Utric. Germination

Tue, 10 Oct 1995 08:11:00 -0400


My records for Utricularia germination times stood as:

Fastest U.humboldtii 2 days!
Slowest U.caerulea 7 months.

U.humboldtii's record still stands though U.caerulea has
lost the title for the slowest germinator. U.limosa appeared
after 8 months and although still only small these are very
weird plants. U.triflora appeared after 9 months, the
seedlings were tiny with leaves barely 2mm in length and
very narrow. The tiny plants now have bladders lying on the
surface of the compost confirming that the plants are
Utrics. and not some Utric. lookalike weed. These traps on
the soil surface remind me of some of the W.Australian
plants I grow like U.inaequalis (U.triflora is known only
from a small area to the S.E. of Darwin in Australias
Northern Territory). However U.triflora now has to be
content with the position of 2nd slowest germinator.

The new holder of the record for slowest germinator was
nearly over looked and I may have never known about it at
all. The plant is U.uliginosa Beerwah Queensland (Australia)
and it is from seed planted a year ago. I had given up on
the seed ever germinating so had moved the pot out of the
propagator it was in to make room for some new seed . The
following day I was about to remove the pot from my
conservatory to under the staging in one of my
greenhouses when I noticed the 2 small plants poking out of
the thick moss growth, one with 1 leaf the other with 2.
Thus this Queensland form of U.uliginosa has now taken my
record for slowest Utric. germinator after 11 months.

I now believe that some of the Aussie Utrics. may germinate
according to the season. Earlier this year I obtained some
U.westonii seed from Allen Lowrie - as did our esteemed
colleague in the S.Hemisphere Terry Bertozzi ( Hello Terry
). Terry got his seeds to germinate quite soon after getting
them (during what counts as an Aussie Winter I guess Terry),
on the other hand mine did nothing throughout the summer in
the N.Hemisphere. My seeds started to germinate recently
(together with U.tenella and home grown U.violacea) now
temperatures in my conservatory have cooled somewhat. Other
people I have given U.violacea seed to in the UK have also
recently noticed germination (Phil W. how are yours doing?)
Having spoken to Terry about this it is apparent that some
of these plants are winter growers especially if they rely
on damp conditions and come from Southern Australia. Thus
Autumn/Winter germination may be expected from such
S.Australian plants. In tropical (Northern) Australia
the opposite applies with the wet season corresponds to the
hot and humid Summer months perhaps explaining the
germination of U.triflora and U.limosa in late UK Summer
after a couple of months baking at between 30 and 45
degrees C in my conservatory .

Anyway I hope some of you find this posting of interest - it
certainly shows how you need to be patient growing things
from seed. It also presents the problem of how long do you
hold onto pots of seed (not only Utric)? I am sure that in
due course U.uliginosa will loose its record - though for
how long could Utric. seed remain inactive for? I am lead to
believe that some agricultural weed seeds can lay dormant
for many years just waiting for the right conditions. The
poppy that covered the battlefields of Flanders after WW1
is a good example of this. Is it possible that we are
talking of potentially many years before all hope of
germination is lost for some CP? Any thoughts anyone?