Seed starting chronicles 2012

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

I usually stratify Campanula... although I've gone the other route occasionally and found the odd species that doesn't seem to need stratification at all, e.g. Campanula topaliana.  With Saussurea, I think it was the absence of much info that caused me to start them in warm conditions, although not always successfully by any means.
I wouldn't be surprised at all if you get much better germination than I do, overall, with the stratification.  In some cases, the one or two seeds that germinate for me in warm conditions may just be the "oddballs" among the population in the seed packet...  At any rate, stratification is certainly not harmful (which seems to be something people often wonder about).

Edit:  I have only got one seedling of Campanula scoparia, which may suggest that stratification would have been the way to go for it!  Time will tell if it really even is Campanula scoparia.

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

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

Updates and a few new ones:
Thlaspi bellidifolium - germinated in ~10 days at room temp

http://www.zrehacek-alpines.cz/os/obrT/Thlaspi_bellidifol.jpg

Mathiola anchonifolium:

http://www.srgc.org.uk/forum/index.php?topic=4810.msg130562#msg130562

Aster asteroides - germ in 11 days at room temp

http://www.google.com/imgres?q=Aster+asteroides&um=1&hl=en&sa=N&biw=1916...

Helichrysum noeanum - germ in 10 days at room temp

Gentiana straminea - treated with GA-3 (I meant to leave these in the solution of a tiny bit of GA-3 in a few drops of water overnight but forgot and left them 3 nights); germinated in ~7 days at room temp.

http://www.gentians.be/index.php?page=plant_portraits&pic=282

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

Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

Really wonderful to see all those seeds germinating - and to see someone else with Lactuca intricata! Who but an alpine grower would want to grow a shrubby lettuce. I have this germinating too and really look forward to seeing what it does.

My experiences are that only around 50% of seed generally germinates (although I get much better results with home collected seed). Peter Erskine in one of his articles in the AGS Bulletin quoted a similar figure, so it seems reasonable even when you try every which way to improve germination.

We are having superb warm sunny days here and a lot of seeds are beginning to come up. The amsonias quite surprise me - tomentosa - the seed is very large relative to other species I have grown, and Alplains advice to sow warm has worked well (others I have always sown outside over winter). Eriogonum caespitosum and Saussurea I received late and put in the fridge after sowing for 4-5 weeks; they are coming up nicely now. Similarly Edraianthus pumilio, one of my all time favourites. The Dudleya was very old seed from Ron Ratko, and like Buddleya utahensis, tiny! These have germinated with bottom heat in the greenhouse but are growing on very slowly. Quite a bit more to come (and quite a bit more to sow!).

Dr. Timothy John Ingram
Faversham, Kent, UK
I garden in a relatively hot and dry region (for the UK!), with an annual rainfall of around 25", winter lows of -10°C and summer highs of 30°C.
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Such fun to see all these seedlings popping up.  Tim, your mention and photo of a "Buddleya utahensis" sent me googling, and some interesting things came up.  First, is the genus spelling, which a wikipedia entry asserts is commonly misspelled Buddleia, but it is actually Buddleja (as you have spelled it on your label). The reference goes on to say "Linnaeus posthumously honoured the Reverend Adam Buddle (1662–1715), a botanist and rector in Essex, England, at the suggestion of Dr William Houston. Houston sent the first species of buddleja known to science (B. americana) to England from the Caribbean about 15 years after Buddle's death".  I wonder how it got the "ja" ending to its name?

Regarding genus classification, it says "The genus Buddleja is now included in the figwort family, Scrophulariaceae; it had earlier been classified in either the Loganiaceae or in a family of its own, the Buddlejaceae."

Checking IPNI.org, there are only entries for Buddleja, none for Buddleya or Buddleia.  Checking The Plant List, both Buddleja and Buddleia are listed ???, stating that the Genus Buddleja is in the family Scrophulariaceae, and that the Genus Buddleia is in the family Loganiaceae, yet these are supposed to be one and the same!  What a muddle of a buddle ;D

I never gave it a thought that there are western American "Butterfly Bushes" or Buddleja species, now I'm enlightened. :)

Regarding Buddleja utahensis, here's a link showing what it looks like, a subtle dryland shrub; the flowering stems are floccose with tiny yellow flowers peaking out, intriguing.  On the link below, check out Buddleja marrubifolia, that one looks very ornamental with bright orange-red flowers and as expected, nice Marrubium-like foliage.
http://www.worldbotanical.com/buddleja.htm
http://www.worldbotanical.com/images/Buddleja74.jpg
...Buddleja marrubifolia:
http://www.worldbotanical.com/images/Buddleja_marrubifolia-731.jpg

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

Mark - I'm not sure where I got the 'y' from, especially since I labelled the plant with a 'j'. I must have been halfway further on in the sentence! Very interesting to hear more of the background of the genus and family(s). I have always liked the genus, quite apart from its attraction to butterflies and other pollinators, and we have grown a number of more unusual species over the years, including crispa, a lovely thing that I first saw at Beth Chatto's, and colvilei, which has relatively enormous flowers. I hadn't come across some of these American species before, and there are several more in South America pictured on the Chileflora site. There is a book on the genus, published by Timber Press, which I have been meaning to get for some time so will have to check it out again.

Dr. Timothy John Ingram
Faversham, Kent, UK
I garden in a relatively hot and dry region (for the UK!), with an annual rainfall of around 25", winter lows of -10°C and summer highs of 30°C.
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Tim, maybe because in your sentence about Buddleja you first mention the genus Dudleya, practically a rhyming anagram for Buddleya/Buddleia/Buddleja ;)  But the revelation for me, when researching the name, is that it really is Buddleja, while all these years I used the common misspelling of Buddleia, but then again, The Plant List seems equally confused, not sure how such an authoritative resource can be sitting on the fence and presenting both Buddleia and Buddleja as valid, it is one or the other as far as I'm aware.  Regardless, all interesting stuff.  :D
http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl/search?q=Buddleia
http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl/search?q=Buddleja

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

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

Everything is looking great, Tim!  
What does your Lactuca intricata look like?  Here's mine, looking very lettuce-like indeed at this stage.  It's transformation into a subshrub should be interesting.

http://www.pavelkaalpines.cz/Photos/Turkey2009/lactucaintricataturkey.html

Aethionema saxatilis ssp. oreophila - seeds from Pavelka (collected:  2300m, Aroania Mts., Greece; small glaucous plant, 3-6cm, pale pink flws, limestone rocks); seeds germinated in 11 days at room temp.

Anthemis cretica ssp. leucanthemoides - seeds from Pavelka (collected: 1700m, Kaz Dag, Turkey; very dwarf plant woody at base, linear silvery-green lvs, solitary white flws, 3-8cm, stoney places, 2008 seed); germinated in 6 days at room temp.

Bukiniczia cabulica - germinated in 10 days at room temp.  I got seed from both the NARGS and SRGC seedexes and put both in the same pot; the SRGC seed looked like Acantholimon (and has not germinated yet - perhaps not fertile) while the NARGS seed appears to be the real McCoy; either way it seemed I would get something very interesting!

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

Ya know, Lori... that Lactuca is big enough to nibble.

It looks pretty tasty! ??? ;D

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

Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

Hi Lori - yes that really does look lettuce-like! My seedlings are still very small. We have grown for many years a big herbaceous 'lettuce', Cicerbita plumieri (also sometimes labelled Lactuca). This is a very robust plant to 2.5m or more, with the typical violet-blue flowerheads. I've always liked it so I look forward to seeing what this species does. In the past I also grew Cichorium spinosum, and this is very attractive and neat, and would be nice to get again.

Dr. Timothy John Ingram
Faversham, Kent, UK
I garden in a relatively hot and dry region (for the UK!), with an annual rainfall of around 25", winter lows of -10°C and summer highs of 30°C.
 

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

RickR wrote:

Ya know, Lori... that Lactuca is big enough to nibble.
It looks pretty tasty! ??? ;D

A pretty meagre salad though... those are only 2 5/8" pots.   :D

A few more including a couple that have been potted on:
Linum viscosum - seeds from Alplains; started germinating in the cold, after 1 month in the cold room:

Draba tomentosa - seeds from Pavelka (collected: 2500m Korab Mts, Macedonia; dense grey cushions, big wh flws on scapes 3-8cm, limestone rocks); germinated after ~20 days at room temp.

Androsace bisulca v. brahmaputrae - seeds from Holubec (collected: China, Gyamda, Tibet, 3700m, mountain grassland, unique plant, rounded cushions, 3-8cm wide, 1-2cm rosettes, large rose-red flws on 2-4cm long stems, 2010.  Also China Zhoka, Tibet, 3500m, rock terraces, 2010); started germinating in the cold, after 33 days in the cold room:

Anarthrophyllum desideratum - seeds from Holubec (collected:  Argentina, Col. Belgrano near Perito Moreno); scarified then germinated in 10 days at room temp;  so far, so good, though only one measly seedling... poor thing probably won't stand a chance in the real world outdoors!

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

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