Lilium scale production
Fri, 23 Apr 2010 05:01:17 PDT
Can I please comment on Paige Woodward's posting ref Lilium scales requiring material from the mother bulb's base plate otherwise bulbil production except by means of micro prop is not possible. If I correctly understand what Paige's view on this is, if not fulsome apologies, then I would like to respectfully offer a correction. 

Following propagation experiments here involving in excess of 80 + different botanical taxa bulbil production can be achieved from almost any part of a lily bulb scale. A good example of this is e.g. with the new North American taxon L. pyrophillum which has scales in two or three parts and as recently as yesterday I potted up over 20 bulbils originating from a single mother bulb whose scales were placed in damp vermiculite in late autumn last year. In other cases where e.g. [a] Trumpet Asian species with long narrow single scales bulbils can be produced from broken scales which have no base plate tissue, and [b] the Asian Alpine L. lophophorum along with our sp. nova L. montegena which I am frantically trying to bulk up by means of both scaling as well as seeds. In the case of LL soulei and bakerianum where some bulbs last summer and autumn showed signs of basal rot the sections of the scales with rot were excised using a razor blade more in hope than anything else however they proved their gratitude for remedial surgery by producing admittedly just a few bulbils but better that then the soggy mess anticipated if left to their own devices.

There are a few wee tricks which I have been working on to enable the above and while undoubtedly in need of much 'refinement' the methods and the growing medium do seem to be settling down to providing at least a rescue remedy but as Paige points out micro prop would probably be the best means to aid mass production however the objectives here are concerned with the maintenance of often rare botanical taxa rather than production of commerical quantities of hybrids. If anyone wanted more info along lines similar to that for the seed germination already provided feel free to ask however as I am about to disappear for a back operation next week it will need to wait until I get back to work at the end of May so e-mail me then and I will try to send some info out, it hasn't been properly written up yet but no doubt it will be one of the  'to do' jobs when flat on my back.


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