Lady Slipper Seed pods

pattyslippersJuly 27, 2006

I was walking in my backyard yesterday and noticed that 2 of the 4 Pink Lady Slippers in my garden have seed pods. My husband and I pollinated them and others in the conservation land behind our house on June first - with Q-tips - after seeing a bumble bee do it at a neighbors house the day before. It was great fun and tomorrow I'll check on those in the woods. Anyway, my question is, since I think that puts them in the right time frame for green season pod germination, what should I do next? I know I can send the pods to Ross from prior posts, but I would like to try it myself too.


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nankeen(z8b Portland OR)

Hi Patty,
Glad you have had some success with your Cyps!

If you're going to do flasking, let me know. I'll let you know what has worked for me.

Greenpod time for acaule is, I think, at about 7-8weeks, though don't quote me. If you are going to do this in vitro, you need to have medium all made up already to sow at the right time. If you have done this, great. If not, you'll have to sow dry.

Otherwise, if you would like "nature to take it's course", I can recommend a procedure documented by Andy Huber at GROWISER which he uses to grow C montanum on his property "naturally".

Let the pods mature. Wait until they just start to crack, in October or November. Don't let the seeds spill out. Cut them off and dump the seeds (they look like a pile of dust) into a mixing bowl.

Grab a handful or two of fine duff from around the area and mix it into the seeds (You can grind the duff in your hands to make it have a more fluffy grainy texture). Mix in 1 tbsp of table sugar (he said this helps germination sometimes).

Choose a site nearby that is free of competing undergrowth vegetation. The seedlings don't grow well if there is too much shade from low plants, and they don't compete well with other roots. Broadcast your mixture across anywhere from a 3X3ft area to the whole forest, depending on how much space you have. I would recommend trying it on a small area (10X10ft or less) so you know if the seeds you spread are the ones that grew.

Mark the site and don't step there for 3-5 years. Let the seeds do their thing. Using this method, Andy produced 3-5 seedlings per pod (which is phenomenal for most populations)!

BTW, I am taking some time off from the common species this year (and maybe next). I just don't have time or space for thousands of acaule and pubescens again next year! I'm making media and replating like mad, but I can never keep up.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 2:06PM
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