Viola beckwithii

27 posts / 0 new
Last post
Peter George
Title: Guest
Joined: 2009-09-03

I've bought seed from Alplains in the past, and never gotten any germination. Harvey Wrightman assures me that if I used GA3 I'd get about 80% germination, and I may try it next week or so. I've never purchased plants the few times they've been available either. It remains one of those mysterious beauties we can only dream about, but maybe someday I'll get one or two to grow here in Baffin Island South.

Peter George, Petersham, MA (north central MA, close to the NH/VT borders), zones 5b and 6 around the property.

Longma
Longma's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2012-11-19

:)

Weiser wrote:

I do grow a few plants but is hard to get it to establish. The seed set is sparse most years because of the cool temperatures and lack of active pollinators, so timing is everything when you want to collect them. (I have not been able too collect enough seed to send to the seed exchanges yet. I still keep looking for that bumper crop to appear. I am sure that one day it will.) I scattered the seed over a suitable bed and have had only a few sprout.

Hi John, I have been offered a decent amount of fresh seed next year and am in the process of gathering as much information as I can regarding its cultivation. Could you give any extra advice other than what you posted already please? :)

53.69° N, Dedicated to West Coast Fritillaria, plus three other members of the subgenus Liliorhiza. I grow other Genera, as time permits !

Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

We find viola beckwithii growing on the rocky slopes and benches of the alluvial fans. The finer soil components are mineral clays, laced with the courser material made up of various sized chunks of basalt. These soils are very wet and sticky in the early spring. As the weather warms they dry into a tight matrix that is hard to penetrate with digging tools. During this drying period (usually starting in June) the plants will go into an obligatory dormancy. During this summer dormant period very little if any additional moisture is acquired. In my garden,the plants I have successfully transplanted do get a modest amount of additional moisture and don't seem to resent it. By no means does that mean they are kept moist at all times. I have them planted in raised beds composed of lithosol substrates at the edge of the irrigated areas. This allows their roots to seek out the available resource without soaking the growing point. This added moisture allows them to postpone their obligatory summer dormancy for about a month. Damp winter and early spring conditions are normally followed by very dry summer and fall seasons.

Do you mind my asking were do you garden? In wet climates you may need to plant them in raised sand beds. I think the key is to insure the substrate is allowed to dry is out during the summer dormancy or at least drain readily.

 

From the High Desert Steppe of the Great Basin and the Eastern Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range Located in Reno/Sparks,NV  zone 6-7 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrarainshadow/ John P Weiser

Longma
Longma's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2012-11-19

Thanks very much for sharing this information John.  :) I am confident now that I can recreate the correct growing conditions ;D

I garden in the North East of England, but will be seeking to grow this species undercover all year. I grow many plants of the West Coast Fritillaria and suspected that this species may be a good one to grow in with the mountain species such as F.glauca, F.purdyi, F.pinetorum, F.atropurpurea etc. All of these are grown in ( too many ) pots, so I am in the process of constructing some large raised beds inside a 60 ft polytunnel. These beds will house many of my Fritillaria but I'm hoping to get some other plants in from outside the genus. Viola beckwithii was offered to me and seemed to be a good fit for these beds. I read, however, that it is a difficult species to germinate. I'm sure I can grow the plant successfully ( under these tightly controlled conditions ), but didn't want to accept the seed, as it would be wasted, if I couldn't germinate it. I have since read up as much as I can on the species and have formulated a theory regarding germination for them. So I'll be trying them from fresh seed next year. I noticed that you had scattered some seed in 2011 and was wondering if you had noticed further germination this year, or if you could shed any further light on germinating this species?I will also be trying Astragalus whitneyi in the same beds.

53.69° N, Dedicated to West Coast Fritillaria, plus three other members of the subgenus Liliorhiza. I grow other Genera, as time permits !

Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

I have only sown seed the one time and the seedlings are doing well. I'm not too familiar with germinating them in pots. I would assume they need some amount of stratification.

I grow Astragalus whitneyi var. lenophyllus they are easy from seed.

From the High Desert Steppe of the Great Basin and the Eastern Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range Located in Reno/Sparks,NV  zone 6-7 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrarainshadow/ John P Weiser

Longma
Longma's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2012-11-19

Thank you for the information John. 8)

Silene serpentinicola is another that will be growing in the beds. I'm hoping its not too 'weedy'. It is a beautiful, stunning, Silene, bit I'm worried it may spread around aggressively? :-\

53.69° N, Dedicated to West Coast Fritillaria, plus three other members of the subgenus Liliorhiza. I grow other Genera, as time permits !

Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

Take a look at some of the smaller species of Penstemons and Eriogonums. You should find several worth trying especially the high elevation species. 

From the High Desert Steppe of the Great Basin and the Eastern Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range Located in Reno/Sparks,NV  zone 6-7 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrarainshadow/ John P Weiser

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

Be sure, John ;)

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

externmed
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-03-01

It's amazing when one considers what has been done with plant (and animal) breeding.How cool would it be if these plants could be bred to not go dormant until fall and to grow in other climates!

NE Massachusetts (New England) USA  zone 6 (5B to 6B)

gardens visited, photographs:  www.flickr.com/photos/wildmeadow

Merlin
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-04-24

It has been a while since i have been on here but as the garden comes back to life so does my enthusiasm. I have grown V. beckwithii for many years now, it is very long lived though flowering waxes and wanes from year to year. I have found the trick to flowering with this plant is ample very early spring moisture and keeping it very dry soon after seed is set. gathering seed can be a pain if you wait too long as it sends them flying once the pod has dried. as of today(3-12-2013) all my plants of this species have broken dormancy and have barely come above ground.

Jim Hatchett, Eagle Idaho USA  Zone 5? 11" average annual precipitation

Pages

Log in or register to post comments