how much can seeds of one species vary? help needed...

Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Hi everyone, I just joined bonsai nut because I need your experienced help.
I bought pinus parviflora and prunus serrulata seeds, among others, over the last couple months. I bought several bags from different suppliers and I'm very confused, because they vary greatly in size and shape. So much so, that I'm questioning whether the suppliers potentially made a mistake or were sold these seeds under a species name that in fact they do not belong to.

I bought several bags of the pinus parviflora seeds in the red bag of DürrSamen, stratified and sowed 20 of them this summer and have 6 tiny japanese white pines now. I plan an sowing more, but as of right now, I cannot help but feel that they're too different to all be jwp's.

Same thing with the japanese cherry seeds. They vary in size, too, and the outer shell of the seeds is very smooth and spherical like a proper cherry in one bag while more oval and furrowed more like some of the other prunus species in the other bag. Do different japanese cherry cultivars, which I know there are plenty of, have such different seeds?

I really hope some of you can help me with this, as it wouldn't feel quite right to just believe the bags and pretend/assume they're all the same species. I would like to know for sure what or who I'm sowing and spending the next 30 years with. :)

Thank you for all your help!!

Alexander
 

Attachments

Leo in N E Illinois

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,385
Reaction score
9,232
Location
on the IL-WI border, a mile from ''da Lake''
USDA Zone
5b
Welcome Alexander, sorry I did not see this post sooner. I'm surprised nobody else has answered. Well, I will try to help.

First off, your Japanese White Pine seedlings look good. The variation between the 6 seedlings is perfectly normal. The first year to 3 years, pine seedlings can have juvenile needles, which will look like single needles, no bundles of 5, no sheaths at the base of the bundle. In year two or three, the needles will begin to appear in bundles of 5 needles. You might not get all 100% mature needles until the 5th or 6th year. Don't worry they look good. I'm glad you followed the directions, warm stratified followed by cold stratification. For white pines this is crucial. Doing the 2 step stratification will bring germination up from just a few percent to somewhere near 70%, you will never get 100%. By the way, shelf life of JWP will drop rapidly, it is listed as having only an 18 month shelf life for seed, Do store unused seed, dry, in the refrigerator. An 18 month shelf life means that at 18 months only about 50% of seed will germinate, at 36 months half of the 50%, or somewhere around 25% of the original seed will germinate,. It is not an exact science, but you should plan on using the seed soon.

As to the Prunus seed, it is possible that you have multiple different species there. A lot depends on the source, Given the JWP seed from DürrSamen, I would say they likely are a reputable seed supplier, Be wary of Ebay suppliers. Many Ebay seed vendors buy old, out of expiration seed from real seed companies, or they just slap any old seed into a packet if the seed even vaguely resembles the species you are supposed to get. They figure by the time you raise the seedling to blooming size, you will have forgotten where the seed came from. Try to only patronize established seed companies who have real street addresses. A seed company that appears in magazine adds of commercial nursery stock growers will likely be reputable. I have an orchard (blueberries) and I receive ''American Fruit Growers Magazine", if a seed supplier appeared in there, it would be likely they would be reputable. Look for trade magazines dedicated to the wholesale nursery trade. Their advertisers will likely be reputable. In the USA I recommend Sheffield Seeds, in the UK & EU I'd recommend Watcom Seeds, Silverhill Seeds (South Africa), Chiltern Seed, and B & T World Seed. Your DurrSammen seems reputable also.

So what to do?
But I would still follow the directions and plant the Prunus seed, who knows? you might get interesting results, Seed from different cultivars can vary greatly in size, but usually will not vary in shape. So if both batches of seed had the same shape, they could be the same species, The wrinkles and oblong on one, and the smooth and round for the other really does suggest you might have 2 different species. Large seed Japanese maple will have seed double the size of small seed Japanese maple, yet the seedlings will be the same species. The distinction is observed in the hope the small seed JM will result in plants with smaller leaves. There is some truth, many small seed JM seedlings do prove to be more dwarf plants, but a fair number of the seedlings will mature as big as the large seed seedlings by the 3rd year or so. So no guarantees, they are the same Japanese Maple species.
 

kevinlovett86

Chumono
Messages
683
Reaction score
880
Location
ShenZhen, China
USDA Zone
10
I bought rose seeds to try rose bonsai, when my seeds sprouted I had morning glory. Don’t think I’ll ever buy seeds again, rather go with seedlings or nursery stock.
 

just.wing.it

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,080
Reaction score
11,250
Location
Blips and Chitz (Northern MD, 6b...ish)
USDA Zone
6B
I tried a package of Sakura seeds (Japanese Flowering Cherry) that I got as a gift.
Did the cold stratification in the fridge over winter....planted them in spring, none sprouted :(
Was bummed out a little bit...flowering cherry forest was my plan....

Yesterday I grabbed a few handfuls of some type of maple seeds....:cool:
Maple forest in my future!

Good luck with yours!
And welcome!
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
21,337
Reaction score
28,737
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
Sorry Alexander...
Been potting, phone don't work, kids busted the tablet charger.....

Welcome to Crazy!

If I'm going to be missing them like this....

Somebody gotta back me up!

Thanks Leo!

Sorce
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
21,337
Reaction score
28,737
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
Could be no one looked because the // is what the spamstars been using!

Title was good though.

Sorce
 

Similar threads


Top Bottom