September 9, 2008

Corydalis wilsonii seed

The tender alpine house Corydalis, C. wilsonii, has set seed late this year. This monocarpic Corydalis has interested me for a while,ever since seeing one in the Munich Botanical Garden's alpine house. There, it sets seed freely around the alpine house, but my plant, grown from seed acquired from a NARGS seed sale, has set seed freely, but has not spread anywhere, other then a few plants growing in the same pot where the mother plant has grown for three years now.
At the NARGS winter study weekend last year, I met Corydalis expert, Henrick Zetterlund, author of the monograph CORYDALIS, and horticultural curator at the Gothenberg Botanic Garden in Sweden. He suggested that I try growing Corydalis wilsonii in Tufa rock, a porous limestone often used to grow more difficult alpines in. HE advised me to sow the fresh see ( for Corydalis seed must be sown fresh), right in the crevices of the tufa rock. Henrick also said that Corydalis wilsonii, when grown in Tufa, will be more characteristic to plants grown in the wild. With it's notable blue, glaucus foliage remaing dense, and bun-like, rather more like an alpine, than plants grown in a traditional fast draining alpine mix.

So this year, since I have a load of Tufa ready, and some fresh seed, I shall try. The plants are rather ragged, but the seed capsules are still green, and reveal shiny black seeds when gently squeezed between the fingertips. I caught the seed pods just in time, since I caught sugar ants already stealing them for thier sweet sugar. Stay tuned to see if any of these grow. I set the rock in a tray of water, and now, the wait is on. IF I can afford to heat the greenhouse this winter, we may be blessed with some new plants!

1 comment :

  1. Hi Matt, I'm curious as to how well seeding the Corydalis in Tufa succeeded.


Oh yes, do leave me a comment!