Erythronium revolutum seeds

vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)January 5, 2011

I've also posted this on the Bulbs Forum but, so far, had no answers. I'm hoping the specialists on this forum can advise, please.

'There were four good fresh seeds so I've sown them and put them in a quiet 'safe' place for summer. I'm expecting they will need to wait out the winter before sprouting. If they emerge for autumn - that's fine.

Questions - do they come 'true' from seed? Or can I hope for some variations in leaf and flower colour?

Once they've sprouted - how long do I leave them before I can transplant the bulblings to individual pots? One or two years?

What sort of fertiliser do they prefer? (Guaranteed to never leave fertiliser burns.) If 'none' - would a leaf mould top-up be OK if necessary?

Thanks in advance.'

(Being Southern Hemisphere I'm into summer just now.)

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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

My recommendation would have been to keep them dry and refrigerated (5 degrees C) in a plastic baggy (so they don't get too desiccated) until about six weeks before you plan on planting them. Use this initial dry-storage time to hold the seeds for timing purposes. Then, six weeks before planting, place them in a cold (5 degrees C), moist stratification (in peat, sand, papertowel, or whatever your favorite stratification medium is). Sow after this stratification period.

I'm not sure how successful you'll be with planting them out now.

I'm a little unsure about your question regarding them coming true from seed. All spermatophytes (seed bearing plant) species, when successfully crossed with another member of their own species, produce seeds that result in offspring of that species. However, if you have a cultivar, hybrid, or unique individual, the offspring may vary from the parent.

With average conditions, your seedlings should be ready to pot up near the end of the growing season of their second year. I'd go light on any fertilizer. Leaf mold/compost is a great idea.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 12:01AM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Hmm. How long in the fridge for the cold/dry, please?

I'm taking a wild guess here that you'd recommend planting in early spring or full winter. (Fridge over summer, six weeks of stratification - say from mid-May to the end of June, plant in the coldest month and expect sprouts perhaps late August or even late September. Yes?)

And that was highly useful info on the leaf mould dressing. Any particular leaf types to avoid? I can easily get Pinus radiata duff. I have a stash of Liquidamber/Prunus/Malus mix. More acidic? Or neutral? (Quercus might be possible - in the dead of night...)

Thanks so much for sharing info.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 1:53AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

The cold/dry period is for storage and should be only as long as necessary for proper timing. Planting in late winter/early spring would be fine.

I don't think it would matter much which type of leaves you use. Erythronium revolutum is pH adaptable and there's not a large difference in nutrient values of leaf mold from most different plants. Barring some type of allelopathic problems, I'd use whatever is available.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 1:43PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Then I can stop fussing about my less-than-7pH soil. Thank you very much for helping me out. Much appreciated. I'm now hoping for four little sprouts - in due course. :-)))

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 8:34PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

vertvert8, Druse suggests fresh seed (as you sowed) and describes them as a warm, cold, cool 3-step germinator.

"sow fresh seed protected outdoors where germination may take 9 months"

Apparently, much like helleborus. Don't lose patience :)

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 2:22PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Morz8,
It sounds like Vetivert8 may have gotten the seeds from elsewhere (the seeds are fresh, but the southern hemisphere is in the early part of its growing season). The seeds are apparently "out of phase" with Vetivert8's location.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 12:16AM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Brandon, in W. Washington, seeds for native-to-here Erythronium revolutum should ripen July (as do our trillium) following Spring flowering. If in the southern hemisphere (where I am not so hopefully my thinking isn't muddled here :)) that should just about equate to ripe seeds approximately now.

Self sown, they would have an initial dry period as late summer/early Fall has little rain (most years) in this Z8, then experience several weeks each moist with a warm, cold, cool sequence for Spring germination.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 1:51PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Morz8,

You're right. I miscalculated.

Vetivert8,

Morz8 is right. Disregard my post. Planting as Morz8 recommended, with possible protection from predation if needed, would be easier/best. Alternately, you could warm stratify the seeds for a few months and then follow my directions, but that would be added trouble for no real benefit. Sorry for my confusion.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 12:01AM
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