Rhadamanthus germination

Roy Herold rherold@yahoo.com
Tue, 01 Sep 2009 15:33:32 PDT

I brought back some Rhadamanthus seed from South Africa last November 
that I collected in a nursery, as opposed to in the wild. Late spring 
there, obvously. I sowed them in the usual way (gritty soil mix, cover 
with grit) in April (early spring here, breaking all the rules) and they 
germinated quickly, in a week as I recall.

They have grown happily all summer with no signs of wanting to go 
dormant. LOTS of water and rainfall have not bothered them. Even the 
slugs ignored them. They never put up more than a single skinny leaf, 
however. Now I wonder what they will do this fall/winter in the 
greenhouse. It will be nice if I can get a year long growing season 
without having them go dormant.

One other note: the wiki note states that they come from the 
Richtersveld and Namaqualand. In fact they are much more widespread. The 
ISI selection from a while back comes from near DeRust in the Little 
Karoo, a good 400 miles from the Richtersveld. The aforementioned seeds 
that I planted were marked as having come from Calitzdorp (another 
Little Karoo locality) and Caledon, which is getting even closer to the 
south coast and has much more rainfall.

Off topic, I also brought back some Whiteheadia bifolia (aka Massonia) 
seeds from South Africa. When I visited Kirstenbosch, Ernst van 
Jaarsveld was kind enough to offer me seeds, knowing my interest in 
massonia. I expected him to pull out a seed packet, but instead we went 
upstairs in the conservatory. He proceeded to jump over the glass into 
one of the display beds, and found a dried out seed head. Sadly, there 
were only TWO seeds remaining. I wasn't expecting much when I finally 
got around to planting them three weeks ago, but they both germinated in 
about five days. The fresher massonia seed that I planted at the same 
time are just sitting there.

NW of Boston

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