Jane McGary
Mon, 18 Feb 2013 09:04:34 PST
Rachel Saunders of Silverhill Seeds wrote:
>I always knew that Lapeirousia seeds needed to be aged for a year, but I did
>not realise that almost all our bulb seed needed it.  We harvest all our
>seed of SW Cape bulbous species in the months of September - December. This
>means that if you purchase them and sow them in your autumn, they are at
>most a month old. And obviously this is too fresh. In nature the seeds do
>lie in the heat for about 6 months before the cool weather of our autumn
>sets in, and then I do think that a cold minimum temperature is important.
>But obviously one needs heat first followed by cold.

I have noticed a similar result with seeds I collected in western 
South America. They have germinated best when I kept them at room 
temperature over the Northern Hemisphere summer and sowed them in the 
following autumn.

In contrast, bulb seeds collected in the N. Hemisphere germinate best 
here when sown in autumn of the same year. (Some non-bulbous plants I 
grow for the rock garden, notably Brassicaceae, are immediate 
germinators best sown in spring.)

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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