Difficult Seeds--PBS TOW

IntarsiaCo@aol.com IntarsiaCo@aol.com
Sun, 01 Dec 2002 07:54:23 PST
In a message dated 11/29/2002 11:30:01 PM Eastern Standard Time, janemcgary@earthlink.net writes:

Possibly I am having better luck with my Calochortus collection because it
is colder here, and they are inhibited from growth above ground during the
wettest months. I get lots of seed from most of the species I grow and am
building up a stock of seedlings to distribute when they get a little more
size on them.

Mark Mazer reported difficulty with Eremurus seeds. These typically
germinate after TWO periods of cold chilling; that is, they go through two
winters and appear above ground (I don't know if they are hypogeal like
many Liliaceae and form a radicle below ground the first winter) the second
spring after planting. Josef Halda once told me that the seed pots should
be dried off during the first summer, but I don't know if this is really
necessary. I have grown only wild-collected seeds of Eremurus, and the
germination percentage is not high. The rhizomes take about 5 years to
reach flowering size.

Hi Jane: 

Sowings of Calochortus tolmei and amoenus have germinated poorly, one of greenii looks OK, one not. All the rest are growing. First sowings were made in late 1997 early '98, have yet to see a bud. The Ratko list should be here soon, there will be plenty of opportunity to do it again.

 I did notice that repotting can set them back a few weeks, C. catalinae was always first in growth until repotting this past summer.

Eremurus were brought indoors and put under a bench where it can go to just above freezing during the winter. One pot had a small Monocot seedling in it and was put on a NE (coolish) bench, for now. I always keep seed pots at least three years.

The past ten days have seen flushes of Crocus germinating from sowings made last Fall/Winter.One sowing of Morea villosa has germinated well, one poorly, one not at all. Recalling past discussions on Cyrtanthus, had 80-90% germination on 12 species received early last winter from Silverhill, sown the easy way. Later arrivals have not fared as well.

The Massonia depressa are 17" (43cm) across, have rooted into the plunge, and should be in profuse sticky sweet bloom shortly.

Lachenalia viridflora is in bloom, unicolor in a few days. Looks like there will be an excellent display of Lapeirousia oreogena this year and perhaps some of the Sparaxis grandiflora subspecies. 

Best regards,
Mark Mazer
Intarsia Ltd.
Gaylordsville, CT 06755-0142
USDA Zone 5
Giant Schnauzer Rescue

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