Seed starting chronicles 2012

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Howey
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-05-17

My allotment of seeds from NZAGS arrived a week and a half ago.  I immediately planted a few indoors at room temp. covered with clear plastic and they germinated within a week - leading the pack is Townsendia hookeri, Gentiana verna, Ranunculus lyallii and Pterocephalus perennis.  Also coming along is some of Gene Miro's Ourissia coccinia.  In the past, when I have planted these in early spring, when most of my seeds come in, there is a problem with damp off and some just don't germinate at all.  Hope springs eternal.  Fran

Frances Howey
London, Ontario, Canada
Zone 5b

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

Good luck with all of those Fran :)

I collected a few berries of Arctous rubra, which is now one of my very favourite sub-shrubs, so I'd really like to get some going! Does anyone have any successful germination tips? Sounds like it could be a bit tough.. I will put them out over winter.. right now I have them in a bit of water with a touch of vinegar and kefir, in a highly unscientific effort to give them some simulation of passing through a digestive tract! then, barring any specific advice,  I'll sow them on top of gravel...

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

Cohan - never heard of Arctous rubra but, after looking at Google shots of it, I'm impressed - sort of related to Arctostaphylus, n'est pas?  Your handling of its propagation is rather heroic, in the medical sense, I'm thinking.  Hope you will keep us informed about your progress with this most interesting plant.  Fran

Frances Howey
London, Ontario, Canada
Zone 5b

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

Fran- yes, close to Arctostaphylos, in fact I think some authors may still retain it under Arctostaphylos.
I'll be sharing some recent photos of it when I get them all sorted, and I think I need to put together a set of it in several seasons- I've now seen it in early spring just emerging and flowering, in mid-summer in its full velvety greenness (I actually thought it was a low Salix until I saw it in flower!) and  beginning fall colour on my recent visit..
I have seen some photos where it did not look so different from common Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, but the plants I am most familiar with, near the foot of Athabasca Glacier, look very different from it- with larger leaves, and many stems coming from rhizomes rather than above ground persistent stems (apparently they do both). It is also variously described as deciduous or 'marcescent' which apparently in this case means the leaves seasonally die but do not necessarily fall off- the plants I've seen mostly seem to shed them, as I only saw fresh leaves in spring.. I wonder if this relates to winter weather- how much snow/wind/rain there is to strip them off? If I do get any seedlings it will be interesting to compare habit here to the alpine location..

I'll never really know if my heroic intervention  will help --well, if there is no germination, I'll know it didn't help! but if there is germination, I wont know if its just due to outdoor winter stratification..lol.. I don't really have enough of the small seeds to try many different things, so there is no control group!

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

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Cohan, your description could be of the species growing here, A. alpina. Do you know it? What are the main differences, do you know?

I've gotten germination of some Ourisis coccinea from Gene too ;D (Thanks, Gene)

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

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

There may be some other differences (I've read the descriptions but forget), but the obvious one is black berries on alpina vs red berries on rubra.
We only have rubra in Alberta, I think- oddly, Flora of Alberta only mentions rubra, but efloras North America mentions alpina as occurring in Alberta, though rubra is sometimes labelled as a subspecies of alpina or of Arctostaphylos alpinus..
I went to check the efloras genus description to see the difference in the species, but the page is down for maintenance..

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

Dave, what a range of flower colour! 

Tim, legume seedings must be among the cutest... Lupinus chamissonis is a beauty - I must look that one up.

Well done, Fran.  I seem to recall having lousy luck with Pterocephalus... must try again.

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

Toole
Toole's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-07-02

Silene petersonii.
Finally some colour today in a pot of seedlings sown ,(x Ron Ratko's seedlist), way back in March 2009.

Having been potted on only once ,maybe well over two years ago, probably accounts for the foliage ,including flowering stem,only being 5 cm in height.

I love how the macro shot shows the prominent veining on the fringed petals of this little beauty.

Cheers Dave.  

Invercargill
Bottom of the South Island New Zealand
Zone 8 maritime climate
1100mm,(40 in),rainfall p.a.
Nil snow cover

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Well worth the wait!  :o

I wonder what kind of seed pod it will have...

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

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

Cute little plant, Dave.  I wouldn't be surprised if the striping on the calyx remains prominent on the seed pods, as with Silene uralensis (below) and many other Silene:

It would be interesting to see another photo later on when it's in seed.

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

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