In early May, we had a request from a reader in Queensland for Veltheimia bulbs.
Mary Ann, one of our Bulb Subcommittee members contacted her, and asked if she would be interested in obtaining seed, as shipping bulbs was not only fraught with quality problems (damage in transit), and would be relatively expensive.
The reader replied that she was interested in obtaining some of the seed.
Mary Ann then contacted our Secretary (also a seed grower with considerable experience), saying…
" Marg I have just looked at my seed and it seems that it has tried to germinate by sending out a tiny white root (?) and stopped there. I cannot ensure that the seeds will germinate as I haven't tried them. I am thinking of sending her 10 in an envelope without charge. I am going to send you some seeds to get your opinion if those little white bits are/were emerging roots.
I am also going to try to germinate some."
And so Mary Ann launched into testing her seed. Her progress can be seen in the images below. The test seed was simply left lying on damp "kitchen paper", and the container tray was temporarily sealed with a sheet of clear wrap foil to prevent the paper from drying out too quickly. The clear wrap was removed temporarily on a regular basis to prevent mould growth in the very humid atmosphere.
You can see that her potted plants look like they're ready to jump out of their containers into the hands of waiting enthusiasts. Mary Ann says that the potting mix is nothing really special, simply fine, free draining medium that she feeds regularly with liquid fertiliser that aids in producing fruit and flowers.