Tuesday, July 17, 2007


My blackberry lily produces a great number of seeds. Black and full, they are as big as ordinary peppercorns, and almost as hard when dried. I kept some aside through the winter, hoping to start them in the spring. When mid-April rolled around, I put some in a little 4-inch pot. I watered and watched. Weeks passed. Then a month. Nothing.

Wondering if the seeds were good, I placed a few between moist paper towels to see if I could get them to sprout. I even nicked a few of the hard seed casings, as I know that can help other hard seeds (like morning glories) germinate. For a couple of weeks, I faithfully kept those paper towels moist. Still, not a sign of life from any of the seeds.

I forgot about the little 4-inch pot, but as it was among some other potted transplants, it kept getting water. A few weeks ago, I noticed that most of the seeds had sprouted. And then I started seeing little seedlings here and there around the garden.

These grew from seeds I scattered about last autumn. They are a little shorter than their siblings in the pot, but I won't have to worry about transplanting them.

Another lesson learned. Some things can't be forced.


Meade said...

Seed stratification.

Peter, for quite some time I've enjoyed reading your comments wherever our paths have crossed in the 'sphere. Don't know why it's taken me this long to click on your excellent blog. You and I share several interests. I'll stop by more often.

peter hoh said...

Thanks. While I knew some seeds needed to experience winter condiditons before germinating, I was not aware of the term, seed stratification.