Re: sarracenia germination

From: Phil Wilson (
Date: Mon Jun 21 1999 - 14:59:01 PDT

Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 22:59:01 +0100
From: Phil Wilson <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg2266$foo@default>
Subject: Re: sarracenia germination

In message <>, writes
>>I can't get my seeds to germinate. They are from a reputable source
>(UK CPS). I put them in water and froze them for a few days, as suggested.
>Now, they are in a peat/sand mix in a warm place. It's been about four
>weeks, but nothing doing.
>How long should it take?
>Might they need a second chill session?
>Edwin Spector
>My own humble experience of sarracenia germination is that they don't need a
>chill, as long as the seed is fresh.
>What I have found tho' is that the seed should be lightly covered with your
>growing medium so that the seed is kept permanently damp.
>If your seed is exposed on the surface of your medium then dust some peat
>over them so that the seed is JUST covered.
>As to your assertion that the seed has come from a reputable source......
>Yes the UKCPS is a reputable organisation but I have to say that I have not
>always,personally, been that impressed with their seed storage methods.
>None of the seed is dated and unless things have changed, the seed is stored
>in those little transparent envelopes, but is not hermetically(?) sealed,
>thus exposing the seed to dessication.In saying the above, I still find that
>the UKCPS seedbank is probably the best in the World for choice (apart from
>Allen Lowrie).
>I await the wrath of the UKCPS for the above comments <grin>..........

No wrath but just to put the picture straight...

The seed supplied by the UKCPS is packed by one person (Paul McKeown).
He packs each year something in the region of 5000 packets of seed. He
is not paid for this - he does it for the benefit of the society which
apart from supplying the largest free source of seeds to its members
also subsidises the membership fees by several pounds per year by
selling surplus seed at the Chelsea Flower Show and several other events
throughout the year.

I know for a fact that a large proportion of member's seed requests are
packed on demand from supplies which are kept in a sealed container.
These are not kept in a fridge due to the fact that the CPS would not
only need to provide a fridge for this purpose (such is the size of the
seed-bank) but would also need to build a small extension onto Paul's
house to store it. :-) Also such is the demand for seed that Paul
inevitably makes up packets of popular seeds before the release of each
newsletter to ease his load. After each newsletter Paul expects to get
about 15 - 20 requests for seed per day, this trailing off after a few
weeks. That is a lot of seed to pack, label and post!

As for dating the seed this is tricky. Most seed arrives from members is
dribs and drabs. It would make a large task even larger if seed was
dated since seed from each source would need to be stored separately
rather than being pooled into a single store. The new fridge and
storehouse would need to be extended into a small out of town shopping

So no wrath but perhaps a little appreciation? You have the all time
best seed-bank that money can buy. We are not a major seed company and
have never pretended to be. We cannot guarantee that all our seed is
100% viable and in some cases we have problems with members donating
seed from misnamed plants.

If on the other hand you and any other members are offering to help with
the seed-bank I'm sure Paul would be happy for your help!

>I store my own seeds in the same envelopes but place all of the envelopes in
>a sealable container, in the fridge and the seed always remains
>fresh,sometimes for up to 3 years.
>Flames, discussion, plant trades etc to THIS LIST ONLY please <grin>
>John Wilden

Phil Wilson
My Sarracenia plant list is now available at

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