Drosophyllum and seeds

Barry Meyers-Rice (barry@as.arizona.edu)
Mon, 16 May 94 08:57:55 MST

>Some of my seeds have sprouted and I was wondering if anyone has had
>any luck growing _Drosophyllum lusitanicum_? I'm under the impression
>that it can be grown both as a biennial or as a perennial, is this
>correct? If so, does it flower with each growth type? Also, how would
>I go about growing the plant in either of these ways? Specifically
>watering and growth medium information. Any tricks would be very

I've grown _Drosophyllum_ with good results for the last few years, but I'm
afraid that my growing recommendations might be irrelevant for you since
I've probably figured out how to grow them in the desert, and not in your
area. But I've found the best growing medium to be a sand/peat mix, 50/50.
I might even use 2 sand/1peat. This makes for a *heavy* pot, but you
shouldn't move _Drosophyllum_ around anyway, so the pot's mass is a good
reminder for you to keep it where it is! I water from above.

Michael Chamberland has had better luck than I with this plant, probably
since I have been trying to grow the plant outside the greenhouse and it
is always killed when the temperatures get much past 100F. My two largest
plants are flowering and setting seed. I'm hoping they will produce good
seed since it they do, it will be the first time I will have done this.
The seed capsules are very strange---they are translucent, so you may see
the seed forming inside. The best _Drosophyllum_ grower around is Paul
McMillan in Nogales AZ.

>> good enough to send to me some seed of _P.vulgaris_ from various frosty

>I collected these seeds two - five years ago !!! Since then
>I stored them in the fridge at temperatures around 5-7 centigrades.

This is very significant. A 2--5 year stratification period may be just
what this plant wants! Although since you were storing the seeds dry it
may not really count as stratification. Very interesting.

I have recently been getting germination from some _S.alata_ seed
that have been stored cold since 1987. While I'm only getting a few
seedlings for all the seed, it impresses me that *anything* has come up.