but acceptable.  

Robin Hansen
Zone 9 Southwestern Oregon 
where 12 has given way to 32 and rain
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Jim McKenney 
  To: 'Pacific Bulb Society' 
  Sent: Sunday, December 13, 2009 12:17 PM
  Subject: [pbs] Surprise in the seed department,and a near freebie comes into good form

  It's been raining all day, so I've been looking for things to do inside. I
  checked some pots of seed sown recently and had a nice surprise: seed of
  Calochortus weedii collected in 2005 (Northwest Natives seed) and received
  in the fall of 2008 and stored in the refrigerator since is suddenly
  germinating en masse. This seed was sown in early November and has been kept
  cold but above freezing since. I brought the pot inside the other day when
  bad weather was expected - I wonder if the seed germinated so suddenly in
  response to the comparatively warm conditions in the house? 


  Several weeks ago I rescued a big florist's cyclamen at the local grocery
  store: it had dried out, wilted and was put out at a steep discount ($1.50).
  I took one look at it and realized that all it needed was a good soak, and
  so it came home with me. It then spent the next few weeks outside recovering
  in the fresh air and rain. By now it is fully recovered and has a place of
  honor in the house (but only temporarily because the house is too warm for
  it). It's got dozens of buds and maybe six or seven fully developed intense
  red flowers. I'm curious to see how long it will continue to bloom - it
  looks as if it's set for several months of bloom. I'll keep it outside as
  long as the temperature stays above freezing (it was covered in snow in a
  recent snow fall - that didn't seem to bother it a bit). 



  Jim McKenney

  Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone

  My Virtual Maryland Garden



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