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Author Topic: fritillaria imperialis  (Read 7747 times)

Tasmanian Taffy

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fritillaria imperialis
« on: August 08, 2010, 11:01:31 AM »
Hello to all,
I have some seed of fritillaria imperialis (yellow and red forms) and I would like to try and grow these from seed,but I have been told they are very difficult to grow from seed. If anybody can  please give me some tips or advise I would be most grateful.I live in Tasmania, Australia and we are in our final month of Winter when is the best time to sow these seed and are there any special requirements that I should adhere to.Any help would be appreciated,regards John Bartush. ??

Hillview croconut

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Re: fritillaria imperialis
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2010, 11:56:14 AM »
Hi John,

Fritillaria imperialis isn't hard to grow from seed. Sow the seed in the autumn, say March here in the southern hemisphere. You will need to store it in order to do that. I don't do anything special with mine, I might keep it in the fridge but I'm not convinced this aids the extension of viability. I know you grow lilies so just follow the same method you would use for lily seeds. Cheers, Marcus

Tasmanian Taffy

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Re: fritillaria imperialis
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2010, 12:09:54 AM »
Hello Marcus,
Thanks for the information I will wait untill Autumn and sow them and hopefully get a few to germinate.Thanks again,John.

rob krejzl

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Re: fritillaria imperialis
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2010, 12:33:17 AM »
John,

If you're worried about viability come autumn, just freeze a few as you would lily seed.
Southern Tasmania

USDA Zone 8/9

Lesley Cox

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Re: fritillaria imperialis
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2010, 01:13:24 AM »
I agree with Marcus, not difficult but rather long-winded. From seed, in my experience, imperialis will take up to 7 years to flower whereas other species will take 3-4 generally. Yes, sow it as you would your lilies and don't let the tiny bulblets dry out totally, for their first and probably second years. Keep them in the pot and just barely damp.

If you have enough to try, sow some now or in the next month. You will likely get germination by next autumn when you're just sowing the others. You might decide to put autumn germinating seed in a protected place for the winter.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

Tasmanian Taffy

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Re: fritillaria imperialis
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2010, 01:34:41 AM »
Hello Lesley,
Thanks for your help I do have  a few seeds of each so  I will try sowing some next month and leave the rest until next Autumn as Marcus suggested regards John.

Tasmanian Taffy

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Re: fritillaria imperialis
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2010, 01:37:44 AM »
Rob Hello and thanks,I do keep all of my seed refrigerated regards John.

Ray

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Re: fritillaria imperialis
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2010, 10:13:14 AM »
If F imperialis is so easy to grow from seed how come you hardly ever see it on bulb lists down here.At $15 to $20 for a NFS bulb one would think every man and his dog would be growing them.bye Ray
Ray Evans
Colac
Victoria Australia

rob krejzl

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Re: fritillaria imperialis
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2010, 10:55:56 AM »
Quote
up to 7 years to flower
from seed and low customer demand.

After all, if the price you could charge alone made something worth selling you'd see lots of Worsleya and Brunsvigia on offer.


BTW, re the storage of seed I did actually mean the freezer, not the fridge. Properly dried and sealed frozen seed should remain viable a long time.


Southern Tasmania

USDA Zone 8/9

Ray

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Re: fritillaria imperialis
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2010, 12:50:54 PM »
Quote
up to 7 years to flower
from seed and low customer demand.

Hi Rob,low customer demand?,if that is the case then why isn't it on the their lists every year.
Need Marcus to hop online and give us his view.bye Ray




Ray Evans
Colac
Victoria Australia

David Pilling

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Re: fritillaria imperialis
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2010, 01:59:49 PM »
There's been chat elsewhere about the difficulty of keeping imperialis alive, some think that the bulbs supplied from Holland are programmed to rot. Maybe if you grow them from seed you avoid that, but it would be sad to spend years growing them and then see them rot.

Personal experience is that I carefully selected four bulbs and by the time I got back from the shop I found one had rotted. Things didn't improve when I started growing them.

David Pilling at the seaside in North West England.

Hillview croconut

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Re: fritillaria imperialis
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2010, 10:41:22 PM »
Hi Guys,  in my experience, and I have found that large, adult bulbs of do not fare well at being stored, moved, perhaps even breathed on! They are fragile beasties when handled roughly and kept in the less than perfect conditions of commerce. I have found them much easier from seed, moving them into the ground at the end of a 2 year growing period. If one has good cold winters there shouldn't be a problem after that.

Ray you asked the question: why doesn't every man and his dog gow them if they are so valuable. Heres the answer, and it cuts to the heart of the biosecurity issue that has been raised on the general forum. Large scale commercial nurseries work on economies of scale and turn around time. For these guys this plant takes too long to grow to saleable size, the costs and the risks associated with importing them is too high and the demand is too low to justify the investment. Small specialist nurseries like mine have to pay (unfairly) the same flat fee rates as large-scale commercial nurseries ($30 a minute inspection fees) and are now faced with the double whammy of only being permitted to bring in phytocertified plants and THEN STILL have to have them placed into post-entry quarantine. I used to be able to source this plant from a non-commercial source in NZ but now because of the phytocertification requirement I cant get them because the NZ source cannot afford the costs to have their crop inspected. Why you may ask? Because she doesn't have an inspection service available to her locally she has to pay out of her own pocket to have an inspector flown in and accomodated while the inspection takes place. I HOPE THAT THIS ILLUSTRATES THE MADNESS AND INFLEXIBILTY OF BIOSECURITY WHEN IT DOESN'T PAY ANY ATTENTION TO OTHER COMPETING AND LEGITIMATE INTERESTS.

Lesley Cox

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Re: fritillaria imperialis
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2010, 11:27:12 PM »
That says it all really, or most of it. Any bulb which takes 7 years to raise from seed to flowering will be expensive. Think of all the weeding, watering, fertilizing, protecting from pests et al, that happens to the batch of seedlings over 7 years, let along planting out and potting, repotting etc. So that's from seed.

Then all that other stuff Marcus mention for bought in bulbs. There was a good source here until recently and I don't know how they originated honestly. I don't think they grew from seed but I'm not aware that the bulbs multiply vegetatively to any extent. Nor do I think micro propagation was the answer because they had been available for 90 years or more, before such things happened.

Unfortunately this nursery changed hands a few years ago and one can't now go and buy half a dozen or more for oneself. They are machine harvested each year and sent in containers (!) to Holland for the European market. No doubt they are put in chillers for several months and offered to wholesalers at the right time for northern sales and planting. I'd be very surprised if many/any survive as the machine harvesting badly damages the bulbs and all I've had for the last 10 years or so have had bad lesions and mould patches on them. I've had both yellow and bronze with little success for either.

Although it takes time, raising from seed is the best solution and I have been fortunate in being able to get both yellow and bronze seed from the Dunedin Botanic Gardens in recent years. I'll ask for more this year and if they remember to save it for me, I should be able to send some out. I also have some very healthy-looking seedlings from Otto's form, which is 'Rubra Maxima,' a shorter, red form. These are coming up now but are still 4 years off flowering.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

rob krejzl

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Re: fritillaria imperialis
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2010, 11:45:32 PM »
Ray,

When I lived in the UK I could go down to my local DIY store in autumn and pick up (courtesy of the Dutch) both yellow and orange forms of imperialis (& never had a problem with growing them, provided I chose carefully and bought them as soon as they arrived). But Europe is a much larger market. Australia is not only smaller overall, but broken-up into different segments - when I lived in FNQ practically the only cultural consideration I had to think of when growing warm or intermediate orchids was which nail to use to mount them in the shadehouse, but things like galanthus were impossible. Here in Tassie when I used to visit the Gillanders I could see their entire years stock of imperialis grown in just a couple of polyboxes.

As Marcus says some things are just going to have too low a level of demand to make their importation or commercial production worthwhile. At least imperialis is on the edges of commercial availability, things like F. eduardii just aren't there at all. If people like Marcus or private importers are shut out because of bureaucratic hurdles where will that leave us? Denied access to things which pose no threat to biosecurity because the system is inadequate.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 12:15:31 AM by rob krejzl »
Southern Tasmania

USDA Zone 8/9

rob krejzl

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Re: fritillaria imperialis
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2010, 11:50:46 PM »
Lesley,

Imperialis will multiply vegetatively if grown shallowly. The stress forces them to split without you having to scale them. Of course the daughter bulbs are too small to flower......
Southern Tasmania

USDA Zone 8/9

 

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