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Seed Germination

Printed From: British Clematis Society Forum
Category: Clematis
Forum Name: Postings
Forum Discription: General chat and help about anything Clematis
Printed Date: 20 May 2019 at 7:24am
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Topic: Seed Germination
Posted By: clematis corner
Subject: Seed Germination
Date Posted: 02 Nov 2011 at 7:35pm

I have run the BCS Seed Exchange since at least 1995 and yet very rarely do I get any feedback on germination success or failure.  Year on year I include seed of certain clematis (c. uncinata for example) and I am yet to hear of anyone who has had successful germination.  I have set it myself for the last few years and I still await my first seedling !  Negative feedback is as welcome as positive because if no one is successful with certain seed, perhaps it is not viable.  Most seed types (but not all) are viewed on a microscope to ensure there is a proper seed inside but that does not guarantee good germination. 

We are coming up to the next Seed Exchange soon, so please let me know how you get on with our 2012 offerings
Mike Brown


Posted By: Nunn00123
Date Posted: 17 Nov 2011 at 12:20pm
Hi Mike,
Re Uncinata seed, I had a packet sowed  in 03-11, in a tray, placed in heated prop at 18 deg C. Almost all seed sown germinated a month later, saved 10 seedlings, but only 5 survived transplanting. They are now small but healthy plants sitting on the greenhouse bench, in 75mm pots. I continue to sow all of my species seedlings into an alpine type mix, they are slower growing in this medium, but they at least seem to end up as tougher longer lasting plants.
I have found germination of BCS seed to be generally good, apart from the Viornae section, which is usually slow and eratic if the seed is not fresh. I find with this seed if I take it off the plant when still green and plant it straight away I usually get 100% germination the following spring, but if the seed is allowed to dry out it can take up to 4 years to germinate erratically.
Another story is being mostly garden collected, the results are very often not as labelled, or have obviously crossed with something close by. Only occasionally does one get something that is worth keeping. It would be nice to have got at least one texensis seedling to look somthing like it is supposed to be.

Posted By: Ron.Carlile
Date Posted: 18 Nov 2011 at 8:09pm

Hi Mike and Roy

I am of the same opinion as Roy, the longer seeds are of the plant the less proportion germinate , I prefer to leave seeds on the plant as long as possible  
or in contact with the growing medium, I get better germination this way .
However if you wish to have new verities you have to have them sent as dry seeds Dried not baked , heat drying is the death of a lot of seeds .


Posted By: ClematisGuru
Date Posted: 23 Nov 2011 at 8:44pm
hi mike...
i usually do not hop across the pond to this forum, but could not resist your query on BCS seeds. i have a large collection of clematis cultivars and species, about 650 varieties, collected over a 10 year period. however i just started trying to germinate seeds and grow them on about 14 months ago.
i have many successes with BCS seeds. i find the seeds from the BCS to be the best that i have obtained.
regarding Uncinata, (from BCS seed) i had a bumper crop, resulting in at least 30 plants that i grew on to about a 6 inch size. i have distributed some of these to a nursery in the USA, and a few to clem friends. i have a handful left, which are being wintered over inside, as i fear my hard zone 5b winter will not be friendly to them.

i have only one clematis seedling (besides heracs ) that have already reached bloom, that again was a BCS seed of chiisanensis, of which one seedling bloomed this year, a pure creamy color, really super bloom. look forward to more next year.

other BCS seeds that i have growing on right now include everett, veriscolor, addisonii, texensis hybrid, lucky dip, and urticifolia have already been planted out in the garden.

appreciate the seed exchange very much and look forward to this year's list.

In clems we trust!

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