What's germinating this week.

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Tue, 27 Dec 2011 10:48:17 PST
Rick K. wrote
>I've received seed of several species of Fritillaria, Lilium and others, as
>well as seed of some Asiatic Lily crosses I've made this summer.
>I do a Ga3 treatment of  300 ppm  on all of the seed, soak for 24 hours,
>then do a brief rinse and soak in plain water.
>The seed is then sown in small pans in extremely well drained soil, and
>given a warm treatment for 3-4 weeks.

As far as I know, all species of Fritillaria exhibit epigeal 
germination (unlike some Lilium species which are hypogeal). I would 
never treat Fritillaria seed with GA3, because I believe it can 
induce abnormal growth in the cotyledon, leading to eventual failure 
to develop in a healthy way. I have raised more than 90 taxa of 
Fritillaria from seed without special treatment, simply planting them 
in well-drained soilless mix, covering with grit, and leaving them 
outdoors but covered to experience some moist chilling. When they 
germinate, I move them to a frost-free environment. I usually pot on 
the bulbs during their first dormant season, since they're easy to 
spot in the soil.

One thing that bothers me is the apparent unwillingness of some East 
Asian species to set viable seed in cultivation. Mine don't even when 
hand-pollinated, and the dearth of seed of these species even in the 
specialist list of the AGS Fritillaria Group suggests that others may 
have the same problem. I've raised only one member of this group (F. 
cirrhosa) from seed. It's an alpine type of bulb and does best for me 
in the open garden, on a peaty slope among dwarf ericaceous shrubs.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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