Propagation and Cultivation info. on wiki

Nhu Nguyen
Wed, 17 Jun 2009 12:56:36 PDT
Hi Jane,

This is probably a late reply to your question about PDF conversion but I
figure I'd email you anyway just in case. If you bought a PDF conversion
software from Adobe, there will be a plugin from Word. You can also do it
online at for free but this takes forever and you have to
register. You can also use OpenOffice (open source software equivalent to
Microsoft Office) to convert the PDF. I have that on my computer so if you'd
like for me to make a conversion and add it to the wiki, I'd love to help.
This would be a wonderful resource to have!


On Fri, Jun 12, 2009 at 9:26 AM, Jane McGary <>wrote:

> Mary Sue wrote regarding putting seed raising information on the wiki,
> "And if Jane has something she has already done that we could
> >add in a pdf file and then link it to a page  that would be great in
> >addition to whatever Byron does.
> The article in question, "Raising a bulb collection from seed,"
> appeared in Rock Garden Quarterly 65(3) (summer 2007), an issue
> largely devoted to growing plants from seed. I found the Word file
> for the article but it doesn't exist as a separate pdf. If somebody
> would like to tell me how to make a pdf from a Word file, I can do
> that. I've never bothered to learn because someone else does it on
> all the publications I work on.
> If you have a broader interest in seed raising and saving, you can
> buy a back issue from the NARGS Book Service at
> The next issue, 65(4), also has some articles on seed raising.
> A cumulative index to the entire run of the NARGS Bulletin/Quarterly
> is now complete and should be online at that site soon, if not already.
> Just to comment on techniques: Some of the techniques described for
> germinating seed seem to be aimed more at testing viability than at
> actually raising mature plants. I've always felt that germinating
> seeds on damp paper or in bags of vermiculite in the refrigerator,
> and then transferring the germinated ones to a growing medium in a
> pot, is likely to kill a lot of incipient plants. It's probably best
> suited to very large seeds that can be handled by an amateur without
> damaging the emerging radicle. (I just transplanted some Styrax
> obassia seedlings at this stage successfully, but the seeds are about
> the size of large garden peas.)
> Some techniques will induce germination but not necessarily result in
> healthy plants. This has been observed often in seedlings germinated
> with the aid of GA-3; in some genera, the resulting seedlings are
> etiolated and do not mature properly. Moreover, the chemicals needed
> for some treatments may be daunting for amateurs to handle outside
> the laboratory. Despite having taken a couple of years of lab courses
> in college long ago, I would not use sulphuric acid at home; I think
> even the highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide recommended for some
> seeds can be hazardous.
> One of the most important things to learn about seeds is how dry
> storage affects a given species (this can vary even within a genus,
> e.g. in Fritillaria and Erythronium). It may increase germination
> success, decrease it, eliminate it, or trigger an extended dormancy
> period -- or have no apparent effect. Furthermore, whatever rule is
> discovered by experimentation, as in the studies reported by Norman
> Deno, it's possible that a few individual seeds will break that rule.
> Thus, even though I'm told by the literature that planting Adonis
> seed is hopeless if it's not fresh, I do it anyway, and have obtained
> a very few plants that way; it's worth the expense and effort,
> because I have no other way of getting plants in this genus in the
> USA. It isn't useful to obtain and plant seed of a common species
> that is known to have low storage viability (e.g., Fritillaria
> meleagris, Aconitum napellus), because you can easily get it some
> other way. But if you want a rare species with probably short
> viability (e.g., Fritillaria japonica, Aconitum krylovii), the long
> shot is worth it.
> Jane McGary
> Northwestern Oregon, USA
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