Re: Germinating P. elongata (Joe Griffin)

From: Paul Temple (
Date: Tue Aug 31 1999 - 11:16:50 PDT

Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 18:16:50 +0000
From: Paul Temple <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg3098$foo@default>
Subject: Re: Germinating P. elongata (Joe Griffin)


Yes, P. elongata grows really high in the Andean Paramos (for those not
familiar, the Paramos is the area above the tree line where only low
shrubs, succulents (Agave?) and herbacious plants grow - it looks much
like moorland in Scotland or Wales for those familiar with those
countries) - but when I visited it's habitat I came away thinking it
unlikely to suffer snow or ice. While the temperature does drop
savagely at night, the ground is heated by direct overhead sun all day
and rarely does cloud interfere, and so I would believe the soil would
retain some protecting warmth as far as seeds are concerned. In fact,
P. elongata grows only in a black peat like soil (which is either acid
or neutral - there's no lime up there) so that will attract even more
heat (yes, I know it will also radiate heat more quickly at night).

So, overall, I would hesitate to stratify seed and ignore the
possibility frost, ice or snow in the habitat. I would P. elongata
above frost temperatures at all times. I doubt the seed responds to
temperature change as a germination stimulant. Far more likely is that
the seeds germinate if moist and otherwise survive for several months if
dry. The habitat has two "wet" and two "dry" seasons a year.

The plants have very long leaves so therefore normally grow out
horizontally from a base buried in the black soil, with leaves dangling
down, much like the European P. longifolia habit. When dormant, Ii
couldn't locate the plants so I guess (no experience) they are like many
Mexican Pings and bury their crown in the soil. At a guess, I'd expect
them to like it quite dry if not bone dry when dormant (like P.
ypsicola), but I am guessing.

I'll be following my own advice (as above) as I too am very grateful for
the chance to try growing this species (muchas gracias Heberlyn! Que
bueno amigo. Tengo much suerte para conocerte!)

Joe - perhaps you'd like to swap notes on how well you succeed. I've
sown seed on pure peat, a peat/sand/vermiculite/Perlite mix, pure sand
and floated some on water - all to see if any ethod works and if so,
which is best. Feel free to write to me at either address above (you
needn't send to both addresses).



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