RHA Newsletter10(2): 11 (Summer 1979)
Storage, After-ripening & Germination
Franc Holliger
8695 Harvie Road, RR-6
Port Kells, Surrey, B.C. V3S 4Pl

Last pollinating season I made several crosses in late May on a bush of R. rubrifolia, and when the time came to harvest the hips I found several of my identification tags on the ground. Being short sighted, I probably didn't locate all the fallen hips, and maybe my habit of cultivating underneath the bushes with my Dutch hoe buried the ripe hips shallowly, as they otherwise might have been eaten by birds.

How ever, I did harvest quite a bunch of the seemingly ripe hips, shelled them out, float-tested and stored at room temperature in damp peatmoss & vermiculite until 110 days before March 1st, then I refrigerated them until that time, and planted them out into my Back-40 in an area of about 15" x 20" for each cross, using an old picture-frame to locate their outlines.

Of those planted within these areas, by April 21 three seedlings were showing in "crossed" plots, one in a large "open" bed and 27 in the area under the mother-plant! These latter were in three or four clusters, and I pricked off 9 into each of two containers, and another 9 were lined out 4" apart under the mother-plant for comparison of development. The two containers were placed on a table in the carport, receiving sunshine when available from dawn to about 10:30 a.m. and tended along with tender seedling vegetables for the garden.

What did Mother Nature do that I didn't? How is it that 27 seedlings germinated from "drops" but only one or two in my labelled plots? They were all out in the Back-40 by March 1st, and more should have come up in my plots than just one or two. Is it possible that more can be expected from later pollinations? I am writing this on May 2. I didn't count the seeds which were planted in the "open" bed, but I did record "infinity".

Next season I plan to check the mother-plant daily and poke any drops into the ground below to enjoy the baking process that the late summer sunshine must have provided the 27.

Could it be that my present germinations represent my crosses, and is it possible that the pollen-parent is giving "hybrid vigour" to the progeny, as it is said to influence the time of germination. Will there be a spate of "opens" later on? Keep tuned.

See also: Wright (1973)