Apr 22, 2018

Mendelian Magic


Why you may not look like your Brother or Sister



I’m too old to debate anyone on anything, especially something as sensitive as genetics, though my beliefs exceed the tensile strength of tungsten.

Genetics is a wonderful thing. Genes, gametes, Chromosomes, and all that jazz. Hybridization, natural or contrived.

Each year I collect and germinate seed from several hundred plants and this includes our many barberries. Seed from berberis thunbergii ‘Orange Rocket’. collected in 2016 germinated and grew well in 2017.  This year, as they leafed out, I could not help but notice obvious differences. Same seed parent, but at least four with obvious colour differences.

Jan 29, 2017

Some Notes on the Effect of GA-3 on Paeony suffruticosa seeds


Some Notes on the Effect of GA-3
on Paeony suffruticosa seeds


In September of 2014 I purchased a pitiful specimen of Paeony suffruticosa "Shima daijin' [more often spelled as one word]. The price was reduced, for obvious reasons, to just $1.00, a bargain. Well, with a good deal of 'tender loving care', it recovered nicely, and has bloomed quite well the last three years, and produced seed.

Previous attempts to germinate the seed have been disastrous, due mainly to neglect once planted, so, in 2016 I decided to take a little more care and try to keep track of them.

On September 17th I divided thirty seeds into three groups of ten. These I subsequently soaked for 24 hours in one of three solutions: distilled water, hydrogen peroxide 3%, and GA-3 (1,000ppm). The seeds were then placed in plastic bags with damp vermiculite and put in the refrigerator. I began checking weekly for germination after a couple of months.

On December 18th one of seeds soaked in GA-3 had produced a root (92 days), and on January 3rd of this year I was able to transfer 6 seeds with substantial roots to individual pots. The pots were covered with plastic and placed on a seed mat under fluorescent lights.

As of today, January 29th, none have produced a shoot above ground. Of those soaked in water or hydrogen peroxide, still in the refrigerator, none have shown any evidence of germination.


More study/experimentation is needed, but I think I will be using a GA-3 soak in the future for Paeony seeds, varying the concentration.