In addition to hip ripeness, it appears that seed ripeness may be an issue of some interest. In this experiment, seeds that were allowed to rest (after-ripen?) produced stronger plants.
Magazine of Horticulture 4(7): 247-248 (July 1838)
Art. III. Experiments on the Vegetation of Rose Seeds.
By R. Buist, Florist, &c, Philadelphia.
Sir,—Some time last year I observed in your Magazine, a difference of opinion between two of your correspondents, in regard to the vegetating of rose seeds. I then determined on sowing some of the many varieties, and send you the result of my experiments.
No. 1. Seeds of Rosa indica odorata, or tea rose, were sown on the first of December, 1837, and vegetated in a temperature of between 58° and 65° Fahr., in from six weeks to three months, coming up occasionally during that period; the most of them have now bloomed, but not sufficiently strong to determine their character.
No. 2, of the same seed, and picked at the same time, was kept four weeks in sand, and sown on the ninth of January, 1838, and vegetated generally in seven weeks. The plants grew stronger and flowered better than No. 1, although treated in the same manner.
No. 3, seeds of the same, kept in sand till the first of February, and sown in pots and placed in dung or manure hot-bed, vegetated beautifully in six weeks, temperature from 65° to 75° Fahr., and are now promising, in growth, bloom and character, to surpass Nos. 1 and 2.
No. 4, seeds of Lamarque Noisette rose, collected from the plant in the open air in January, 1838, and sown along with those of No. 3, vegetated at the same time and have grown much stronger than any of the preceding, but only as yet three out of four plants have bloomed, and strange as it may appear, (you know the parent to be a large white,) one of those which flowered is a deep rose color and perfectly double. It perhaps may be desirable to say that the soil used was sand, loam, and leaf mould, in equal proportions, and watered with pure river water.
Yours, very truly,
Philadelphia, June, 1838.
Buist: Rose seeds (1838)
The difference in performance of seeds that were planted at different times may be related to this:
Botanical Gazette 99(3): 630-665 (1938)
GROWTH PATTERNS OF PLANTS DEVELOPED FROM IMMATURE EMBRYOS IN ARTIFICIAL CULTURE
H. B. TUKEY
Mature or nearly mature seed has also produced unusual types of growth, but of a different nature from those from very young embryos. FLEMION (4) found that mature but non-after-ripened seeds of Rhodotypos kerrioides developed into plants with a dwarfish appearance, and with short, stocky hypocotyls and internodes, and small, dark green leaves. She later (5) reported a similar type of growth for non-after-ripened embryos of peach, apple, and hawthorn. DAVIDSON (1), in culturing immature peach embryos, described all plants raised in culture as abnormal and dwarfish, having small, wrinkled, and peculiarly curled leaves. VON VEH (25) found that seedlings of apple, pear, quince, plum, and cherry raised from non-after-ripened embryos developed into dwarf plants. LAMMERTS (13) secured similar results with apricot, peach, cherry, rose, and camellia; and GERSHOY (6) with the violet.
- DAVIDSON, O. W., The germination of “non-viable” peach seeds. Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 30:129-132. 1934.
- FLEMION, FLORENCE, Dwarf seedlings from non-after-ripened embryos of Rhodotypos kcrrioides. Contrib. Boyce Thompson Inst. 5: 161-165. 1933.
- FLEMION, FLORENCE, Dwarf seedlings from non-after-ripened embryos of peach, apple, and hawthorn. Contrib. Boyce Thompson Inst. 6:205-209. 1934.
- GERSHOY, A., Correspondence, University of Vermont. 1937.
- LAMMERTS, W. E., Correspondence, Ontario, California. 1937.
- VON VEH, ROBERT, Eine neue Methode der Anzucht von Sämlingen, unabhängig von Ruheperioden and Jahreszeit (bei Apfeln, Birnen, Quitten, Pflaumen, Kirschen). Der Züchter 8:145-151. 1936.
Tukey: Growth Pattern of Plants (1938)