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Stratification query

Sarracenia seed germination stratification

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#1 Loakesy

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 11:01 AM

What is is exactly that constitutes stratification? Is it cold, damp or dark? or perhaps a combination of all three?

The reason I ask is that I obtained some Sarracenia seed from the CPS seedbank in  the middle of July and sowed them straight away on damp soil in my greenhouse, and within about a month i saw signs of germination - about a dozen seedlings or so and counting!

Now I would say that I didn't give them a stratification period. Normally I would sow seed in January so that they stratify over winter, or in the past I have wrapped them in a damp tissue and kept them in the fridge for a month or so. but I did neither; I sowed them in the greenhouse in the middle of... that season formerly known as "Summer".

Could one argue that dried seed stored in a fridge (I assume the seed bank in refrigerated!) is sufficient stratification for the seed to germinate successfully?

Just curious...

#2 Aidan

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 04:19 PM

In Sarracenia the seed coat carries chemicals which inhibit germination and stratification is the process whereby those chemicals are leached-out. In nature this occurs over the winter months which is why we emulate the process with a period of "cold, wet stratification".

Like all things I guess there is some natural variation. You have had seed germinate more or less immediately and I have had seed pass through two winters before germinating.

Seed passing a winter before germination gives the resulting seedlings a full growing season before having to survive through the next winter. It's not unreasonable to suppose that seed germinating soon after it has been shed by the mother plant has a lesser chance of surviving the rigours of winter.

#3 Loakesy

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 07:53 PM

Hmm! I dare say, then, that I will probably see more germination after they have wintered. Thanks Aidan!

#4 Sheila

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 12:57 AM

When I first started growing, I used to think that stratification was a matter of keeping them cold in a fridge for a few weeks then sowing. I always got good results. Then with forums came the information that stratification needed to be cold and damp, so I gave it s try and have never had the same good results I used to get from just keeping them cold in the fridge. In fact I suffered mouldy seed and other problems before even getting as far as sowing. I don't personally recommend damp stratification a cold period seems to be plenty and as the seed bank seed is stored in a fridge I believe it is ready for sowing when it is sent out.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Sarracenia, seed, germination, stratification

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