Lilies forum: Lily seeds

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Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Image
gardenglassgems
Jan 20, 2016 9:39 AM CST
I am fairly new to growing Lilies. I have never tried them from seeds but last year I took a few seed pods from a few of my Lilies. They are like paper thin. Is this normal? Does anyone have pictures they can share of what Lily seeds look like right from the seed Pods? Here is what mine look like. If these look look like viable seeds, would it work to winter sow them in milk jugs. Will they come true to color or not because of being pollinated by bees and butterflies?
Thumb of 2016-01-20/gardenglassgems/8cdd05


Thumb of 2016-01-20/gardenglassgems/84a19c

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Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Jan 20, 2016 11:12 AM CST
Hard to tell, but those look like they may be all chaff. I have several that produce pods full of papery seed husks, but with no embryo that I can tell. They're typically flat, but you should be able to feel a slight thickening where the embryo is. What varieties are yours seeds from?
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Image
gardenglassgems
Jan 20, 2016 12:13 PM CST
Thanks Neal for the info. Here are a couple more pictures. I know one group of seeds are from OT Rotina. The others are NOID. Is it possible to see the embryo in the center with the naked eye? If I soak them, will I be able to see if there is an embryo in them? Sorry about all the questions.
Thumb of 2016-01-20/gardenglassgems/627b02


Thumb of 2016-01-20/gardenglassgems/d24112

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Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Jan 20, 2016 12:30 PM CST
OTs are the ones that often produce pods full of chaff here. Not sure about the soaking, I've only started a couple of kinds of lily seeds and am curious what others can contribute. Usually viable seed has a darker, thicker area where the embryo resides, but you may be able to see if you hold a seed up to light with tweezers.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
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gardenglassgems
Jan 20, 2016 12:53 PM CST
Thanks for your responses, Neal. I will wait to see if I hear from others.
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Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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pardalinum
Jan 20, 2016 1:11 PM CST

Moderator

I'm with Neal on this one. Most OTs are not fertile because they are created in the lab from parent lilies that are not otherwise compatible. And the fact that your seeds are from open pollinated pods reduces the possibility more.

Your seeds do indeed look like chaff. Good seeds look like this when backlit (the line in each one is the embryo):




Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Jan 20, 2016 1:14 PM CST
Excellent, Connie- that's just the kind of image I was googling for!
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Image
gardenglassgems
Jan 20, 2016 1:18 PM CST
Thanks Connie. What is the best way to grow Iris from seed? Will they do good winter sowing them in milk jugs? How deep should they be planted?
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Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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pardalinum
Jan 20, 2016 1:20 PM CST

Moderator

No need to google when we have our database here! Rick also has some good photos of backlit seeds but they are somewhere in the forums here so harder to find if you don't know exactly where they are. I remembered that I had put a generic type photo in the parent plant gallery of the database.
Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
Jan 20, 2016 1:21 PM CST
More pictures of embryos. Smiling
Thumb of 2016-01-20/Roosterlorn/00ab20


Thumb of 2016-01-20/Roosterlorn/3aca55


Thumb of 2016-01-20/Roosterlorn/39abee

Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Image
pardalinum
Jan 20, 2016 1:26 PM CST

Moderator

Great photos, Lorn!

Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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pardalinum
Jan 20, 2016 1:26 PM CST

Moderator

Jeanne, I plant iris seeds in the fall and leave them out for the elements to remove the germination inhibitors. I'm not sure if it is too late for you this year but it doesn't hurt to try. You will need to make sure the planting soil is wet to get the process started. Typically I use 1 gallon pots and plant 3/4 to an inch deep. Hold the pots over for another season if they don 't germinate in the spring. They need both the chill period and rain to wash away the inhibitors.

Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
Image
Roosterlorn
Jan 20, 2016 1:35 PM CST
Lily seed with dead embryos (that show up as a dark line).
Thumb of 2016-01-20/Roosterlorn/950b5a

Sorting seeds, bad upper lefthand, good, lower right.


Thumb of 2016-01-20/Roosterlorn/327f33

Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Image
gardenglassgems
Jan 20, 2016 1:41 PM CST
Thank You! all very much. This sure does answer my questions. I think it looks like my seeds don't look like they have embryos in them. I will check them out better to be sure. Thanks for posting the great pictures of the seeds. Jeanne
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Name: Lorn (Roosterlorn)
S.E Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Lilies Seed Starter Pollen collector Bee Lover Region: Wisconsin
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Roosterlorn
Jan 20, 2016 2:01 PM CST
Jeanne: Don't give up on your cross pollenating endeavors. It opens up a whole new world of lily growing enjoyment. And, more and more, there ARE Oriental Trumpets coming on the market which are fertile, both ways, even. It never hurts to try and learn what we can and can not do. In general, it's always easiest and most successful to cross (like with like), Asiatic with Asiatic, Oriental with Oriental, etc.

When checking seed for embryos, lots of times you can see the embryos by just placing the seed on a plain sheet of copy paper by a sunny window and use the aid of a low power magnifying glass. Smiling
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Jan 20, 2016 2:20 PM CST
Great comparison shot Lorn!
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Image
gardenglassgems
Jan 20, 2016 4:59 PM CST
Thanks Lorn and Neal. I won't give up. I am going to winter sow some of these seeds. Then in the fall before our first snow, I will direct sow some of the seeds in one of my raised beds. I mostly never give up on seeds. I will direct sow them before I would ever just toss them. Thanks for your encouragement. I will post any updates in the spring/summer with my results.
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Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Jan 20, 2016 5:52 PM CST
Some of my pics are in the Starting Lilies from Seed thread. Good ones are posts:113,372,377. Good posts from Lorn:375,376,407.

Jeane, your seed does look like mostly chaff. But, in your pic, the arrow here shows one that seems good. The embryos show as white lines somewhere within the darker middle part. There may be others, but the photo is to fuzzy to tell. The ones in the box are surely chaff (not viable).
Thumb of 2016-01-20/Leftwood/741d39

I think you will be able to tell which is which if your read on......

Sometimes in good light, you can see the embryos, as here:

1-Lilium martagon and L. martagon var. album seed, and 2-Lilium monadelphum seed
Thumb of 2016-01-20/Leftwood/edc926 Thumb of 2016-01-20/Leftwood/9fbfb0

Sometimes you can't see the embryos, unless you use a backlight to show through the seed (in which case, the embryo shows as a dark line).

Lilium papilliferum seed: without backlighting, and with backlighting.
Thumb of 2016-01-20/Leftwood/26d6d0 Thumb of 2016-01-20/Leftwood/bdf1be
Name: Hank Z
WNY state (Zone 6a)
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hankz
Jan 20, 2016 7:24 PM CST
Jeanne, I believe the lily you have is OT Robina. If so, it will set viable seeds when pollinated with compatible OT or tetraploid trumpet pollen. I only get 1 to 15 good seeds with embryos per pod, with Robina as the pod parent, when using compatible pollen. The pods will contain mostly chaff. The good seeds are easily discernible from the chaff. I have a number of 2nd year Robina cross seedlings in the ground now. These will flower for the first time this summer.
Thumb of 2016-01-21/hankz/cb7186 Thumb of 2016-01-21/hankz/e0df01<<=Planted 01.12.13 // Photo date 02.10.2013
Although some of the OT crosses need a chill period, or a pre-soak to remove seed coat germination inhibitors, I have had success by direct sowing the Robina cross seeds into pots.

I hope you happen to find at least a few good seeds in the pods, and good luck in growing them on!
Thumb of 2016-01-21/hankz/6d944d<<<===OT Robina + 1st seedling flower from Robina x SS=>>Thumb of 2016-01-21/hankz/1d558b
Hank Z
WNY near the Falls
[Last edited by hankz - Jan 21, 2016 5:33 AM (+)]
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Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
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gardenglassgems
Jan 20, 2016 8:02 PM CST
Thank you Rick and Hank, I will look the seeds over better with a magnifying glass. I will plant the good seeds 3/4 to 1" deep in potting mix The kind of mix I have is Miracle Grow. Thank you everyone for all your help. I will let you know if I find more good seeds when I get a chance to check them.
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