Jeffersonia

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Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Seed pods on Jeffersonia dubia started shedding today, time to harvest and sow. :D

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Seed of my attempted Jeffersonia diphylla x dubia cross were harvested and sown on May 30, 2010 (see first photo).  

Interestingly, seed of regular Jeffersonia diphylla down in the wild shady woodland part of my property only just ripened today, fully 5 weeks later!  Photos 2-4 show the seed harvest which is being sent to seed purveyor Kristl Walek in Canada.  There is nothing easier (and more fun) than the "pop and pour" seed cleaning on Jeffersonia.  The seeds cannot be dried out, so they will be packed in barely moist vermiculite in a plastic zip-lock bag.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

You give your seeds a worthy start, Mark, feeding them with chocolate cake!

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Really nice plump pods, Mark. And gosh, there is enough to eat (if they were edible)!  I hadn't even thought of chocolate cake, LOL, but they remind me of wheat berries.

I had done three clean crosses of J. dubia x J. diphylla, with the stigma protected from before the petals opened and after hand pollination.  As what seems to often happen, I was watching, waiting, watching, waiting ... checking every day, and then some urgency comes about, and I don't check for several days.  Two of the pods had opened and released all their seed. :(  Just yesterday, I had checked the third, gently squeezing to see if it would pop.  Not yet.

But today it did and below is the result: three "seeds." 
-- One small, flat (empty) and off color.
-- One small, fairly plump, but obviously not developed as it should be.
-- One normal size, and looking very viable!  A fitting Birthday present, as this is mine and Donald Duck's special day.

Maybe I didn't have to wait until the pod pops with a squeeze.  It had already turned whitish for several days.  What do you think, Mark (or anyone)?

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

First of all, Happy Birthday!  Mine is coming up this Sunday, yay geminis.

Too bad Rick, on missing most the seed; hate when that happens.  The pods on Jeffersonia don't look hardly any different when they're approaching readiness (turning whitish) and when they are ready.  I've been going out every day for the last two weeks, giving the pods a gentle squeeze near the top, and just three days ago, a couple gave a slight pop and the seam between the "lid" and main body of the pod separated... I could see the browning seeds inside.  I left them a few more days, checking each morning, but this morning when trying my second test for readiness; a slight bend on the pod, the pods readily detached when barely touched, so all seed was harvested.  However, I could have harvested the seed sooner, when the lid seam on one or two pods pops under gentle pressure.

I was similarly waiting on Jeffersonia dubia seed (regular open-pollinated seed), and dang these things suddenly ripen and start spilling without much warning, must have missed 30-40% of the pods, but still collected enough to sow a 3' x 4' patch in the garden for a lollapalooza of seedlings next spring, if the chipmunks, squirrels, and mice don't get them first.

Never having grown Iris cristata from seed, I have been checking developing pods every few days by picking a green pod and breaking it in half... the green pods don't look very different than 4 weeks ago, but today the seed looks like it is now firm enough and viable.  And with Iris koreana seed I showed on another thread, the ready pods are very green... the only way to tell for readiness is size (they get big) and sampling one, breaking it in half to see what the seeds looks like inside.  I believe I have some Trillium seed ready too... a friend of mine who grows lots of trillium from seed with high germination, tells me to harvest before they are visibly ripe and spilling... I guess it requires a knack of knowing when such things are ready... again, the benefits of being unemployed is having time to putter around in the garden every day.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

RickR wrote:

-- One normal size, and looking very viable!  A fitting Birthday present, as this is mine and Donald Duck's special day.

Happy birthday, Rick!

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Thanks for the well wishes, Trond and Mark!

Mark, neither my J. diphylla or J. dubia pods ever detach from the stem.  As they open, the stems bend at the base, allowing each stem and pod to lay horizontally on the ground.

I lost my Trillium luteum seed last year by waiting too long.  The pod was so plump and promising, but one day I went out and a hole had been cut in the pod wall, and every seed removed.

I have always waited for iris pods to change color and begin to crack before harvesting.  Never had a problem with seed theft.  Should I be gathering earlier?  Is there a distinction between beardless and bearded iris n this respect?

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

RickR wrote:

I have always waited for iris pods to change color and begin to crack before harvesting.  Never had a problem with seed theft.  Should I be gathering earlier?  Is there a distinction between beardless and bearded iris n this respect?

I think the method of harvesting Iris seed can be different depending on species and on section within the genus.  For dwarf bearded Iris, like the two fat pods I have on I. suaveolens, I'll let the pods crack open.  On Iris koreana and henryi, in years past I never got seed... waited too long and something always got to them first, the seeds are ripe and ready when the pods are green, so this is the first year I got lots of seed on both and sowed them straight away.  Now I'm still testing Iris cristata pods... lots of plump pods, but its a learning experience for me, I have never collected seed on I. cristata varieties before, never a need because they're so easy to just divide up... but now being interesting in hybrid variations, I want to try sowing and germinating the seed.  Tested the pods again today, they're close to ready, but I'm still waiting a few more days.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

I recently visited the garden of George Newman in southern New Hampshire, an extensive naturalistic garden and haven for approximately 800 species of native plants.  There were dozens of large patches of Jeffersonia diphylla throughout his woodlands, each patch 9' (3 meters) or more across.  It turns out, there were colonies representing two leaf forms, both from seed he collected near Syracuse, New York, many years ago.  Unfortunately, I did not get photos of his more predominant form, a low growing one a foot tall or less, with rather smallish saw-tooth paired leaves... cute and different from my robust plants that can be 2' tall (or more) x a 2-1/2' spread (60 cm x 75 cm wide) in mature clumps.

What really caught my eye, was a second leaf form, just a bit taller, with strongly 3-lobed leaves, of with the top lobes on the paired leaflets overlap, giving a rather distinct look.  I uploaded 3 photos showing this leaf form.  Excuse the darkness of the photos, the skies were heavy with thick clouds and rain.  Most seed pods had been broken into by animals that apparently eat the pods, but I was allowed to harvest any pods intact, of which there were several pods from each form.  It'll be interesting to increase one's gene pool of this unique and lovely wildflower.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Wow, Mark, that's pretty spectacular!

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

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