Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Sun, 16 Feb 2014 14:47:23 PST
Some bulb enthusiasts extend their interest to tuberous members of 
the Berberidaceae, most commonly Gymnospermium, two species of which 
are in flower today in my bulb house. Another genus in that family 
that has always intrigued me is Leontice, found in western and 
central Asia in dry, rocky places. For perhaps 20 years I ordered 
seed whenever I saw it on a list, without a hint of germination. Last 
fall, however, I bought seed of two species (or subspecies; the one 
called L. ewersmannii is usually regarded as L. leontopetalum subsp. 
ewersmannii) from the list of Kurt Vickery. Both have now germinated. 
Ewersmannii had one seedling showing before our recent severe freeze, 
when its pot may have frozen despite provision of heat in the shed. 
This morning, however, it appears that every seed has suddenly issued 
cotyledons. I wonder if the cold snap triggered this, perhaps by 
breaking the coats on the large seeds? In any case, I hope these 
plants are as easily raised as Gymnospermium. I'll leave them alone 
until they go dormant, then pot the tubers up individually.

Would anyone who has experience cultivating Leontice please tell us 
something about how you have done it?

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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