Check and skotomorphogeneticals

(Is this a catchy name, or what?)

I got into a routine to check the moist packed seeds at mid and end of the month. Because we are planning a Red seeds Sale at beginning of December (heads up) I did it yesterday. Remember the germinated Trilliums? Well, some got planted in pots and some remained in moist vermiculite, which is also a proper medium to easily check on them and take a few more pictures.

You can still read in many places that Trillium has a double dormancy but that was really old school thought. Here’s a LINK for something more up to date on what’s been called skotomorphogenetic growth (found in other species too). This concept defines germination as the point when the radicle/rhizome emerges from the seed and all the growth that follows represents the development of the seedling in the dark (from ‘skoto’ – dark in Greek).

Trillium grandiflorum seedling (late November)

Trillium grandiflorum seedling (late November) -a cute ‘skotomorphogenetic’ with a fatty, little rhizome; the cotyledons are already visible, now it needs more cooling before elongation will start. All this growth was achieved based on the energy reserves stored in the endosperm.

It makes sense. The term double dormancy puts quite a few people off from growing such species from seeds because it implies that they really take a lot of time to germinate. Furthermore, it suggests that the seeds are lying underground and nothing happens, which is not only completely false but also dangerous as you may miss providing the care that they need.

So, skotomorphogenetical it is; I just wish they would have found another name…All the other moist packed seeds are fine; in the featured image – plump, moist seeds of Paris quadrifolia (a Trillium relative, that is also called ‘double dormant’).

Watch out for Helleborus purpurascens and Actaea pachypoda f. rubrocarpa in the Red sale!

Note: one Trillium fruit can have both, seeds with dormant embryos and without – these will start germinating by fall if sown or moist storage provided. If you want all the seeds to germinate, a quick GA3 treatment will do the trick.

2 replies
    • diversifolius
      diversifolius says:

      Thanks. I find it useful now that I’m going more serious into the seeds business, to back-up my imagination with some ‘hard facts’ ;)

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