Scottish Rock Garden Club Forum

Seedy Subjects! => Grow From Seed => Topic started by: P. Kohn on February 12, 2018, 01:15:04 PM

Title: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: P. Kohn on February 12, 2018, 01:15:04 PM
I notice quite a bit of correspondence on the forum about growing this species. The most recent from 2016 reported plenty of seedlings and was expressing concern only about the delay in producing true leaves but we just cannot get primary germination. Ten years ago we had no problems at Kerrachar (NW Scotland) but here in Sheffield we consistently fail despite obtaining seed from a variety of sources. Our technique is fundamentally the same though there are obvious differences of aspect and, perhaps, temperature (although mean January temperature is almost identical).

Does anyone have any suggestions on improving germination rate. (We have high success rates with the majority of what we sow but this species is eluding us.)
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: KK-Ann Arbor on February 12, 2018, 02:04:26 PM
I am not an expert grower.  My past attempt with Glaucidium palmatum is very limited and currently do not have any result to show.  However, I did have germination.

A SRGC friend of mine who lives in Hokkaido, Japan sent me a variety of fresh seeds (mauve, white, white semi double, dark blue, dark blue double) a few years ago. 
I rember keeping the pot with seeds in dark.  Someone suggested the use of GA3 and I did try it on some but not all.

Even though I did get germination in multiple number of pots, I could not keep them alive, as I had to travel for about 2 weeks and I found them gone when I came back home.
I shared the seeds with several members of my rock garden group, who were far more experienced gardeners than I and hope they might have them going farther than I did.

I would die for another chance to try but so ashamed to beg for more with my poor treatment of those precious seeds.

Wish you good luck.
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: Carolyn on February 12, 2018, 03:27:09 PM
I notice quite a bit of correspondence on the forum about growing this species. The most recent from 2016 reported plenty of seedlings and was expressing concern only about the delay in producing true leaves but we just cannot get primary germination. Ten years ago we had no problems at Kerrachar (NW Scotland) but here in Sheffield we consistently fail despite obtaining seed from a variety of sources. Our technique is fundamentally the same though there are obvious differences of aspect and, perhaps, temperature (although mean January temperature is almost identical).

Does anyone have any suggestions on improving germination rate. (We have high success rates with the majority of what we sow but this species is eluding us.)
Fresh seed rather than dry from the seed exchanges gives better results. My main problem with them is slugs!
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: GordonT on February 12, 2018, 05:14:08 PM
I followed the advice of Kristl Walek... soaking the seeds in a weak solution of GA3, sowing in a community pot, and watering them in with the remaining solution for good measure. The seed pots were kept at warm temperature in sun. They germinated in less than a month, if I remember correctly, and the resulting seedlings bloomed for the first time last spring.
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: TheOnionMan on February 12, 2018, 05:23:27 PM
I had fresh seed of the white form sent to me in 2012. Spring 2013 had some germination, but less than 50%. Late spring 2017 the plants flowers, 5-years from seed, all where white but also got a blue one.

The pods are fascinating, looking like a pair of guppies joined at the tail, waxy and shiny. The pods take a very long time to ripen, I collected seed on Sept 12 2017, almost 3 months after pods formed, all was sown fresh. I saved & sowed seed from the single blue plant too. We'll see what germination occurs this spring, my flats stay outside all winter.
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: KK-Ann Arbor on February 12, 2018, 06:29:54 PM
Beutiful white flower!
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: Lesley Cox on February 12, 2018, 11:06:20 PM
I agree Carolyn, fresh is best. I had a single pod (they come in attached pairs) this last spring (but it was very dry when it was in flower) on my one flowering purple plant and that ripened two weeks ago and the seeds were sown right away so I expect them to germinate in our autumn, in about 2 months. The white which for me flowers a couple of weeks later than the purple, has a lot of pods and is still showing no sign of browning then opening. Could be even another 3 or 4 weeks by the look of it. I find that if sown right away they germinate well, the first true leaves coming perhaps 3 or 4 weeks after the cotyledons.
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: Leena on February 13, 2018, 08:49:57 AM
I find that if sown right away they germinate well, the first true leaves coming perhaps 3 or 4 weeks after the cotyledons.

This is a mystery, perhaps it depends on conditions. Here the seeds ripen in early October and cold may come in Novermber and December, so there is not much warm for the seeds. I have sown many times fresh Glaucidium palmatum seeds from my own plants and the first spring I get about third of them germinating, and after the second winter the rest germinate. Only once I have failed to germinate Glaucidium, and they were dry seeds from Japan sown in January.

Does anyone have any suggestions on improving germination rate.

If you want I can send you fresh seeds of G.palmatum var leucanthemum next autumn? I think I have also some one year old seedlings which I could send you in the spring. ;)
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: P. Kohn on February 13, 2018, 11:20:13 AM
Many thanks for the helpful comments. For the record, our success at Kerrachar was, we think, with normal winter sowing and we got plants into flower, again from memory, after three years. Last time we visited Kerrachar they were still thriving in a shady bed which seems not to have been invaded by weeds in the way the open parts of the garden have been.
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: ArdfearnAli on February 14, 2018, 11:01:40 AM
Hello I have an old large plant which I have had for years but it never sets any seed at all? I have tried hand pollinating but no results. It has very large lilac purple flowers usually around 4" or more across. Not sure if the plant requires a separate pollinator or perhaps mine is sterile/triploid?. I hope to try and remove a few bits from around the edge in late Feb and try to grow them on. Will post if I have success this year. I have tried before and had no luck with keeping them going. They seem to start into growth and then give up. Its very annoying as it is a particularly good form and in full view so anybody who sees it in flower instantly wants it!

Alasdair
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: pfirsich48 on February 14, 2018, 11:37:29 AM
I have several mature clumps growing under a Oak tree that, after a few years began self seeding prolifically.  My soil here is a silt loam with a neutral to slightly caustic pH.  The seedlings show only cotyledons the entire first year and develop a single true leaf the second, by the fourth year they are blooming.  I have also tried germinating seed in pots with limited success, I suspect due to my inconsistent  attention.  I have tried as suggested by Alplians sewing the seed on edge and that seemed to give better germination although I have been informed by a friendly nursery owner that that is total nonsense.  My plants produce seed abundantly and I usually contribute them in quantity to the NARGs SeedEx.

Unfortunately the white form has not exhibited these same desirable characteristics of self seeding and ease of germination
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: Leena on February 16, 2018, 08:24:53 AM
Also I have two plants growing close to each other and they produce seeds well. Maybe one plant is not enough for pollination?
I haven't divided my plants, but if I do it, I would do it in late summer/autumn like with peonies, which don't like to to divided in spring.
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: kris on February 16, 2018, 08:29:15 PM
I had the  Glaucidium palmatum album for 3 years. It was a nice clump. But last year harsh fluctuations of spring temperature killed it. I had some seedlings of the mauve one in a pot also died last winter.
From my experience  fresh seeds sowed outside in winter germinated  next spring.  But now I don't have either of them.
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: Gabriela on February 17, 2018, 01:30:44 AM
This is a very interesting and useful discussion.
Considering what Lesley said, I understand now why some sowing recommendation seem contradictory - I think Glaucidium, like other Ranunculaceae, germinate at warm if sown right away and if not, will require one or two cold periods (combined double dormancy).

Like in Leena's case, here (Ontario) the fruits don't mature till late fall so it's not possible to germinate it at warm right away.

I only try it with GA3 under lights indoors (nothing weak - 1000 ppm) and the germination was excellent. The seedlings remained at cotyledon leaves stage and went dormant - at that point I thought them dead so took some out of pots - took pictures, realized they were OK, potted them back...Second season they spent time under lights again for a while because I kept them in the garage over winter and they wanted to grow.
I will att. few pictures; also to note that they are easy to transplant when dormant (or almost).

With GA3 treatment, seeds of 2 and 3 years old will germinate as well but in lower percentage. And indeed, the seedlings are not always true to colour with the parents. I will sow a new batch later towards spring and show the germination when will happen.
Kris - check your pm please.
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: P. Kohn on February 17, 2018, 01:10:36 PM
Many thanks for the feedback. Really useful suggestions.
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: Lesley Cox on February 17, 2018, 08:56:56 PM
I followed the advice of Kristl Walek... soaking the seeds in a weak solution of GA3, sowing in a community pot, and watering them in with the remaining solution for good measure. The seed pots were kept at warm temperature in sun. They germinated in less than a month, if I remember correctly, and the resulting seedlings bloomed for the first time last spring.

I expect it has been answered somewhere on the Forum at some stage but I'll ask anyway, Gordon, where did you get your GA3? It is able to be bought in NZ but so far as we can find out, only in massive quantities (at massive cost) for agricultural use on grass and other crops. A few of us would like to try it for apparently hard to germinate seeds so we need a source supplying small quantities. Presumably it is a liquid which one dilutes?
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: GordonT on February 17, 2018, 10:39:17 PM
Hello Lesley,

I got my supply of GA from Kristl Walek at

http://gardensnorth.com (http://gardensnorth.com)

She sells 100 mg packets of GA3. It is listed in her catalogue, under the "Other Products"heading

It comes as a powder, and I was advised to mix barely a toothpick's head worth of the powder in a glass of water. I can't remember the exact proportions, but the amount of powder dissolved in water is miniscule. Kristl's website has additional information on the use of GA (specifically GA3) here: http://gardensnorth.com/About.Germination.asp#GA-3 (http://gardensnorth.com/About.Germination.asp#GA-3)
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: Lesley Cox on February 17, 2018, 11:28:12 PM
Thank you Gordon. It now remains for us to check ,probably with Ministry of Primary Industries, whether a small quantity of the product will be permitted entry, then, if so, to order some from Kristl.

You will have gathered from this thread that I an STILL waiting for the white glaucidium to ripen. There are seven twin pods so should be quite a lot of seed - eventually. My problem at present is to keep its place in the garden (under a large conifer, I think a Douglas fir) damp enough for the seeds to develop fully then ripen. In recent years I have lost quite a lot of seed because the plants became too dry too early.
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: GordonT on February 18, 2018, 01:05:23 AM
Lesley... I figured as much. My three seedlings of the common lilac form of Glaucidium bloomed this past year for the first time, and set two pods (one had 2 full chambers of seed, the other was a singleton). I have never experienced such slow seed maturation on any other plant, so it doesn't surprise me that you are still waiting.

I gather from your need to water, that rain continues to be scarce, and temperatures high? Here, although it is mid February (usually our coldest & snowiest time of the year), there isn't a speck of white on the ground. Sap is running in the maples at least a month early. I hope the weather cools a bit, and stays there- the thought of extended warmth followed by a deep freeze when everything is waking up, would be disastrous.
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: Lesley Cox on February 19, 2018, 06:51:34 AM
Yes still very warm here in the far south of NZ and while we had 52mm a couple or 3 weeks ago, it has all dried up with hot winds so we need a lot more. Other parts have had far too much rain and are tonight gearing up for the remains of Cyclone Gita and expecting savage winds and deluges. There's no sense to the climate now.
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: Gabriela on April 20, 2018, 09:30:22 PM
Following this discussion I've decided to sow another batch of seeds with GA3, counting them this time to have a clear idea on the germination.
I only had good seeds from 2017 season and I couldn't look at how 2 or 3 years old seeds would do (although as I said I've done it before).

I've used Glaucidium palmatum and G. palmatum ‘Album’ (syn. var. leucanthum) - 15 seeds of each/2017 season (collected in SW Ontario)
Treatment with GA3 1000 ppm/sowing next day March 23th.
Pictures taken April 18, 19th - all of Glaucidium palmatum, G. palmatum 'Album' is slower, just starts to germinate and I don't want to poke again into the mix.

From 15 seeds, 13 germinated (one barely seen); 2 seeds unnaccounted, I found remnants of the teguments.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]

The efficacity of the method is more than clear, at least for me and it's easy to apply.
I went even further and transplanted all young seedlings (counted them again) - it will be interesting to see how this goes!
[attachimg=3]
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: kris on April 21, 2018, 03:25:44 AM
I sowed the Glaucidium palmatum pink and the album today with GA3 application. Thanks a lot Gabriela. Hope to see some germination in a month.
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: Gabriela on April 21, 2018, 03:45:24 PM
I sowed the Glaucidium palmatum pink and the album today with GA3 application. Thanks a lot Gabriela. Hope to see some germination in a month.

You're very welcome Kris. It will be right on time probably for them to grow outside.
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: Véronique Macrelle on May 13, 2018, 08:00:46 AM
I think I'll have to learn how to use GA3!
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: TheOnionMan on May 14, 2018, 03:07:06 AM
Following up on my earlier post, refer to my photo on 1st page showing my seed flat, it shows a split flat, 14 seeds of blue/mauve form on one side, and 24 seeds of white form on other side.

Photo today, 05-13-2018, on the left 4 blue seedlings out of 14 seeds, and 17 white seedlings out of 24. The white ones are still germinating so there may be more.  On the blue side, I expected low percentage germination as some seeds felt flat and non-viable.  Not bad germination overall, particularly on the white seed side, no fussing with GA3, coddling indoors with lights, just sow the flat, leave it out all winter, see what germinates in spring. Examining the seed I harvested back in August 2017, some seed is plump and other seeds are underdeveloped and nearly flat, so I suspect the issue with seed is not with easy germination, but with seed that's not fully developed.
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: P. Kohn on May 14, 2018, 08:22:20 AM
Seems like your conditions may be great for producing fully mature seeds. I'm sure you are right that seed quality is key. We have had some germination of seed sown last year but never more than 2 seedlings in a pot. Like you we use the 'let nature take its course approach at the moment.
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: GordonT on May 14, 2018, 01:56:09 PM
I am grateful to Lesley Cox for providing seed of Glaucidium palmatum leucanthum this year. The seeds were soaked in very weak GA solution. Normally they would have all been sown immediately after that, but I noticed the seed coats on many of the seeds had started to come loose (possibly due to treatment they received while en route from New Zealand).  I decided to carefully remove the seed coat from as many of the seeds that would permit. Seedlings on the left in the photo, are from the stripped seed. The two seeds that were sown intact, took several more weeks to appear above ground, the first of these is just emerging on the right side of the flat.

[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: P. Kohn on May 14, 2018, 05:33:15 PM
Do you think one could strip seeds that hadn't travelled from New Zealand ?  Maybe all that is needed is scarifying ?  The stripped weeds obviously did brilliantly.
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: Véronique Macrelle on May 15, 2018, 08:27:44 AM
I have one of your glaucidium seeds that germinates Gordon!
(The iris have sprouted germs too, thank you!)
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: GordonT on May 15, 2018, 12:39:02 PM
P. Kohn, I think it would be an interesting experiment to simply soak  some Glaucidium seeds, and peel away the seed coat, to test how quickly they germinate. My comment about the rough handling in the postal system was meant to be funny, but perhaps there is some truth to it.

Véronique, I am glad you are having some success with the seeds I sent to you. The Glaucidium is the lilac/purple form, which is why I was so happy to receive Glaucidium palmatum leucanthum, to grow alongside it this year. The parent plants to your seedlings is almost finished blooming for this season, so I ought to have more seed available before the end of the year.

Happy growing to both of you!
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: P. Kohn on May 16, 2018, 01:53:42 PM
I moved on the five successful seedlings (three separate sowings) this morning. In two of the pots all the ungerminated seeds were'blind' - everythng that could have germinated, had.
In the third pot (seed from Yuzawa Engei in Japan) there were four viable looking seeds inside the outer covering and I have resown these. If I get seed from my own plants this year I will remove the outer coat before sowing to make sure there is something there !
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: Maggi Young on May 28, 2019, 12:16:11 PM
Saw this  posted elsewhere and  had to share  it! 

"BotanyCa Plant Seeds

I keep thinking if everyone reads all germination info available on the website (I know some don't!).

This pot with Glaucidium plamatum seedlings from the cold frame gave me the idea of a short series with the theme "one picture is worth a thousand words".
Seedlings of last and this year in the same pot = please keep your pots for at least 2 years!"

[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Glaucidium palmatum
Post by: Lesley Cox on May 30, 2019, 08:47:30 AM
I absolutely agree Maggi. I have had the same result with Glaucidium palmatum and its white form, some germinating reasonably quickly and another "flush" the following year. Likewise from podophyllums, arisaemas and several other things, all of which have/had big seeds and frequently with Juno or Oncocyclus irises. II.palaestina (3 forms), aucheri and another which I've forgotten momentarily and it's pitch black and pouring with rain outside so I'm not going out to look, from Oron Peri, literally germinated half in 2016 and the other half in 17.  One of my two Scottish grannies used to say "there's nowt so queer as folks" and while she may have been right, I'd paraphrase to say "there's nowt so queer as seeds."