Perennials forum: Campanula rotundifolia info?

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Name: Cody
Saskatoon, Canada (Zone 2b)
Orchids
Image
FairyInTheFlowers
Sep 13, 2016 4:29 PM CST
So here in Saskatchewan I have always admired the local harebells, and noticed that even within my city there is a vast array of diversity in plant height and flower count. So of course I've started to wonder if I could try to breed them and see what kind of results I could get. So I guess what I need to know is if I have to wait until the seed pods naturally dessicate, or if I can pick them green and let the seeds mature in a paper envelope. Also, based on our climate, I'm assuming these may have to go through a dormancy break in the freezer. Any other information would be appreciated! Big Grin
Gardener of Tomorrow
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
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Pistil
Sep 13, 2016 9:02 PM CST
What a fun project!
I am not sure about picking them green, you may need to just give it a try and see. Mostly I have found it works best to let them mature on the plant.There is a technique called Embryo Rescue where they take the immature seed and put it in tissue culture to make it grow, but that sounds like a real science project!
My book by a fellow from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew says C. rotundifolia can be treated like a hardy annual, and started in a greenhouse or cold frame.They germinate quicker when warm, but will germinate when cool. He says they do not require a cold period.
Then there was a guy named Deno, a chemist whose hobby in retirement was to check seeds of various species to see what worked best. He says for this species, fresh seed liked to be sowed warm, then a cold period, some germinated when cold, then if he put them in warm more sprouted. If he sowed them at 40 degreesF they did not germinate. He found seed that had been stored dry for 6 months just wanted to be put at room temperature (70F).
Plant World Seeds, an amazing website, says to sow any time, but this species does germinate quicker at 15-20 C. but they sow in an unheated greenhouse and just let germination happen whenever.
So have fun, maybe try different things. It's a great hobby.
Also, this particular species has a remarkable distribution, includes Canada, most of the U.S., and Europe and northern Asia and Russia. So there may be local variability. You are so far north possibly your subspecies might prefer a cold spell.
If they need a cold spell to break dormancy, don't forget it needs to be moist. Dr. Deno standardized an easy method- moisten a paper towel, fold it twice, with seeds in the center, then put it in a non ziplock baggie, fold that over, and put it in the fridge. some folks fiddle around with brief periods in the freezer, and say for some tricky plants this really helps.
This would certainly be a plant I would try "Winter Sowing". This is an easy technique where you sow them in gallon milkjugs in early winter, put them out in the yard with the cap off, so they go through the natural cold cycling of you region, but a bit protected. Then they sprout in the spring.
And don't forget to report back how your project goes!
Name: Cody
Saskatoon, Canada (Zone 2b)
Orchids
Image
FairyInTheFlowers
Sep 14, 2016 12:22 AM CST
Thanks for all the info! The reason I asked about the seed pods is because I know that orchid seeds can be sown green pod. I guess I'll wait until I have my own plants growing to test early harvesting.
Gardener of Tomorrow
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
Image
Pistil
Sep 14, 2016 5:51 PM CST
Cody- Can you go skulk around town with a scissor and a lunchbag? I would suspect now is a good time to collect seeds there ;-)
Have you collected seeds before?
Name: Cody
Saskatoon, Canada (Zone 2b)
Orchids
Image
FairyInTheFlowers
Sep 14, 2016 10:33 PM CST
Well, I've given a couple of my orchid pods to a friend to flask, but those are so easy to know when the pod is ripe and about to split without it actually opening. The thing I'm worried about is that if I'm collecting these seeds early, that I might do the whole sowing and dormancy thing just to find none of them sprout.
Gardener of Tomorrow
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
Image
Pistil
Sep 15, 2016 6:03 AM CST
If you wait until the pods seem brown and dry it should be fine.

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