Androsace: Androsace Group - the Future
Started by: Rick LambertGo to latest contribution by Rick Lambert, 22 April 2013, 12:51. Go to bottom of this page.
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A newsletter is in the process of going out to members by post and email. In it is the news that the Androsace Group will be continuing its existence on line (i.e. Here!).
The main point is that donors of seed should send it to the AGS Seed exchange.
I hope that many of you will be able to benefit from the resources of the Group and contribute to its online existence.
Rick Lambert - for the Androsace Group
Just wondered if the Androsace Group might, in the past, have produced some information on growing from seed that might be useful for a beginner?
David Nicholson asks if The Androsace Group had published information on raising them from seed.
The answer is yes in their publications and newsletters and sometimes in the notes sent with the seed distribution.
But to help, I give my up to date thoughts here:
Generally speaking Androsace are not difficult to germinate. Most benefit from a period of stratification (=sow the seed in December and put out into frost rain and snow).
I use a very 'lean' compost for the smaller and high alpine species (1 part sharp or grit sand / 1 part perlite / 1 part potting grit). This mixture is fairly sterile without to microwave or heat thus destroying the good micro-organisms. Germination should start as the weather warms up in Feb/March. The seedlings can easily be teased out o the above mixture with minimal root damage and leaving the remaining seed to germinate later. Pot these on into a similar mixture as above but with the addition of a small amount of sieved John Innes No.1. Avoid over potting by using too larger a pot. It is better to pot on three times than to go to a pot too big.
AA. integra and bulleyana can be a bit tender and so delay sowing until Jan or Feb.
Good seed to start with, AA. carnea, carneaXpyrenaica, cylindrica, hirtella, villosa
Please send in you methods for we each develop our own styles.
The good remains of last year's(2010) Androsace Group Seed exchange was sent in to this years AGS distribution. You should have a Seed List soon.
Many thanks for that Rick, very helpful.
Of interest to Androsace growers I see a few unusual offerings in the list. Most noteably that collected by Vojtec Holubec - Androsace flavescens 037 - a yellow flowered relative of the Androsace sarmentosa clan. Also some collected seed of A. helvetica. Most of the garden seed is contaminated by other species and this, I believe, is reflected in the relative greater ease we have in cultivating it.
Androsace barbulata 1308 has left the house of villosa and has been raised to specific. A very nice plant.
Just time to order and get seed sown before the frosts and snow.
For stratification to be effective the seed must have had a period of moisture.
Rick - I am very intrigued by your reference to Androsace flavescens, which is new to me. Is there much experience of it in cultivation and is it likely to prove as relatively easy to grow outside as sarmentosa forms? I only grow a few androsaces, those that will do on my winter covered sand bed, but they are certainly a group that it would be nice to try more of and I come across many names that are new to me in seed lists and elsewhere. I do remember that Mike Smith had a great collection at his nursery in Norfolk growing in an Access frame.
At the moment I only know Androsace flavescens from Vojtec Holubec's seed list and of course from the 'Androsace Book'. I notice that his collecting was from Keng Tau, Karakorum which is close to the classic location.
It looks similar to A. studiosorum but far less robust.
Let's hope it germinates.
Rick - many thanks and good luck with the seed.
I note that Androsace neuwerthii has been moved to A. coronata on Jozef Lemmens web site 'Androsace World'.
It does have a different appearance and the plants that we have raised from recent seed has flowers that age to a deep pink colour.
Cutting have been ok treated like A. muscoidea.