Peony Seeds

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vanachterberg
Title: Guest
Joined: 2009-10-06
Peony Seeds

I harvested seeds of Paeonia mlokosewitschii (the lovely yellow 'Molly the Witch') on July 14. They were stlll wet and in a pod with some interesting red stuff that looked like caviar floating among the seeds. I have kept them in an open paper cup and after a few days they are no longer wet and do not seem to have shriveled. But they are not dark, like the Paeonia tenuifolia rosea seeds I collected last month. By the way these are the only 2 species of peony I grow--oh, I have the red Paeonia tenuifolia, but did not see any seeds on that one. I have several more pods of P. mlokosewitschii--what is the optimal time to collect the seeds? I live in Connecticut.
Barbara van Achterberg

Anne Spiegel
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-26

Barbara, I thought it was much later, when the seeds turn that sensational red and then come off easily in your hand.  That's a "thought", not a "know".  I grow this too, and it's one of my favorites and has been allowed in the rock garden proper.  Nearby are some Gentiana acaulis which certainly makes for a primary color experience.  I still remember as a fledgling seed grower, putting out seedlings of Papaver rhaeticum and Gentiana verna.  It was a fabulous color scheme but unfortunately didn't last.

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

Barbara, I can only comment in part by mentioning that peony seeds that stay red rather than turning black are apparently ones that are not fertile.

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

vanachterberg
Title: Guest
Joined: 2009-10-06

Oh dear, one great gardener tells me I should wait until the seeds turn red, and another tells me that only black peaonia seeds are fertile. My 'Molly the Witch' seeds are almost black. I guess I will let the rest ripen longer in the pods.

Now, can anyone tell me how to start a new thread? Seed saving, maybe?
Barbara van Achterberg

Anne Spiegel
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-26

Barbara, if I remember correctly, the seeds are red and gorgeous and come off in your hand when they are black. I always assumed it was a color change process, but I've never collected the seeds.  I'd prefer to divide it.  This is a large garden but Paeonia does take up space.  It's too hot to check and see what they look like now, maybe later.

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

http://canadianpeonysociety.blogspot.com/p/peony-questions-answered.html

There is some info on red vs. black peony seeds at the attached link.

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

Anne Spiegel
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-26

Lori, thanks for posting the site. 
Barbara, I checked my "Molly the Witch" when the sun went down (too brutally hot before then), and the pods are all still closed, nowhere close to opening.  Memory tells me the seed is mixed in color.  I just don't recall if it's mixed colors at the start or if the darker colors develop as the seed ripens.  I've made a note to do some observing.  This is really interesting.  From a color standpoint, of course I prefer the infertile seed - what a sensational color.

Nicolson
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-10-30

My P. obovata shows glorious color when the pods ripen and split open; the fertile seeds are dark blue, the sterile ones are red and slender, and the exposed inner side of the ovary (pod) is maroon - makes a nice dried "flower".

Alice Nicolson
Arlington VA Z7 - 95 degrees, feels like 105.

Anne Spiegel
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-26

Great picture, thanks for posting.

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

Wow, spectacular picture, Alice!  The seedpods won't be opening for some time yet here... actually, I still have peonies in bloom!

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

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Glorious color indeed, Alice! 

I have no peonies in my yard, but P. obovata would definitely be welcome!

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

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