Germination of old lily seed

Jane McGary
Tue, 29 Mar 2005 14:27:56 PST
Jim McKenney wrote,

>Several dozen lots of [stored] seed (one or two lots each of about three 
>dozen lily
>species) were sown and with one exception all look good; as temperatures
>rise there should be loads of lily seedlings with which to play.
>I point this out for two reasons: old works treat lily seed as short lived -
>there was once the widespread belief that lily seed more than a year old was

When I was working with Edward McRae on his book "Lilies," he mentioned how 
well lily seeds germinate after storage. He was accustomed to put his in 
the freezer, not the refrigerator. He also encouraged me to store 
Cardiocrinum seed (which one tends to gather in huge quantities from this 
monocarpic bulb) this way. I have a large number of Cardiocrinum seedlings 
right now grown from freezer-stored seed from 5 years ago, but I gave it 
two chilling periods in moist peat before it germinated.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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