Colchicum seeds, was how to sow daubenya aurea

Jane McGary
Sat, 04 Jan 2014 10:31:04 PST
Arnold wrote

>This is something similar to a paper I read on Colchicum 
>seeds.  Theory was that when they were released from the plant there 
>were not fully mature and did so over the next months at a warm temperature.

Colchicum seeds are notorious for erratic germination. I have grown 
many species from seed over the years and have rarely if ever seen 
germination the year they were sown. Instead, at a certain point in 
late winter, it is likely that seed pots from different years and 
different species will germinate within one or two weeks. So don't 
discard those pots!

Ripe, dehiscing Colchicum seeds are hard, which makes them seem 
mature, but I have never looked at the inside under a microscope. 
However, the seeds are sometimes sticky, which implies that they have 
a coating to attract ants, which will disperse the seeds after eating 
the coating. In this case it may be necessary for this coating to be 
removed, perhaps by a detergent solution, before sowing. I'll try 
that next year.

In flower today are two color forms of Colchicum doerfleri and the 
white-flowered Colchicum atticum (Merendera attica). All were grown 
from seed more than ten years ago.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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