The Rhododendron, Camellia & Magnolia Group

Three groups of plants – one group of enthusiasts worldwide

Notes for seed donors 2016

It’s time to begin looking at which plants have set seed and thinking about harvesting them over the coming months.

Donations from members are even more important now and absolutely essential if we are to continue producing a varied and interesting seed list. Here are a few suggestions for the treatment of seeds in order to maintain maximum viability as well as easing the task of distribution.

RHODODENDRONS: Using, preferably, only wild or hand pollinated rhododendrons, pick seed pods just before they start to split open. Store the seed pods in a dry, airy place, away from direct heat, and allow the seeds to drop out naturally. Separate the seeds from the pods and store in dry place in paper packets, but, if refrigerated, place inside sealed plastic bags to prevent drying out.

MAGNOLIAS: Harvest seed pods just as the red seeds begin to show. Remove the seeds and soak them in water for a few days until the red seed coat can be washed off. Rinse the seeds thoroughly and place in plastic bags with damp perlite (not peat, compost or vermiculite). Do not allow the seeds to dry out.

CAMELLIAS: Harvest seed pods as they begin to split. Remove seeds from pods and place in plastic bags. Do not allow seeds to dry out.

Seeds other than those of the above genera are also very welcome. We will also accept seeds of species that exhibit early germination such as Aesculus, Quercus, Castanea, etc. and advertise these by email or on the Group website for early distribution before the end of the year.

All seeds should be sent in bulk – one packet for each species, with clear, waterproof labelling showing full, correct, botanical name, whether hand or open pollinated, collector’s number, location collected plus any other relevant information.

If you have seeds but cannot manage to clean them then just send them anyway and we will deal with them appropriately. If you have the opportunity to collect in the wild we would particularly like to hear from you.

For inclusion in the main published list seeds should be received by mid-December. Exceptionally, late ripening seeds may be sent up to the end of the year but notification of an intended seed donation should still be received by mid-December, where possible. Seeds received at other times of the year may be advertised using email or the Group website.

All seeds can be stored temporarily in the warmest part of a domestic refrigerator – DO NOT FREEZE – before sending them, in a padded mail bag, as soon as possible, to:

Mrs Julie Atkinson
184 Crow Lane East
Newton-le-Willows
ST HELENS
Merseyside
WA12 9UA
If you are still not sure about something, queries may be sent to julie.soundgardenrhododendrons@hotmail.co.uk

Form for submission of wild-collected seed