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Old 05-16-2020, 12:17 PM   #1
Carbon
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Springfield, Massachusetts
Default Striped Pipsissewa (Chimaphila maculata)

Has anyone on this forum ever tried growing this pretty little woodland plant from seed ? I'd never collect the plant from the wild, as it appears to spread extremely slowly, and I don't want to disturb any clumps. But when I walk in the woods in the late Fall and early Spring, I frequently see the small little dry seedpods above the leaves. I also like the little white flowers, tiny but pretty. Anyway, years ago, I'd collect a few pods, and sow the seeds in little containers of loam that I'd leave outside over the winter. The seed is tiny, almost microscopic, and resembles dust. And so I 've just sprinkled them on the surface of the loam. There's never been any germination, even when I've left the containers outside for 2 or 3 years. These past couple of years, I haven't even tried to sow them in containers. I just crush the dried seedpods, and sprinkle the tiny seeds in a shady area. Still no sign of any germination. I've read that pipsissewa probably needs some mycorhiziall fungus in the soil, to provide some nutrition to help them germinate, similar to some woodland orchids. Maybe at some point in the future I'll try to incorporate some native woodland soil into the loam.

Just out of curiousity, has anyone here ever grown pipsissewa ?
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Old 05-16-2020, 01:56 PM   #2
Grub
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: NJ
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Ive done a lot of reading and talked to a backyard "nursery and preserve" owner about this plant. First, the species is fire adapted. For some seeds this mechanism works by heat, and for other seeds germination inhibitors are broken by the chemicals created from burning. The nursery owner said they don't transplant well and they do need the right mycorrhizae conditions to persist. I collected seed pods myself, and put them in a milkjug over the winter and none have germinated. My next step is going to be burning some leaves in my firepit and sprinkling that on top.
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:19 PM   #3
Carbon
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Springfield, Massachusetts
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Thanks for your response. If you have a chance, it would be nice to know how you make out with exposing the pipsissewa seeds to the burning leaves.
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:09 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Northeastern MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skip1909 View Post
Ive done a lot of reading and talked to a backyard "nursery and preserve" owner about this plant. First, the species is fire adapted. For some seeds this mechanism works by heat, and for other seeds germination inhibitors are broken by the chemicals created from burning. The nursery owner said they don't transplant well and they do need the right mycorrhizae conditions to persist. I collected seed pods myself, and put them in a milkjug over the winter and none have germinated. My next step is going to be burning some leaves in my firepit and sprinkling that on top.
do you actually expose the seeds to the heat, or do you just dump the ashes from a fire when cooled over the seeds???
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