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Thursday - July 09, 2015

From: Bayside, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Growing Alopia drummondii from Seed
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

Can you give me information about, or a resource for, growing Alophia drummondii (propeller plant) from seed? I have the seed but don't know when & the best method for planting?

ANSWER:

Alophia drummondii (Propeller flower or prairie iris) is a member of the iris family and grows from a corm.

Growing from a corm, the prairie iris is 1–2 feet tall and is usually unbranched. It has leaves 1 1/2–2 feet long by 1 inch wide. Most of them grow from the base and are conspicuously veined, clasp the stem directly at the base, and are folded (pleated) for most of their length. The flowers grow in a cluster at the end of the stem and open one at a time for several days in succession. They are cup-shaped to flat. The 3 outer tepals are spreading, about 1 1/2 inches wide, light to deep purple; the 3 inner tepals are dwarfed, cupped or crimped, and usually a deeper purple. The inner portion of the tepals is yellowish, spotted with reddish-brown.

Online, I found a couple of tidbits that might help with your seed germination quest. From the Pacific Bulb Society forums ...

The first season germination is very bad. They must have some protective mechanism to keep them from germinating the first season. What reason that is I have no idea.

Late last summer I was looking along the road to town and up in the brush at the edge of the forest line I saw two seed pods. They looked like A. drummondii pods to me but I am not sure. They were growing in heavy shade and I took some seed. I am eager to see if they were in fact A. drummondii or not, but I guess it will be a couple of years before I know.

Here they are fall winter spring with blooming spring and dormant in the summer. Though the timing of the rains have a big part to play in the blooming time.

Justin, Woodville, TX 8b/9a

There is a lot we need to know about this species in the wild, other than it grows in acid sandy soils. Alberto Castillo

And in information online from the book, Seed Germination Theory and Practice by Norman C. Deno, Alophia drummondii were subjected to 3 months of 70 degree temperatures, 3 months of 40 degree temperatures and 3 months of 70 degree temperatures. 1/6 germinated in the 3rd week. This is a very informative book if you want to delve deeper into seed germination.

 

From the Image Gallery


Propeller flower
Alophia drummondii

Propeller flower
Alophia drummondii

Propeller flower
Alophia drummondii

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