Helleborus and Paeonia seedling questions

James Waddick jwaddick@kc.rr.com
Mon, 08 Apr 2013 06:36:18 PDT
Dear Arcangelo,

	Two very interesting topics. Helleborus vesicarius as Tom Mitchell suggested may be the closest to a 'bulbous' species in this genus. At least it 'acts' like one. I have two accessions from Tom's collection planted in late 2012. In one pot I have 2 of 10 germinated, but no sign of true leaves -at least not yet. The second batch of 10 shows no germination yet. 

	I suspect there is simply variation in this character as Tom also suggests. I agree with all his comments here too.

	Peony seeds are often vastly 'misunderstood' by gardeners and can seem very tricky to germinate and grow on. The 'KISS" principle is the best. "Keep It Simple, Sweetie"*. Plant seed as soon as ripe in a good nursery bed and allow it plenty of late summer/fall warmth for the radicle to develop and emerge before winter. During the cold season the embryo will develop and with a return to spring will germinate. Only a very few species produce above ground cotyledons so don't expect any. Patience is needed, but leaves should appear eventually on your germinated seed. 

	One of the biggest errors gardeners try with peony seeds is to store them until spring or keep stored seed in the fridge. Both cause extended germination delays. Fresh properly handled peony seed germinate readily their first spring after summer fall planting. 		Best  Jim W.
On Apr 7, 2013, at 11:34 PM, arcangelo wessells wrote:

> Hello all. I hope these are close enough to bulbs for me to submit these questions:
> First is that I have a pot of seedlings of Helleborus vesicarius. ...This whole group of seedlings has also gotten their first true leaves. Has anyone seen this before? Here is a photo:
> Another related question. I have grown several Paeonia from seed. ... As you can see from the photo, the root seems to be splitting to allow the leaf sprout. But if the leaf doesn't emerge, how do I care for this plant over the summer/dry season? 

* Some folks use the acronym KISS to mean - "Keep It Simple Stupid", but let's all be kind here.  Good luck.

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