from the Germinatrix

I certainly try to grow too many plant species – maybe because I can’t decide what’s more exhilarating: seeing a freshly germinated pot of seedlings or seeing the plants in their wild habitat?

I hope to clarify my feelings but until then this is a busy time to organize the Germinatrix. A few seedlings become too big to stay inside while the small ones still need the warm light. They’ll reunite later under the summer sun (if have one this year). It is time to leave the Germinatrix for a few Aquilegia spp., Thalictrums, Delphinium, Draba spp., Dierama and so on…

Together in the Germinatrix

Together in the Germinatrix

It is time to stay for the baby gingers and all other species that got a natural chill-out time under the snow and were brought inside only in early April, including the newly germinated Gentiana.

I am trying a few annual Gentians this year: G. nivalis (from wild collected seeds) and G. vernayi (a small alpine gentian from Bhutan, Nepal). It would be exciting to have Gentiana flowers to quench my thirst and not worry about what’s happening afterwards.

Gentiana nivalis – alpine or snow gentian, is a dwarf annual gentian from alpine regions of Europe (also isolated in N. America), growing in open grassland, screes and rocky meadows on limestone soils – with ultramarine blue flowers in July-August (ID after the characteristic calyx with a narrow, angled tube).

Gentiana nivalis

Gentiana nivalis in an alpine meadow (Carpathian Mountains)

Ambivalence has its sweet side after all :)

 Note: featured image – Carlina acaulis, alpine thistle.







11 replies
  1. sueturner31
    sueturner31 says:

    Like you I cannot stop growing things from seed, It’s an obsession, and you know you can’t plant them all . But hey, you get lots of friends, and they all go home happy.

    • diversifolius
      diversifolius says:

      Thanks, that’s true. I also donated lots of last year seedlings for the Rock Garden Society Sale, so that’s another useful outlet.

      • sueturner31
        sueturner31 says:

        last year when we opened the garden,apart from selling plants ,I sold large packets of seeds and all the proceeds went to Cancer Research….they all went…great feeling.

        • diversifolius
          diversifolius says:

          Great idea! and I can imagine the feeling. It is not quite the same but the extra packages left from the Seedex are also sold at various sales.

  2. mrsdaffodil
    mrsdaffodil says:

    The gentians are a heavenly shade of blue. I’m reminded that I have some seeds of Salvia patens I need to plant–the flowers are a similar blue.

    • diversifolius
      diversifolius says:

      You’re right, any substitutions will do. In this idea I have grown seedlings of Anchusa leptophylla ready to go out :)

  3. Hakan Andersson
    Hakan Andersson says:

    Hey ! Great photos of Gentiana nivalis . I have tried to sow the seeds from these several years but failed. How should i do?

    • diversifolius
      diversifolius says:

      Thanks! The methods that work for me are: sowing in late fall and keeping the pots outside over the winter; if I get the seeds too late I sow in late February indoors after treating the seeds with GA3 1000 ppm.
      I also tried keeping the seeds in moist paper towel/Ziploc in the fridge for a couple of months combined with GA3. Always superficial sowing as they need light for germination.
      If the seeds are fresh they will germinate in some degree; more than the germination I find it difficult to maintain the seedlings long term. I lost the G. nivalis but still have the G. vernayi (for now…).

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