Monday, November 5, 2018

2018 Dismal Seed Production Year

Empty Peony 'Martha W.' Seed Pods

It was a very dismal year for seed production, especially for the intersectional hybrids I'm working on. I actually got zero seeds! (Zero!), which is very disappointing considering I used so many different varieties of tree peony pollen this year, many frozen and several fresh too! I'm guessing it must have something to do with the weather, since the seed production on many of my other lactiflora peonies was almost nil as well. When I look back at the weather history for April of this year - 2018, it looks like most nights were in the 40s and 50s, but we did get a few 30s later in the month. On 4/17 it was 33°, on 4/20 it was 34°, on 4/21 it was 37°, and on 4/30 it was 36°. Even my Peony 'Green Lotus' and Peony 'Pink Spritzer' (which are usually loaded with seeds) produced nothing as well. The seed pods on my Peony 'Martha W.' plants grew and swelled normally (as if they were incubating lots of fresh black seeds), but when they popped open there was nothing inside but tiny, black failed seeds. Oh well, I guess there's always another opportunity next year, and there's still hoping some of the seeds from previous years (2016 First Intersectional Peony Seeds! and 2017 Intersectional Peony Hybridizing Efforts) will germinate this spring. We shall see...

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