Jane McGary
Tue, 11 May 2010 15:34:35 PDT
Ina asked,
>Is it possible to get viable seed from Sternbergia?0

Yes, I have grown many Sternbergia plants from seed, mostly purchased 
from the Archibalds. I think it germinates best if sown in fall and 
exposed to cool (not freezing) temperatures for several months.

Getting seed from one's own plants can be tricky because the seed is 
apparently very attractive to ants, which carry it off usually before 
I spot the capsules ripening -- especially since I cover the 
withering plants with Reemay (fabric row cover) to prevent 
infestation by bulb fly.'

Self-sown sternbergias have appeared in my garden and bulb frames. I 
have more than one clone of S. lutea and also of S. sicula (if indeed 
they are that distinct), as well as S. greuteriana and some of the 
more exotic species. I did eventually lose S. colchiciflora, though.

I think the key to getting them to flower well is to plant them in a 
very warm spot. I have a considerable number out toward the edge of a 
west-facing, sunny raised bed.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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