fawn lily

Kathleen Sayce ksayce@willapabay.org
Wed, 27 Mar 2013 22:07:24 PDT
From Richard,

"I have been trying to germinate seed for several years
now with nary a one. I thought that perhaps my winters were too warm so the
last batch spent a few months in the refrigerator at 40 degrees F. Still
nothing. Any Pointers?"

I used to toss seeds out in what I thought were likely spots, and that's how the lowland population got started. In hindsight I would have dozens more bulbs if I'd started them in pots or a good seedling bed instead. 

Later, I began reading Ian Young's bulblog and studied his practice of presoaking seeds, planting in late summer, out in the open, thin layer of fine gravel over the potting medium with seeds down a few cm. But he lives in Scotland, not much help to you in So Cal. 

So I tried this with later lots of seeds, soaking and then potting up seeds and putting them outside in fall to overwinter. Can't say it's 100 percent reliable for me yet as I still have weird failures from time to time. But I leave the pots out in the open (zone 8b on the Pacific Northwest coast) and let them cook for a couple of years, and sooner or later, some seedlings appear. 

Vista CA is pretty far south, I agree. I have not tried germinating Erythroniums in my modified refrigerator, which with a  new thermostat I can set to 50 F. 50 F is a good germination temp for many native West Coast lilies, and for Pacific Coast iris, which is why I made this modification, and I wonder if that would be a good temperature for Erythroniums. This isn't quite cold stratification, more cool stratification. 

Rich Haard, if you are reading this, chime in. Your nursery raises Erythroniums by the 100s if not 1000s, and you probably cold or cool stratify your seeds. 


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