Jane McGary
Sat, 26 Nov 2011 11:19:20 PST
Shelley wrote

>They don't set many seeds so you'd need a field of them to have any 
>number of seed and they are very fleshy so don't keep very well. 
>Someone else might know of a seed source. I have grown only the 
>purple and for a brief time the white (which I believe is rare) 
>although it never flowered and went underground and hasn't been seen since.

When I was doing the intake phase of the NARGS seed exchange in the 
mid-1990s, an Australian member sent Calostemma purpureum seeds was 
back in the good old pre-9/11 days, when our foreign members could 
send in seeds without a lot of bureaucratic complications). The 
packet fell apart as I opened the envelope, and what looked like a 
lot of garbanzos (Brit. chickpeas) with green shoots emerging rolled 
out. I decided this wasn't something that would survive the next few 
months in storage and planted them immediately. I shared the 
resulting seedlings with our NARGS chapter and kept about half a 
dozen, which I grew in a frost-free solarium. They did flower for a 
number of years, but the flowers were not especially attractive, so 
when I moved to my new place, which has no frost-free area for 
plants, I gave them away.

I understand that this type of germination is typical of this 
species, which may be why seed is not often available.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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