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Re: HYB: LA Germination

From: HIPSource@aol.com


I wrote:

<< Break apart the corky coating and sow them on the surface of the soil or
medium so that light can reach them. Keep them warm and moist but not wet. I
have had no problems germinating any with this method. >

To which Patrick responded: 
<< This method is nothing like how I have treated Louisiana iris seeds for
many years, so perhaps I have something to learn.  I have always planted  the
seeds in pots with one-half to three-quarters of an inch of soil over them. >>

If you are getting good germination that is what is important. You have
certainly germinated more of these than I, and certainly more than Deno. 

I should perhaps have mentioned that the seeds are soaked in several changes
of water for several days, at which point the LA corky covering becomes
softened and peels off. I generally do not remove all of it since sometimes
seeds have a covering which needs to rot off naturally and, while I do not
think that LA fit this category, I am not absolutely sure. I don't peel any
other kinds of seeds, except foetidissima. In my experience light can
facilitate the germination of many iris seeds, some of which--siberians,
tectorums--appear to have a light requirement but no chilling requirement. I
use Norm Deno's findings as an guide rather than a manual, and this works very
well for me. 

I should also mention that in our discussions of germination here we have seen
that often different methods work for seeds, and I believe the environment of
the pod plant may be a factor as well. I also uspect that some LA irises also
produce a lot of empty seedcoats since I have on several occasions peeled off
the cork to find nothing else there. 

<<As to insects, I often find some seeds in a pot that have been hollowed out
by creatures that obviously considered them tasty.  Bare seed on the surface
would seem to make them easier prey.>>

Yes, some protection is definitely in order for seed pots outside. Not just
little mousies or whatever, but also birds and the occasional grass-chewing
cat can be a menace.  

About that hollow seed bit: I've always wondered about something, Patrick. I
obtained some fulva seeds once and followed my usual water iris routine of
soaking them and sowing them inside in February on the surface of small pots
filled with moist Peter's potting soil. Covered them with saran and put them
in a bright room. When one germinated I lifted the saran to check on the
others and there were two of those hollowed out seeds, one of which seemed to
have a small grub in it. I've never seen that critter before or since, but I
have wondered how it got there and if it came in with or in the seeds. I also
wondered if it might be fungus gnats but the thing had some size on it and
gnats were not a problem at the time. I wondered if there was some LA-specific
insect at work.

Anner Whitehead

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