Difficult Seeds--PBS TOW

John Lonsdale john@johnlonsdale.net
Sat, 30 Nov 2002 06:04:40 PST
> Before we leave this topic I'd like to offer up some more failures. After
> reading about Corydalis in Jack Elliott's Bulbs for the Rock Garden I
> thought I might be able to grow some of those that need dry summers so
> ordered seed from NARGS. None have ever come up. Maybe John Lonsdale can
> help me with this. Does this seed need to be fresh or is there some other
> trick?

Mary Sue,

Corydalis seed is indeed fragile, but, assuming it arrives intact, the issue
with germination is that it is ephemeral.  Fresh seed is required to get
good germination, older seed germinates very poorly, if at all.  The seed I
collect myself gives excellent germination, seed sown the year it is
collected, before September/October, generally germinates pretty well,
although not 100%.  Seed sown later than this is 'old' and I find to
germinate very poorly, if at all.  This latter category would include seed
received from all the major exchanges (bearing in mind we are just
considering the 'bulbous' corydalis here).  Storage prior to sowing also has
a big impact, keeping it in damp sand is recommended and this is the way I
receive it from such places as Goteborg Botanic Garden.  Even so, as that
seed usually comes in March, I have very mixed luck, and most does not

The moral of the story is sow it fresh or store it damp and get it to the
intended recipient as fast as possible.


Dr John T Lonsdale
407 Edgewood Drive,
Exton, Pennsylvania 19341,  USA

Phone 610 594 9232
Fax 801 327 1266

Visit "Edgewood" - The Lonsdale Garden at http//http://www.johnlonsdale.net/

Zone 6b

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