We hope you have enjoyed the SRGC Forum. You can make a Paypal donation to the SRGC by clicking the above button

Author Topic: Fern Spores  (Read 5328 times)

Kristl Walek

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1428
  • Country: 00
  • specialist spotter of sprout potential
    • Gardens North
Fern Spores
« on: August 18, 2007, 08:43:07 PM »
Is anyone here familiar with the longevity of the particular "green spores" of the following fern species, or can refer me to botanic literature that may treat this specific question:

Osmunda
Onoclea sensibilis
Botrychium sp.
Matteucia struthiopteris

Has anyone heard of a storage method by which the extremely short-lived spores could survive longer?

I routinely moist-pack seed of ephemerals, but this method will obviously not work with spores.

Thank You,

Kristl
so many species....so little time

Kristl Walek
Gardens North Seed


www.gardensnorth.com

annew

  • Daff as a brush
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5323
  • Country: england
    • Dryad Nursery: Bulbs and Botanic Cards
Re: Fern Spores
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2007, 08:56:51 PM »
Sue Olsen, in her new fern book, says that green spores of the species you mention stay viable for about 3 weeks, but that viability can be extended by freezing (she doesn't say how long).
I run the spore exchange for the British Pteridological Society, and we do get spores of Matteuccia sent in, which we have sent out to people, and have had reports of germination, but we haven't had feedback as to whether the sporelings turned out to be true or contamination of some kind. The society only sends out Osmunda spores fresh as they ripen.
MINIONS! I need more minions!
Anne Wright, Dryad Nursery, Yorkshire, England

www.dryad-home.co.uk

Kristl Walek

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1428
  • Country: 00
  • specialist spotter of sprout potential
    • Gardens North
Re: Fern Spores
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2007, 04:00:38 PM »
Anne,
Thank you. I had considered freezing (which I routinely do with all seed and spores), but had run into literature that suggested that Osmunda regalis remained viable for a few days, which made me pause, realizing that I could not collect, clean and have the spores in the mail to my customers in various places in the world before the spore would be dead. This made me decide to concentrate on other species whose spore might have a slightly longer life--therefore my question. I have not to date carried "green spore" in my list, but wanted to challenge myself.

Related to the issue of spore longevity---I also assume there is an ideal point of ripeness with green spore??????

On another point, spore of  Asplenium rhizophyllum continues to elude me---have collected over a number of years, and at different phases of development only to always end up with chaff only. I have my own theories about why this might be, but would like to hear from you or anyone else who might have had any direct experience with successfully collecting spore of this species.

Kristl
Gardens North Seed
so many species....so little time

Kristl Walek
Gardens North Seed


www.gardensnorth.com

annew

  • Daff as a brush
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5323
  • Country: england
    • Dryad Nursery: Bulbs and Botanic Cards
Re: Fern Spores
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2007, 10:16:01 PM »
I've never had a plant to collect spores from! We do get spores sometimes, and I have germinated them and grown them on to weaning stage but lost them at this point. I don't remember them being especially chaffy.
While trying to find things out for you, I was surprised to learn that Onoclea and Matteuccia spores are shed in midwinter. The fertile fronds look completely dead by then. Optimum ripeness for green spores can be taken as the time when they are naturally shed, I would think.
MINIONS! I need more minions!
Anne Wright, Dryad Nursery, Yorkshire, England

www.dryad-home.co.uk

Kristl Walek

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1428
  • Country: 00
  • specialist spotter of sprout potential
    • Gardens North
Re: Fern Spores
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2007, 12:24:20 AM »

While trying to find things out for you, I was surprised to learn that Onoclea and Matteuccia spores are shed in midwinter.

Anne,
It's interesting you should mention the Onoclea and Matteuccia---because I gathered are few pieces of these two just yesterday, to see what state the spores might be in---and was amazed to actually find what I believe are spores pour out of the totally green, tight, unopened receptacles. My intention is to keep gathering them a few weeks apart from now on, taking notes of dates and ripeness. I also intend to test each batch and to see which stage of ripeness might produce healthy babes...

Oh I do love this stuff!!!!!!!!

Kristl
so many species....so little time

Kristl Walek
Gardens North Seed


www.gardensnorth.com

Ian Y

  • Bulb Despot
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2024
  • Country: scotland
  • Why grow one bulb when you can grow two:-))
    • Direct link to the Bulb Log SRGC
Re: Fern Spores
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2007, 09:57:25 AM »
Kristl, a belated welcome to the forum from me.
I am always surprised to be told that plant seeds or spores have such a short viability period - nature and evolution is usually a much better developer than that.
I am sure that there must be conditions that the spores can be kept in that will help them remain viable for long enough for your purposes.
Do they germinate immediately in the wild?
Perhaps storing them on just moist  moss will keep them alive and the moss complete with spores could be sown in the normal way for ferns.
It is all fascinating keep us posted on your trials.
Ian Young, Aberdeen North East Scotland   - 
The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.
http://www.srgc.org.uk/bulblog/bulblog.html

Kristl Walek

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1428
  • Country: 00
  • specialist spotter of sprout potential
    • Gardens North
Re: Fern Spores
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2007, 02:23:18 PM »
Ian,
Yes, certainly nature has much more sense than most of us homo sapiens, and that, truth be told, is why I often prefer it's company (oops, have I publicly disclosed my hermit tendencies)....?

Operating on that principle, knowing that ephemerals are ultimately after survival, like the rest of their brethren, there is a reason why they shed when they do, with their seed or spores falling where some percentage of them will survive. I suppose if 2 days or 3 weeks is enough time to do the job then it's none of our business.

Anyone who has ever pondered Hellebores germinating when they do, in early winter, must wonder how in the world they manage....that is, until you see the length of that embryonic root.

For many years I had friends in northern places send me seed of tiny Salix, freshly collected, with no result. The priority post was not fast enough for a seed that dies within days--- during those times we were not yet thinking about moist packing. It was not until I went to the Yukon myself a few years ago that I managed it and those Salix are still alive in the garden. Confronted with ripe seed, I added them to bags of moist spaghnum found on site. These were carried around for some time in the Arctic and Alberta until I finally returned home. Then they were spread out in flats. Germination was almost instant.

There is a tremendous amount of misinformation (or lack of information) "out there" about seed and spores. It makes me cringe when I read some of it....but I know, every bit of "knowledge"  is picked up and multiplied, right or wrong. That is why forums like this are so important---a way to share FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE.

Kristl

so many species....so little time

Kristl Walek
Gardens North Seed


www.gardensnorth.com

annew

  • Daff as a brush
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5323
  • Country: england
    • Dryad Nursery: Bulbs and Botanic Cards
Re: Fern Spores
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2007, 07:58:04 AM »
I gathered are few pieces of these two just yesterday, to see what state the spores might be in---and was amazed to actually find what I believe are spores pour out of the totally green, tight, unopened receptacles.

Kristl
That's very interesting,Kristl. I must try mine! If they are producing ripe spores the whole time, but they are of short viability, then they must be ripening sequentially, I suppose. Do you have access to a microscope to have a look at them?
I wonder if mixing spores with barely damp vermiculite that the recipient can spread out onto sterile compost would work?
« Last Edit: August 21, 2007, 12:36:51 PM by Maggi Young »
MINIONS! I need more minions!
Anne Wright, Dryad Nursery, Yorkshire, England

www.dryad-home.co.uk

Kristl Walek

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1428
  • Country: 00
  • specialist spotter of sprout potential
    • Gardens North
Re: Fern Spores
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2008, 12:56:45 AM »
Although my seed collecting does not begin in earnest for some time, this week the spores of Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich Fern) and Onoclea sensibilis (Sensitive Fern) were harvested. My earliest collection of the year.

These two species have an unusual pattern of spore dispersal: the separate fertile fronds actually persist through winter, then mature and release their spores late winter to early spring. Although the spores are often referred to as "green", I have never seen them as any other mature colour than dark brown.

The Fiddleheads of the Ostrich fern (the young coiled sterile fronds) will soon appear in the food specialty shops here, at a dear price.

Even after the spore was cleaned yesterday, the fronds of the Matteuccia left lying on a table continued to shed volumes of spore.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2008, 12:25:17 AM by Kristl Walek »
so many species....so little time

Kristl Walek
Gardens North Seed


www.gardensnorth.com

Kristl Walek

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1428
  • Country: 00
  • specialist spotter of sprout potential
    • Gardens North
Re: Fern Spores
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2008, 12:06:44 AM »
Hopefully this will interest a few of you....one of the areas I have been working on is the fern species that have "green spores" (are chlorophyllous) which are short-lived.

I am trying to determine when the spore is actually released, to confirm its longevity in open storage, when frozen or refrigerated (some research suggests that some spore deteriorates faster in the freezer than in the fridge because of lack of tolerance to the initial exposure to freezing temperatures)

Batches of all the local Osmunda (a genus known for "green" ephemeral spores) were collected recently. Of O. regalis, O. cinnamomaea and O. claytoniana, only the last species turned out to be ready. It is much more difficult to gauge readiness of the spores with these ephemerals---because the fertile fronds are in such a turgid state. So it's trial and error.

The fronds were laid out on trays for a day- imagine my surprise this morning to discover a sea of green under the O. claytoniana. The spores were quickly cleaned (an amazingly huge amount of spore for a relatively small collection), a first batch tested, another batch left in open storage, one in the fridge and the remainder in the freezer, to be re-tested in 1 week and thereafter.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2008, 01:04:44 AM by Kristl Walek »
so many species....so little time

Kristl Walek
Gardens North Seed


www.gardensnorth.com

Linda_Foulis

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 67
  • Country: ca
    • Beautiful Blooms
Re: Fern Spores
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2009, 04:52:52 AM »
Not seed but....  I came across fern spores I had collected last fall and stowed away.  Can anyone tell me longevity / viability after sitting in a bag for almost a year? 
Linda Foulis
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Zone 3 gardener
Head honcho at Beautiful Blooms

Arykana

  • cake maker supreme
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 649
  • Country: hu
  • International flower plunderer person
    • Fairy Garden
Re: Fern Spores
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2009, 06:58:05 AM »
As I know, they need cold effect to the germination
The fern spores are quite rather long-lived
onceIi read about them, that germinated on a wet brick covered with a nylon bag

 


Scottish Rock Garden Club is a Charity registered with Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR): SC000942
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal