Ipomoea cristulata and I. pandurata (long!)

Dennis Kramb dkramb@badbear.com
Tue, 09 Mar 2010 17:37:24 PST
Exactly 2 years ago I obtained seeds of these species.  I. cristulata 
came by way of a gift from a friend who bought them on eBay.  And the I. 
pandurata I collected locally in the wild.

The I. pandurata seeds stayed in my freezer for the last 2 years, kept 
in a paper bag (a Chipotle nacho chip bag).  The I. cristulata seeds 
stayed on a north facing windowsill for the past 2 years, wrapped in the 
original tinfoil in which I received them.

On February 28, just 10 days ago, I took all 55 seeds of I. pandurata, 
and 11 seeds from the packet of I. cristulata.  I scarified them with a 
metal file, and placed them in glasses warm water.  They soaked for 24 
hours, and then I planted them into pots.

7 of the I. cristulata germinated on March 4.  Another one germinated on 
March 5.

I had given up hope for the I. pandurata, but today the first one is 
germinating... just the tiniest portion is breaking through the soil 
surface at this moment.

I am so excited!

It's amazing how these seeds remained viable for 2 years in spite of 
being kept under totally different conditions.

My first attempt at collecting seeds of I. pandurata was a failure.  I 
had kept them in warm dry storage.  Beetles hatched from within the 
seeds and ate them from within.  When I opened the bag a few weeks later 
I had a bag full of happy mature beetles.  That's when I decided that 
the freezing and 24 hour soaking method might be necessary for success 
with these guys.  I didn't expect it would take me 2 more years to try it.

Preliminary results look promising!

Ultimately I want to try crossing these two species to see if I can get 
a cold-hardy perennial plant with red & orange flowers.  But first I 
need to these specimens in my garden.

Dennis in Cincinnati  (where it reached 67 degrees today!  Summer is here?!)

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