Townsendia jonesii v. lutea Germination

Submitted by Peter George on Sat, 06/16/2012 - 15:33

Any information about germination of this seed? I know most Townsendias are warm germinators, but I've heard that this one requires a bit of stratification.


Submitted by Peter George on Sat, 07/21/2012 - 08:19

I went ahead and laid out about 20 seeds and in two weeks 6 seedlings showed themselves. I guess that means that this is a typical Townsendia, which means warm germination.

Submitted by tropicalgirl25… on Sat, 07/21/2012 - 14:45

two weeks ago I sowed my own seeds of Townsendia leptotes(beautiful pink flowers in end of march) and parryi outside and both of them have germinated.

Submitted by Peter George on Wed, 08/22/2012 - 20:34

I re-sowed the T. parryi and still not a single germination. The T. leptotes is still coming up, with about 80% germination so far.

I sowed some jonesii v lutea this summer, at warm, with no results :( Maybe I'll stick the pot out for winter, though it seems unlikely those seeds would not have rotted by now... alplains seed, but I don't remember if it was this year's or last's..

This past spring I got several of T. jonesii v. lutea to germinate. I managed to grow out 4, which hopefully will winter over successfully. Asters generally have a low fertility rate, but the seeds I got from Alan Bradshaw all looked good, with nice, big embryos.  I'll almost definitely try again, though. I love Townsendias.

Is that one perennial or monocarpic?  

Alan Bradshaw spoke at the last CRAGS meeting... I would have loved to have been there but had to miss it as I drove home that day for an extended Thanksgiving long weekend.

Submitted by Peter George on Sun, 10/20/2013 - 20:48

I've grown most (maybe all?) of the Townsendias that are in cultivation, and I've found only a couple that were truly 'perennial' in the open garden.  For me, they last two years, maybe three, and then go into permanent dormancy. On the other hand, they almost all live for 5 years or more in troughs, which remains a mysterious reality of our little hobby. Panayoti has written about the difference in life expectancy of rock garden plants in the open garden and in troughs on occasion, but to my knowledge, there has never been a thorough and comprehensive study of exactly why that is.

T. grandiflora is definitely monocarpic for me, and T. condensata acts that way. I've never been able to germinate T. parryi, so I can't comment, but Alan Bradshaw lists it as biennial.


Conditions are surely pertinent- I got seed of T parryi from Lori, whose plants are perennial, and mine (being slow to get planted out etc) took a couple of years to reach flowering (a couple of late flowers last year right at freeze-up), then flowered themselves flamboyantly to death this year! They were still making some flowers when there was essentially no foliage left. I don't know where Lori has them situated, but am guessing her conditions may be leaner- mine are in native clayey soil with gravel, and raised a bit for drainage, but the last couple of years and first part of this summer have been fairly wet..

T leptotes sown and planted out at the same time and same places flowered (much less extravagantly) as well this spring and are still very much alive.


I got seed of T parryi from Lori, whose plants are perennial...


I think I may have to retract that statement... with growing more of them, some have been definitely biennial, others more long-lived but monocarpic.  T. leptotes has been long-lived and perennial.

Submitted by cohan on Mon, 10/21/2013 - 11:40

In reply to by Lori S.

Good to know it wasn't just me ;) I guess once you have a patch going there will eventually always be something of flowering age so it wont matter..

I collected most of the seed, but some dispersed itself, so I'm presuming there will be seedlings- I've seen some but not sure at that stage which will be leptotes and which parryi, hopefully some of each..