Cheryl Birker, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

The California Seed Bank at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden has a germination testing program to monitor the viability of its many conservation seed collections. Germination tests are conducted on all incoming seed collections before they are placed in freezer storage, and for all rare seed collections, follow-up germination tests are conducted periodically in order to monitor their viability throughout the storage term. Germination testing also allows for experimentation with different pretreatments for breaking seed dormancy to inform propagation protocols. Germination tests are conducted on agar and maintained in a temperature controlled germination chamber. Seeds must be treated with a bleach and Tween¨ solution to reduce microbial growth prior to sowing on agar, and this treatment must sometimes be repeated before the test is completed. Germination tests can run anywhere from two weeks to eight months, with weekly monitoring for new germinations and microbial growth. Seedlings are produced as a byproduct of germination testing, which can be transplanted from agar to soil and grown in a nursery for inclusion in a living collection or for second generation seed collecting as an extra means of ex-situ conservation.

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Date Recorded: 
Thursday, May 2, 2019

Propagation/Conservation Specialist position is open with ArcheWild

ArcheWild is a leading ecological restoration firm servicing federal agenices in the northeast United States as well as other public and private land holdings.  ArcheWild also operates an important "go-to" nursery for large, and often senstive, restoration programs.  We are looking for one or two people wanting to dedicate themselves to the mastery of the entire scouting, recording, collecting, accessioning, cleaning, conditioning, and germination process.  Become an integral part of the restoration ecosystem spanning from Boston to New York to Washington DC and throughout the Appalachians.

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Has anyone grown Goodyera seedlings in a greenhouse environment?

We germinated seeds of Goodyera in tissue culture with great success. Once they had 3 to 4 leaves in a test tube, we planted them in the greenhouse. However, they rapidly declined. We have tried planting them both in our usual potting mix (containing compost and topsoil) and New Zealand sphagnum moss. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Growing Dicranostegia orcuttiana for seed bulking

Does anyone in the CPC Network have experience cultivating Dicranostegia orcuttiana or other Orobanchaceae for the purpose of seed production?

I have had difficulty getting this species to produce seeds in pots and any advice would be greatly appreciated. 


How many individuals are needed to create a conservation living collection?

Cylindropuntia californica var californica is a rare cactus that rarely produces viable seed. How many cuttings from individuals from a small population of approximately 30 would be needed to create a living conservation collection?

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