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Author Topic: Cleaning and storing trillium seeds  (Read 2083 times)

annew

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Cleaning and storing trillium seeds
« on: August 27, 2013, 09:49:52 AM »
I've just finished collecting my trillium seeds and have done the initial cleaning and washing. I have more than I need of some species, so I want to clean off the elaiosomes and store damp temporarily (for a couple of weeks). I've tried rubbing the seeds in a sieve but can't budge the elaiosomes, also I'm worried about fungus growth while stored damp. I've seen hydrogen peroxide mentioned as a sterilant, but not sure I can get this - can I use household bleach instead, or maybe baby's bottle steriliser?
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Martinr

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Re: Cleaning and storing trillium seeds
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2013, 11:37:46 AM »
Once on a Botany evening class we used a 10:1 dilution of household bleach to sterilise plant material for cuttings so should be ok on seeds.

annew

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Re: Cleaning and storing trillium seeds
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2013, 12:38:38 PM »
Thanks, Martin.
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Anne Wright, Dryad Nursery, Yorkshire, England

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shelagh

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Re: Cleaning and storing trillium seeds
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2013, 04:08:28 PM »
OK so what are elaiosomes ???
Shelagh, Bury, Lancs.

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shelagh

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Re: Cleaning and storing trillium seeds
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2013, 04:18:34 PM »
Also Anne if you have a hairdresser's suppliers near you, I think there is a national one called 'Sally' then you should be able to get Hydrogen peroxide there.
Shelagh, Bury, Lancs.

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Maggi Young

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Re: Cleaning and storing trillium seeds
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2013, 04:34:55 PM »
OK so what are elaiosomes ???

 Well, if you're the Bulb Despot, then you'll often spell that eliasome  (bless 'im, he does  his best!) but an elaiasome is an appendage found on some seeds- a fat filled lumpy bit that attracts ants to disperse the seeds 
http://www.srgc.org.uk/logs/logdir/2013Jun191371634092BULB_LOG_2513.pdf
http://www.srgc.org.uk/bulblog/log2006/140606/log.html 
http://www.srgc.org.uk/logs/logdir/2009Jun171245243874BULB_LOG__2409.pdf to give some examples of bulb logs with pictures of these bits..
They can be rounded, curly, stuck on one end or long and thin all down the seed.... lots of varieties  but a ll with the aim of getting the seed spread as widely as possible by ants, or, as often happens with trillium seeds- wasps.
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!


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Maggi Young

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Re: Cleaning and storing trillium seeds
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2013, 04:46:16 PM »
Also Anne if you have a hairdresser's suppliers near you, I think there is a national one called 'Sally' then you should be able to get Hydrogen peroxide there.

I think you can get hydrogen peroxide in any Pharmicist's shop - that's where I last saw it.
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!


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johnralphcarpenter

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Re: Cleaning and storing trillium seeds
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2013, 05:27:23 PM »
I think hydrogen peroxide is used to clean contact lenses (certainly used to be so) so it should be widely available.
Ralph Carpenter near Ashford, Kent, UK. USDA Zone 8 (9 in a good year)

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David Nicholson
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annew

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Re: Cleaning and storing trillium seeds
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2013, 09:26:55 PM »
Thank you all, I now have the solution to my fat-filled lumpy bits! :-X
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Anne Wright, Dryad Nursery, Yorkshire, England

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David Shaw

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Re: Cleaning and storing trillium seeds
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2013, 07:20:22 PM »
Thanks to Anne's question more of us now know what elaiosomes are and how to remove them. I would now ask 'why'? I am collecting trillium seed for the exchange and, appart from rubbing off a portion of the elaiosomes, I would expect to let the seed dry off and then packet it. Should I be doing something different?
David Shaw, Forres, Moray, Scotland

Maggi Young

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Re: Cleaning and storing trillium seeds
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2013, 09:30:40 PM »
There is some belief that leaving the elaiosomes on risks rotting in prolonged storage, or greater chance of ant predation when seeds are fresh sown or that the elaiosome inhibits germination.

We don't have ants in the garden so we cannot test the second hypothesis.
We don't see any difference here between seeds with or without their elaiosomes in regards to germination.
This article : http://www.amjbot.org/content/88/2/234.full - based on Fremontedendron, contains various interesting comments and experiments on elaiosomes .

Kristl Walek  ( of Gardens North seeds- who has probably forgotten more about seed than any odf the rest of us know!) moist packs the likes of trillium seed - her seed is always sold very fresh though and while some Seed Exchanges have done some work with moist acked seed, it is not ideal for them to do this since, by their nature, the seed is likely to have to be stored for quite a few months and the risk of rot from moist packed in that case is quite high.  Even for seed that is generally thought to be short lived, it is often a very pleasant surprise to seee how well it will germinate when rehydrated prior to sowing.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 09:34:48 PM by Maggi Young »
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!


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TheOnionMan

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Re: Cleaning and storing trillium seeds
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2013, 10:51:43 PM »
Maggi, certainly true what you say about Kristl's deep knowledge on seed collecting, cleaning, storage and germination, I'm just scratching at the surface trying to learn about certain seed types, having experimented the last few years with Epimedium and woodland Iris.  Attached below is a photo of Iris odaesanensis seed I collected this year, most of it shared with interested gardeners via moist-pack in regular mail.  The close-up shows the elaiosomes well, they are more "integrated" to the seed on this Iris species, than lets say with Epimedium which more readily detach.

To David S's question, some seed types, such as with Epimedium, cannot be dried totally, otherwise the seed dies, it must be sown while green and moist. I sow with the elaiosomes on, never bother trying to remove them.

What Maggi, no ants!!!! I could send a few million, or varying type, without making a dent in their population.  When I sow Epimedium flats, after sprinkling the seed on the soil surface, if I linger for a short while before covering the seed up, ants start stealing the seed right in front of me.  I don't collect all my Epimedium seed, way too much, but after seed starts shedding, it's a common sight to spot seed on that ground that appear to be moving on their own... ants!
Mark McDonough
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Maggi Young

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Re: Cleaning and storing trillium seeds
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2013, 11:07:24 PM »
I understand your shock- and envy(?!) at our lack of ants, Mark. It's a very odd thing - we have no idea why it is so.  We just have no ants, not a one.
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!


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brianw

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Re: Cleaning and storing trillium seeds
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2013, 11:20:17 PM »
We don't have ants in the garden so we cannot test the second hypothesis

Is that possible? I thought they were everywhere in the UK. More in some places than others but universal. That surprises me.
Edge of Chiltern hills, 25 miles west of London, England

 


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