How long can Hips wait?

I have hips from a number of crosses, plus some OP hips. Most were picked about a month ago and have

shrivelled (most where picked just as they showed a

hint of color). How long can I likely leave them (the seeds) inthe hips and not process them and still achieve

very good germination?

Hi Chris:

They can last a long, long time. In my experience, the limiting factors are the time it takes for them to rot or to dry out completely. Both can have negative effects on germination. I have had hips last a whole year, however, without rotting or shriveling. They were picked ripe and clean and dry, and placed in ziplock bags and stored in the refrigerator.

Sometimes, you will note improved germination in hips that have begun to rot, but if the process (rotting) continues too long, the seeds are consumed in the decaying process along with the hips.