Lilium bolanderi germination

Jane McGary
Thu, 18 Jan 2007 16:02:21 PST
Max asked about Lilium bolanderi,I somehow failed to absorb the winter
>snow cover component of L. bolanderi's lifestyle. What does one do
>about this in mild-winter climates (last week notwithstanding) like
>Oakland, beyond, I imagine, keeping them dry? I will probably be
>growing these in troughs of some kind for drainage.

Although L. bolanderi grows in the Siskiyou Mountains, a summer-dry area, I 
don't think its soil is totally dry in summer, and it certainly would not 
want to be hot. It typically grows on rocky slopes among brush, with the 
bulb deep in the soil. A trough would not be appropriate unless it's a very 
deep one. There is not so much winter rainfall most years in Oakland that 
it would negatively affect this species, I think. The plants in the wild 
receive moisture from fall rains and spring runoff, and probably have some 
snow cover almost every winter, but the soil would not be dry and probably 
not frozen at the depth where the bulbs are.

As for planting the seed, I'd recommend getting it into the pot now and 
putting it in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for a couple of months, 
then bringing it out into normal outdoor temperatures. In my experience, 
germination rates are not high with this species.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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