Townsendia jonesii v. lutea Germination

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Peter George
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-09-03

I've grown most (maybe all?) of the Townsendias that are in cultivation, and I've found only a couple that were truly 'perennial' in the open garden.  For me, they last two years, maybe three, and then go into permanent dormancy. On the other hand, they almost all live for 5 years or more in troughs, which remains a mysterious reality of our little hobby. Panayoti has written about the difference in life expectancy of rock garden plants in the open garden and in troughs on occasion, but to my knowledge, there has never been a thorough and comprehensive study of exactly why that is.

T. grandiflora is definitely monocarpic for me, and T. condensata acts that way. I've never been able to germinate T. parryi, so I can't comment, but Alan Bradshaw lists it as biennial.

 

Peter George, Petersham, MA (north central MA, close to the NH/VT borders), zones 5b and 6 around the property.

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Conditions are surely pertinent- I got seed of T parryi from Lori, whose plants are perennial, and mine (being slow to get planted out etc) took a couple of years to reach flowering (a couple of late flowers last year right at freeze-up), then flowered themselves flamboyantly to death this year! They were still making some flowers when there was essentially no foliage left. I don't know where Lori has them situated, but am guessing her conditions may be leaner- mine are in native clayey soil with gravel, and raised a bit for drainage, but the last couple of years and first part of this summer have been fairly wet..

T leptotes sown and planted out at the same time and same places flowered (much less extravagantly) as well this spring and are still very much alive.

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

cohan wrote:

I got seed of T parryi from Lori, whose plants are perennial...

I think I may have to retract that statement... with growing more of them, some have been definitely biennial, others more long-lived but monocarpic.  T. leptotes has been long-lived and perennial.

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Good to know it wasn't just me ;) I guess once you have a patch going there will eventually always be something of flowering age so it wont matter..

I collected most of the seed, but some dispersed itself, so I'm presuming there will be seedlings- I've seen some but not sure at that stage which will be leptotes and which parryi, hopefully some of each..

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

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