Salix vestita - a choice willow

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RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Willows purportedly can have REALLY short viability.  I am talking days.  Once I did plant some seeds from a very small form of S. repens, or maybe it was S. myrsinifolia, immediately upon capsule opening.  With 80-90% germination, a few did emerge, but subsequently died.  :(

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

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

RickR wrote:

Willows purportedly can have REALLY short viability.  I am talking days.  Once I did plant some seeds from a very small form of S. repens, or maybe it was S. myrsinifolia, immediately upon capsule opening.  With 80-90% germination, a few did emerge, but subsequently died.  :(

Days only would make it tricky :( I suppose one could send capsules just pre-opening and hope for the best, but that involves a lot of luck or good timing on harvesting!

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

Howey
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-05-17

Hi Todd:  Enjoyed viewing your mouth watering pics of Salix vestita and, like probably everyone else on the Forum, covet this plant?  Due to the short viability of the seeds, was thinking of buying a plant of one of those lovely Newfoundland salixes (in particular, Salix boydii, from Harvey Wrightman's Nursery).  He had a few last year but wasn't selling at the time - using them for propagating.  Have actually tried to grow a couple of the dwarf salixes (plants) without success.  Am wondering, with this excessively cold and snow-cover winter, if perhaps they are still lurking under the ground somewhere.  Spring always seems to spring a few surprises - she says hopefully.  Fran
Frances Howey
London Ontario Canada
Zone 5b

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

There's an interesting story behind Salix xboydii and how it was found in Scotland:
http://www.srgc.org.uk/feature/sandymarch06/content.html

Here's another thread featuring it too:
http://nargs.org/smf/index.php?topic=456.0

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

Alpines Mont Echo in Quebec seemed to have some interesting Salix (among other things, various Newfoundland plants).. I know Wrightman's and Beavercreek, of course, anyone know any other sources for such East Coast plants?

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

Paul T
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-01-31

Howdy ALl,

With such short viability, is it not usual to send the seed in a damp media to keep them alive?  Or would this not work for Salix?  I'm assuming that the short viability is due to the seed drying out, or is it from some other factors.  Could not the seed be packed in damp vermiculite or damp kitchen paper to keep it viable in transit in the mail?  I realise of course that currently in some areas that would just mean the seed would freeze, but I would assume it would generally work to keep them viable wouldn't it? ???

Cheers.

Paul T.
Canberra, Australia.
Min winter temp -8 or -9°C. Max summer temp 40°C. Thankfully, maybe once or twice a year only.

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

I was wondering about the same thing, Paul; I suppose it depends on speed of germination--if its fast, they might germinate in transit, which might or might not be ok depending on how long till they can be rescued, and whether the sprouts might get squished.
I haven't yet tried googling on the subject..
Local species seed at various times of year, here, including at least one that seeds in late fall, suggesting seed must last till spring before germinating, much but by no means all of that time below freezing.. Its actually very showy (ok, kind of showy ;D ) at a time when most things are bare, if I recall correctly, will have to dig up some pics...

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

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

I'm not sure all willows have that short viability.  Just a generalization.  I am thinking my memory is 75% accurate when I say that the S. repens/myrsinifolia seed emerged (being barely covered and sealed inside a baggie) within several days.

We have a fall blooming native willow species in Minnesota too.  I have only seen it once when the Bog birch (Betula glandulifera) was in fall color, and that was when seed capsules were developing on the willow.  At least then, it was not showy, and the overall plant stature not very garden worthy.

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

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

Oddly enough, I didn't think about when these willows are flowering, I know they are fruiting late, and I had not noticed willows flowering in summer or fall, but it could easily be missed when foliage is full..
I've been checking for pics, and I think I should have better shots than these, but I realised how many photos from last year I still have to go through  :o
Anyway, a shot from early Sept, showing a willow with developing fruit, not sure when it would have flowered, and then a couple from October--by which time we have had many and serious frosts, even if there have been warm days between..
You can get the idea that this willow is quite conspicuous in full seed, when most things are bare or rapidly getting there--trees (small multi-stemmed trees or shrubs) covered in seed are visible from long distances, and account for only 1 in dozens or hundreds of other willows..

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

By googling "Salix seed viability", one can find various studies.  After browsing a couple of the articles that come up, it does seem to be that drying of seed occurs very rapidly and beyond a certain point, results in a severe loss of viability.   Here's an interesting one:
http://aob.oxfordjournals.org/content/86/5/1017.full.pdf
In this one, it was found that "humidification", if done before extreme dessication, can restore viability to near fresh state.
That would seem to suggest that moist-packing would preserve seed viability, I think.

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

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