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Re: Re: HYB: white vs brown/tan seeds

Hi Linda,

I'm in central New Mexico, and hot dry weather may have something to due
with the white seeds when the pod splits.  The pods may start to open
earlier here, as they will dehydrate and dry VERY quickly.  My pods are
usually shrinking a tiny bit and showing a slight whitish tinge when the
tip of the pod starts to brown a bit and splits open.  Sometimes the pod is
still quite green when the tip starts to split.  Once the tip splits, the
whole thing opens up within a day.  At the time when the tip splits, the
seeds are still attached to the pod, packed in tightly, and are usually
very white.  By the time the pod is fully open and dry, the seeds are brown
and wrinkled, and look like normal mature Iris seeds.  There doesn't seem
to be anything abnormal going on.  The pods all look healthy and normal,
and so far they are all (at least on bearded Iris) behaving the same way,
with only very minor variation.  In past years I have harvested pods at the
time of or just prior to initial splitting, and they looked just the same
as this year; however, I never bothered to look at the seeds until later -
that is until this year.

I suspect that the pods are mature some time before they split, and that
the food supply from the stem is being shut down.  Because of the very low
humidity (dry heat in the day) the pods are just drying faster here and
opening fast.  In a humid climate, the same process might take much longer
to occur (?), and the seeds might have a longer period in which to properly
"ripen" inside the pods.

Yucca pods (which look similar, though not related) are splitting now too,
but those have black seeds, and the seeds have been black inside the pods
for about two weeks, or longer.  If I open an immature Yucca pod and take
out seeds that are still white, the seeds are gauranteed to be dead.  The
Iris seeds on the other hand seem to be maturing just fine, and seem to be
perfectly healthy.  Seeds I harvested last year, and even two and three
years ago all look fine (and I am assuming many of them were white when I
picked those pods too?).


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