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Re: [aroid-l] Calla lily

  • Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Calla lily
  • From: Steve Marak samarak@gizmoworks.com
  • Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2003 11:34:58 -0500 (CDT)


The difference in timing may be due, as you suggest, to climate. Our last
several winters were unusually mild, but even so we saw -18 C (0 F) last
year, and our last frost is typically mid-April. The zantedeschias often
don't even show above ground until June, so flowers may not appear until

I've wondered if climate also explains why they don't self sow for me.

So far I've not gotten anything that didn't look like the parents, but
then I haven't been actively trying to cross-pollinate, and the big
yellow types outnumber everything else by a big margin simply because they
seem to be more vigorous here. (Z. aethiopica, usually considered the
hardiest, is the one I have the most trouble keeping alive - it keeps
trying to grow in the winter and gets zapped. After a couple of years it
fades away. I've taken to wintering it indoors.)

Ray, that's a good idea re storing the berries uncleaned, and I've seen it
recommended for peltandra too. Thanks,


On Thu, 18 Sep 2003, Paul Tyerman wrote:

> I have never thought of Zantedeschias as setting seed in autumn?  Our
> flower in late spring, then seed a month or so later, just after their
> parents are dying off at the height of summer.  I have never yet harvested
> any seed from mine, but they have self sowed a few times around themselves
> (particularly rehmanii and albomaculata).  In the self-seeding the seed
> head slowly gets heavier and heavier until it ends up on the ground, where
> it rots and the seeds are dispersed into the ground in that area.  In
> spring the following year I get a little clump of seedlings up.  If they
> germinate immediately then they do not put anything above ground until
> winter is over, at least not here that I recall, but wait until their
> "parents" are growing the following spring.
> I am MUCH milder in winter than most of you I'd imagine, but the
> Zantedeschia seedlings definitely wait until the following spring as far as
> I know.... where their parents grow little green leaves would be obvious in
> autumn when the parents are gone, so nothing comes above the ground until
> the following spring.  If they germinated immediately then they must stay
> below ground until after winter.  They obviously don't mind the fruit pulp
> as the whole cluster of them germinate in a small packed space wherever the
> fruit has lain.  I have also had this recently happen with a couple of my
> hybrids (a couple of times with 'Dominique') where I have forgotten to cut
> off the old flower head as I usually do.  I really don't need any more of
> them so I tend to not want seed <grin>.  I shall be interested in teh case
> of Dominique though to see what the seedlings look like as it is a blend of
> a solid purple with some flushings of yellow, particularly towards the
> edges.  Who knows WHAT would result from a selfing of that.... I guess I'll
> find out in a couple of years when the seedlings flower eh?
> If I was wanting to sow seed from one of the hybrids I'd let the head
> mature on the plant until the stem started to wither.  I'd leave the
> seedhead sitting on the ground until it started to break apart as it
> rotted, then I'd just plant the whole lot into a pot and wait until the
> next spring and then divide them when they come up.  I did this last spring
> when I found a clump of seedlings coming up.  They did not at all seem to
> mind being "repotted" (in my case, lifted out of the garden and split apart
> into individual plants) one the leaves were a few inches long.  They
> continued to grow just fine.  I potted them into a self-watering trough so
> that they would have plenty of water as they wanted it.

-- Steve Marak
-- samarak@gizmoworks.com

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