What's germinating this week - December 26

AW awilson@avonia.com
Mon, 26 Dec 2011 20:05:44 PST
Germination of autumn-sown bulbs is generally pretty straightforward. At
least, for seeds I have taken from bulbs I grow here, it is. For bulbs that
come from elsewhere the process is certainly not so predictable. Much to my
chagrin, I must report that bulb seeds germinating this week include
Lachenalia species! Last week it was Sparaxis, Babiana and Lapeirousea. But,
Romuleas - no sign of germination yet! Seeds were sown in late September and
early October. We are now almost in January. 

It's true that this area of southern California is very temperate, with
frost being quite rare. So, the classic explanation for this lengthy
germination time is that the are insufficient hours of low temperatures to
induce germination. However, convenient as that explanation may be, it does
not explain why seeds collected from bulbs grown here (including Lachenalia,
Babiana and Sparaxis, etc.) germinate abundantly in October without any
special encouragement to do so while seeds from other sources (from southern
hemisphere and possibly with cooler winters) do not. 

I must add that, for autumnally germinated species, Watsonia and most
Gladiolus species germinate readily here in October, no matter whether the
seeds are from my own stock  or not. 

I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who has seen this behavior.

San Diego 

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