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Re: iris DIGEST V1 #496

I haven't ried planting fresh seeds muself but have seen one experiment and read reports of two other peoples. They all have had sucess.

I'm quite convinced that iris seeds need to have cool germinating conditions.

Another variable would be how fresh the seeds were. The experiment I saw, didn't have total germination, but did have a significant amount of germination.

The acid would need to be removed, so perhaps even fresh seed would benefit from a wash. Perhaps some is released even before the seed begins to dry.

I was loking for the article on the washing of seeds that was published in Bulletin, but couldn't find it, I did find article by Vincent Christophensen in April 2007 Bulletin. He detailed his method of plnting fresh seeds and his success. He emphisised cold tempertures and had a nightime /daytime procedure with seeds in fridge overnight.

The cold period in fridge the enables germination is called estivation, a process for seeds that is similar to vernalization for plants to set bloom.

Chuck Chapman

Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2008 07:05:20 -0500
From: Linda Mann <lmann@lock-net.com>
Subject: [iris] Re: HYB: germination experiments/cold climate

Chuck, are you <sure> that this is the only germination inhibitor at
work in <all> bearded iris seeds?

The seeds that went into the fridge the last two years were <not> dried
first. They still took up to 7 months of chilling before they germinated.

I've tried planting fresh seeds in the past and none germinated - they
all rotted.  Others in the south have reported the same experience.

From what I was able to learn, TB seeds may require lower temperatures
to germinate than we have when seeds are ripe here, so that may be the


Or are you saying fresh seeds need to be washed 5 times?

I'm willing to try planting a few fresh seeds again, now that I have a
small wine cooler to plant them in, <if> I have a junk cross I don't
mind losing.

But I'm unconvinced that Ascorbic Acid is the only factor in delayed
germination of some TB seeds. Especially those that thrive in my climate.

<The anti germination compound is Ascorbic Acid , short form ABS. This
increases 100 fold as seeds are drying out. ...Washing seeds in about
five soaks in water for
about 1 day each  should remove all the ABS. Some experiments with
planting fresh iris seed before  they dry out, has resulted in good
germination without any cold periods. By planting before they dry out,
they are planted before the formation of ABS.>
- --
Linda Mann east Tennessee USA zone 7/8

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