Seed Exchange Open for Donations

Jan Jeddeloh via pbs
Fri, 24 Feb 2023 11:22:51 PST
 It’s certainly fine to donate seed that’s stored for a year or less and usually fine to donate older seed if you’ve stored it carefully. I probably would note on the seed list any seed stored long than one year just in case it’s the rare (excepting tropical) bulb seed that has short viability.   By storing carefully I mean in the fridge or the freezer unless you know warm, dry storage is the way to go.  Off hand the only old bulb seed I’d be leery of offering is eryththronium.  In my experience they don’t seem to like storage but maybe I’m not storing them correctly.  If anyone has further information on the subject of erythronium seed storage I’d like to hear it.  

Lily seed is known as particularly long lived so it doesn’t surprise me calochortus and fritillaria seed are also long lived.  They’re closely related and the seed looks very similar with the exception of the calochortus with round seed.  

Several years ago I, and several others, got seed from Betty Lowry’s stash after she’d gone into a nursing home.  Betty was a well known Washington rock gardener.  I germinated Paraquilegia anemonoides seed that was about 20 years old.  Unfortunately only one seedling survived infancy and it appears you need two clones for seed.  I’ve been unsuccessful in my quest for a pollen donor.  The ancient mimulus seed also germinated like gang busters.  

I agree with Jane that old seed can yield worthwhile surprises.  I often sow it in 2” pots so if it doesn’t germinate I haven’t lost much in terms of potting mix and space.

Six inches of snow here but it’s now subliming away the better to blast plants with arctic air.
> On Feb 23, 2023, at 11:14 AM, Jane McGary via pbs <> wrote:
> Several years ago I received a large amount of seed of Fritillaria striata and distributed quite a bit of it through exchanges, but I still have some. Eddie McRae, the lily expert, once told me that Lilium seed could be stored for many years in a freezer provided it was in a glass, rather than plastic, container, so I put the excess away like that. A couple of months ago I sent some of the frozen seed to a grower in Scotland, and last week he wrote to tell me it had germinated very well six weeks after sowing. I've also grown Calochortus species to flowering from seed that had been frozen for as much as ten years.
> It is always worth acquiring and sowing seed even if the experts claim a particular genus or family cannot be stored. I now have 3 species of Trollius from the NARGS "leftover" distributions.
> Jane McGary, Portland, Oregon, USA
> At the moment, under 3 inches of snow.
> On 2/23/2023 9:54 AM, R Hansen via pbs wrote:
>> Jan,
>> Would you mind clarifying something for me? When I collect seed, I clean, put in paper coin envelopes and then into plastic zip locks and store in the fridge. Lily seed, for example germinates well even after several years as do cyclamen and others.
>> Is it ok to donate seed of uncommon plants if a year old or less and stored in proper conditions? I know Alan at Alplains carefully stores his seed and continues to ship some of it for 2-3 years. It almost always germinates, and any failures are usually mine.
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