VRS 2000-01 Seed List
by M.J. Harvey
The purpose of this, the third Seed List, is to encourage members to grow new cultivars of Rhododendrons and thus fulfill one of our mandates, which is to explore new frontiers. As opposed, that is, to just going to the nurseries and purchasing already existing cultivars. Is it just my imagination or is Victoria the most timid Chapter in terms of experimenting with seeds?
The ARS also puts out a seed list – a very comprehensive one. Our local list is not designed to replace that. What the local list is aimed at is the non-keener who cannot bother to send for the ARS list or look it up on the WWW. It is also, I might add, for people annoyed by the dollar exchange rate. Our seeds are cheaper! We even have free seeds this year. But if you want a really good selection, get the ARS list.
Germination is easy. Almost fill pots with a mixture of 3 parts peat to one part perlite. Dampen it and flatten the surface with the bottom of a similar pot. Sprinkle the tiny seeds over the surface and either leave uncovered, or sieve some fine peat, or perlite or sand to just – only just – cover the seed. I know I’ve advocated sieving the dried leaves of Sphagnum moss over the seeds in the past but it really isn’t essential and I want to get away from cabalistic mysteries.
Cover the pots to maintain humidity. Any system will do – plastic bags, food wrap or those ‘clamshell’ plastic containers that sandwiches and cakes are sold in. Keep them in the dark for a couple of weeks (it slows moss growth). Mist the soil surface with a squirt bottle to keep it moist.
As soon as germination is visible bring the pot into the light but not sunlight since they are delicate. The best light is a fluorescent tube about 6” above the pots. This supplies gentle light without heat. Growth will be slow. Keep the little seedlings under constant humid conditions for the next few months.
When the seedlings are 5 – 10 mm high prick them out into larger pots or trays to be about 2 cm apart. Most people lose them at this stage. When they are between 5 and 20 mm high the seedlings are easily lost to drying. Maintain a high humidity by keeping a cover over the plants at all times. At this stage in their development the leaves are delicate with a thin cuticle. These juvenile leaves are a different shape from their adult form and often have a red-pigmented underside. This is adaptation to growth in low light in the undergrowth of forests. Seedlings with indumented parents will not show any fuzz until the adult leaves are produced.
When the seedlings are about an inch high they start to produce their thicker adult leaves. At this size the plants may be put outside in dappled shade, uncovered but still not allowed to dry out. A weak 20:20:20 solution may be used as fertilizer but do not overdo it. After all this genus evolved to grow in some of the poorest soils in the world.
This year we are giving away some of the best indumented, compact hybrid seed away. These are part of the Joe Harvey programme to find the ideal, compact, free-flowering, front-of-the-border plant with year-round beautiful, weevil-resistant foliage.
Why this uncharacteristic generosity? Well, the labels dropped off some trusses. In fact in 2000 there was an epidemic of insecure labels resulting in several crosses being confused. Of course the female side of the cross is known - that is the plant the seeds came from. The problem is the identity of the male (pollen) parent. Even here there is a known short-list of possibilities derived from the written crossing log.
All the fathers are really good sorts willing to pay maintenance costs by guaranteeing that their progeny will give years of beauty in your garden. Eventually it will be possible to work out the parentage from the characteristics of the grown seedlings.
Give it a try! They are all going to be yummy plants and if you get fed up with them just donate them to the dollar table at any stage. In the following list each truss of Lost Labels seeds has been kept separate.
The existence of the Seed List owes everything to the contributors. This year they are:
Finnerty Gardens, U. Vic FIN
Hatley Castle gardens HAT
Horticulture Centre of the Pacific HCP
Joe Harvey HAR
John Hawkins HAW
Karen and Burns Morrison MOR
Dave Mackas MAK
John Trelawney TRE
Plant Name Description Donor
Acanthus spinosissimus 1.5 m spikes of purple and white flowers HAR
Acer campbellii Leaves larger than palmatum HAT
Acer Griseum The mahogany bark maple FIN
Acer palmatum dissectum Finely cut leaves, weeping HAT
Acer palmatum ‘Osakazuki’ Fall leaves scarlet HAT
Acer palmatum “Green Osakazuki” Fall leaves yellow HAT
Acer palmatum ssp.palmatum The very small-leaved form HAT
Agapanthus hybrid The hardy, deciduous blue form HAR
Allium christophii Spectacular flower-heads, can be dried HAR
Aquilegia formosa, fw Sooke Orange flowers (humming bird) HAR
Arctostaphylos columbiana Dwarf, drought-resistant shrub HAR
Bupleurum fructicescens Low shrub, shiny leaves HCP
Camassia leichtlinii alba The tall white camas HAR
Centaurea macrocephala Turk’s cap, drought resistant herb HAR
Cornus capitata Chinese, yellow-bracted dogwood TRE
Dieraama pendula The graceful fairy wand HAR
Dierama pulcherrima Similar to above HAR
Euonymus hamiltonianum ssp sieboldianum Spindleberry FIN
Euonymus latifolius Another orange-furited berry FIN
Euphorbia “wallichii” (characias group) Clumping spurge HAR
Genista aetnensis The charming Mt. Etna broom HCP
Genista tinctoria ‘Royal Gold’ Yellow, low shrubby herb HAR
Ginko biloba Maidenhair tree FIN
Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’ Yellow HAR
Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’ Orange-brown HAR
Hoheria glabrata White-flowered NZ bush TRE
Inula racemosa Stiffly upright 2 m racemes, yellow HAR
Lysichiton americanum Pollinated with L. camtschatcensis HAR
Magnolia wilsonii Shrub, hanging white flowers TRE
Meconopsis grandis/betoniciforia Blue poppy MOR
Paeonia lutea ludlowii The yellow tree peony HAT
Sorbus cashmiriana Pink flowers, white fruit TRE
Sorbus ‘Joseph Rock’ Yellow fruits FIN
Sorbus megalocarpa White flowers, brown golf-ball fruit TRE
Styrax japonica Silverbells, small tree FIN
Yucca filamentosa Needle-and-thread, drought resistant HAR
LL1 R. argyrophyllum nankingensis ‘Chinese Silver’ x HP HAR
LL2 “ “ “ x HP HAR
LL3 “ “ “ xHP HAR
Pollen used to hand pollinate the above trusses includes pachysanthum (possibly LL1), proteoides, tsariense and gymnocarpum.
LL4 R. degronianum ssp heptamerum ‘Enamoto’ xHP HAR
LL5 “ “ “ xHP HAR
LL6 “ “ “ xHP HAR
LL7 “ “ “ xHP HAR
LL8 “ “ “ xHP HAR
LL9 “ “ “ xHP HAR
Pollen used on the above hand pollinated crosses includes: roxieanum v. oreonastes, argyrophyllum, ‘Chinese Silver’, insigne, proteoides, wiltonii, yakushimanum ‘Exbury’, and sino-grande. Also some were selfed.
Rhodendron Species - $2.00 per packet
10 R. arboreum ‘Sir Charles Lemon’ OP FIN
11 “ calophytum U. Vic HP HAW
12 “ dauricum, Hakodate, Hokkaido OP MAK
13 “ degronianum ssp heptamerum ‘Enamoto’ HP HAR
14. “ insigne OP HAR
15 “ macabeanum Dora Kreiss HP HAW
16 “ montroseanum Norm Todd HP HAW
17 “ praevernum OP FIN
18 “ pseudochrysanthum OP FIN
19 “ schlippenbachii OP FIN
Rhododendron hybrids – hand cross-pollinated
20 R. argyrophyllum ssp nankingensis ‘Chinese Silver’ x pseudochrysanthum HAR
21 “ adenogynum x pachysanthum HAR
22 “ degronianum ssp heptamerum ‘Enamoto x calophytum HAR
23 “ “ “ “ x gynmocarpum HAR
24 “ “ “ “ x macabeanum HAR
25 “ “ “ “ x makinoi HAR
26 “ “ “ “ x pachysanthum HAR
Rhododendron hybrids continued – hand cross-pollinated
27 “ degronianum ssp heptamerum ‘Enamoto’ x pseudochrysanthum HAR
28 “ “ “ “ x tsariense HAR
29 “ degronianum ssp yakushimanum ‘Exbury’ x argyrophyllum “Chinese Silver” HAR
30 “ “ “ “ x degronianum ssp heptamerum
31 “ “ “ “ x macabeanum HAR
32 “ “ “ “ x panchysanthum HAR
33 “ “ “ “ x proteoides HAR
34 “ “ “ “ x pseudochrysanthum HAR
35 “ “ “ “ x tsariense HAR
36 “ thayeranum x degronianum ‘Enamoto’ (few seeds) HAR
37 “ “ x pachysanthum (few seeds) HAR
38 “ pachysanthum x gymnocarpum HAR
39 “ “ x makinoi HAR
40 “ “ x proteoides HAR
41 “ “ x pseudochrysanthum HAR
Details of the origin of the plants used may be obtained from Joe Harvey. Many are from the Rhodendron Species Foundation.
In addition VRS still has samples of the 1994 Guizhou Rhododendron seed collection of Peter Wharton. These are important introductions and are becoming famous. The seeds are kept frozen.
1. In person at a VRS meeting.
Order by number
Price is $2.00 per packet except for the LL which are free.
Payment by cheque or cash. We have no credit card franchise. Funds go to running the Chapter.