When is R. bracteata seed ripe?

I have several unconventional crosses on my R. bracteata in the greenhouse that are starting to color now. This is the first year I got seeds from this plant and I have no idea how far I should let them ripen. They are a light orange now and still firmly attached to the plant. Will these germinate better if I collect them now, or wait another few weeks? If anyone has experience in this matter, I’d appreciate some input, thanks!

Paul B.

I’ve germinated OP bracteata seed here. As I recall it required nothing extraordinary. In fact I’m trying to remember whether I bothered to chill that year.

I would think you are safe to harvest. You could wait till a few frosts get to them then go ahead and chill. I used to split the seed up and sow some sooner then some later. You might want to give that try if you have enough. Now I am lazier and just chill everything all together.

They among the latest to ripen. When fully ripe bracteata hips are quite soft stinky and fall on the ground. The seeds come then quite messy with some sticky fruit flesh attached that rot in the fridge. First time I did not clean them well, they rotted a lot and I got much better germination than the other years with harder hips and clean seeds. FWIW

Paul:

I don’t mean to hijack this thread, but I think you were on vacation when I asked if you wanted the tissue culture products (6-BPA, agar, MS with vitamins) that I have. It’s just sitting in the garage and I have no use for it.

Jeff

I harvest them more by feel than by color. In this climate the hips develop a brownish color early on and never really change. A bright orange color is present inside the hips when opened, but it can’t be seen from the outside. The unripe hips are extremely firm. I periodically give the hips a firm squeeze, and I harvest them all when I find the first hip that gives a little when squeezed. Pierre mentions the reason above. When the hips begin to ripen, they very rapidly become a mushy mess. At that stage it is very difficult to separate and clean the seeds properly (and there are a lot of seeds!). I can’t comment much on germination. I grew bracteata when I previously lived in Alabama, and I germinated the seeds for a number of years, but it’s been several years. My two current plants are only now maturing to a size that will produce hips. This is the first year at my current location that I’ve had substantial hip set. I do remember that the bulk of the germination occured in the second year, so they’re not for the impatient. The first time I tried to grow bracteata from seed, I got a few germinations the first year. However, there was substantial germination the second year outdoors in the area where I’d dumped my seed flats the summer before. Lesson learned. That was an area where bracteata is naturalized, so obviouly the climate was suitable for outdoor stratification over the winter.

Mark

Thanks for the info Pierre and Robert. Very useful.

Jeff, I won’t have any use for those chemicals, but thanks anyways.

Paul

Thanks for that very detailed info, Mark!