Lilium Pardalinum Seed

Rodger Whitlock
Sun, 22 Jan 2006 10:33:43 PST
On 22 Jan 06 at 9:02, Bill Richardson wrote:

> you stated: --Sow on edge in your usual seed mix--.
> I've all my seed flat with good germination. Is there an advantage in sowing on the
> edge?

The bulb cultivation literature contains scattered recommendations that this is a good
idea with Liliaceae: tulips, lilies, fritillaries and others with flat seeds. I've
done it, but cannot say what difference it made, if any. However, when sowing rare or
scanty seeds, I follow such recommendations as long as they are not unreasonable. It
won't hurt and it may help.

Sowing on edge means handling each seed individually, a nuisance. However, if you
simply broadcast these flat seeds onto a sowing medium, they tend to overlap a great
deal, esp. if sown at all thickly.

In the back of my mind is an article published in the RHS journal twenty five years or 
so ago about experiments at Kew on the germination of altstroemeria seeds. They devised 
a rather elaborate protocol involving temperature, moisture, and chipping the seeds at 
a precise location. This protocol brought the germination rate up to pretty respectable 
levels in comparison with the normal sow-and-forget method.

My thinking is that refinements such as edge sowing may very well make a difference in
borderline cases and are worth trying.

Sorry, but I cannot give references to the sources of the edge-sowing recommendation; 
unlike the alstroemeria method, I didn't take notes!

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate

on beautiful Vancouver Island

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