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Re: germinating seeds, was Mahonia, was Horticulture mag


i think that's what i would do, too, margaret. i've got a small bottle of saltpetre that i bought from the local pharmacist for a buck or two that works wonders on pepper seeds.

the drupe of the oregon grape is kind of fleshy [enough to jam or jelly, i understand], so i think i'd dry them and peel them first.


At 08:31 AM 12/17/02 -0700, you wrote:
Mahonia is native in my area (SW Idaho), and in the past, birds have planted it here and there in my yard, in locations I was not thrilled about. I've tried to move small shrubs many times with zero survival rate. Finally they planted one on a berm, good location, so I've left it and loved it. There's a twist. However, I think this coming summer I'll try reproducing that for other parts of my yard. I'm fairly successful with spring cuttings from woody plants (herbaceous tips), and I'd like to see about germinating some seeds. Capsaicin (providing the heat) in hot chiles doesn't affect birds, so they are the planters and propagators of "bird chiles" -- i.e., tiny beak-sized chiles such as chiltepins. Seeds of those chiles are difficult to germinate by humans but not by birds. Hmm. The seeds have passed through a bird's gut and emerged with some ready made fertilizer. I've found chiltepins and other small hot chiles germinate rather easily if given an overnight soak in saltpetre water (1 t saltpeter to 1 quart of water). I think I'll do the same with mahonia seeds. Margaret L

Hi Kitty and all-

Got the Feb issue of Horticulture in the mail today- has articles on several
plants we've discussed in the past- mahonia and epimedium- nice pics too.

Theresa
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