At 08:06 9/02/04 -0800, you wrote: >Dear All, > >I looked through all my records of starting Veltheimia seed and saw my best >results came from starting seed in early October when it would have been >very warm here. The next time I have a chance at V. bracteata (bi-color) >seed I'll try bottom heat since I have no survivors from my other attempts >at that seed. Over the years I've been collecting hints for particular >kinds of seed so will add this suggestion about Veltheimia. > Mary Sue et al, I didn't respond to the Veltheimia thread as I came in fairly late (been sick again so not regularly downloading email), but given your comments here now I'll contribute. Last July I was sent seed of both mixed colours and yellow Veltheimias by Doug Westfall (Thank you yet again Doug)...... These were relatively fresh (i.e from recent season) but were not "just picked" or anything like that as far as I know. I also requested and received Veltheimias from a couple of other sources (both times as mixed or bicolor seeds from memory). Checking up on various sources it seemed that I was best to sow in either autumn or winter. Doug recommended that I hold them until my own plants here had their seed maturing so that they would be sown at the same time as they naturally would be harvested and sown here (which makes lots of sense). Given I had heard that they were successfully sown in spring I more or less compromised and sowed during late spring about as mine were setting seed but about 3 or so weeks before that seed matured. I sowed the seed on the 30th October and it started germinating a few weeks later. From the yellow I currently have 9 or 11 seeds up, and pretty much 100% germination from all the other bicolors and mixed colour seed (I can get exact figured if you like as I kept track of amounts of seed in each pot etc). Given that we have a distinct total dormancy in summer here of the Veltheimias I have been a bit concerned that these would crisp off as soon as the weather got to high temps so I've been concerned how long it takes a new seedling to set up a bulb enough to come back if it goes dormant (anyone know how long it takes to set up a sufficient bulb?). They've been through over a week or 30'C plus (including 4 concecutive days over 37'C) over New Years and recently been back up to 37 after a relatively cool January for us. So far no damage and the seedlings are still going strong. So it appears that they are germinating just fine without any sort of treatment at all after being stored for a number of months (not in the fridge but just at room temperature). 100% or close germination in most cases including pretty good germination in the yellow seed which is supposed to be so much more difficult. At this stage it looks like the seedlings will stay evergreen this year, or I think they would have reacted to this heat and gone dormant already. I am hoping they'll stay evergreen as this means bigger bulb and less stress from going dormant. The seedlings are growing in my fairly shaded and protected seed area so this will be helping to cut down the temps as well, plus there is little direct sun and not during the heat of the day. The main bulbs I have are growing in the full sun and are totally dormant now, but some of these seedlings will end up being placed in full shade as I read that these plants can take anything from heavy shade through to full sun and still manage to flower (which is pretty rare in bulb circles, that is for sure). I guess I'd better mention my sowing regime for all my seeds........ standard commercial "seed raising mix" although I am picky about which brand as I find some break down or compact too quickly) filled to about 1cm from top of small pot. The seeds are then sowed on top of this mix, pressing gently but not covering with mix. I then fill to the top of the pot with 3-5mm gravel. This gives about 1cm of gravel coverage which helps to keep surface moist, insulate from heat and controls moss and other covering nasties which always appear if gravel is not present. This method of sowing has worked for me on pretty much any genus (even including Nerines and some of the other fleshy seeded amaryllids) and I am very pleased with it. If I am sowing seed of something that is likely to germinate quickly I also include a bit of bulb food in the bottom third of the pot so that the roots of the seedlings can find it once they have developed sufficiently. Those seeds that are likely to take ages to germinate I do not bother doing this for as they obviously enough will not be using it for a while by which time it will have leached out of the pot anyway. So is this any help to anyone? I have been rather pleased with just how succesful the germination of Veltheimias have been for me, and particularly as from 3 different sources. Hopefully this will help others if it gives some sort of pointer to something that might be working for me that they haven't tried? Worth a try anyway <grin>. Cheers. Paul Tyerman Canberra, Australia. USDA equivalent - Zone 8/9 mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Growing.... Galanthus, Erythroniums, Fritillarias, Cyclamen, Crocus, Cyrtanthus, Oxalis, Liliums, Hellebores, Aroids, Irises plus just about anything else that doesn't move!!!!!