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sagiXsagi

Ephedra sp. cultivation notes and discussion

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gartenzweg>>

 

you might wanna looking for distachya, intermedia, equisetina, major / nebrodensis, gerardiana  if you are looking for a sinica substitute, as sinica is the standard, species wise.. 

 

 yeah treat them more like cacti. water only when you see the soil dry. I did my previous batch in summer and with low light the first 2 months, but I am doing my current batch with fuoro lights inside, so there's a lot of experimentation to be done. 

 

It always takes some practice and it depends on species, local species foeminea , cf fragilis with large seeds seed to be relatively easy to grow, so far that is, but I also took cuttings that seem to work.. 

 

my sinica cutting on the other hand it seems very slow, and it it was rather stressed by the cold we had this winter which surprised me .... 

 

I know gerardiana and the species of the gerardiana clade like ephedra major would be the most likely candidates for cold winters and all.. but its not easy to find gerardiana seeds (if someone finds, please let me know)  . 

 

there's a dutch eshop selling 7 kinds of seeds , but there are the importation issues with oz, etc... 

 

I am not as experienced as it might seem to you species wise, I have studied my local species enough yeah, but they are quite different from the core clade of ephedra in asia... 

 

*****

 

There are some 45-55 species worldwide spread in europe, north africa, asia, and the americas... it seems oz split from the pangaia a little too early!  

 

the panama passage was still on when north american species traveled south and created the south american species... ;) 

 

I am so excited to be attempting to grow chilensis - well the sincas havent sprouted... 

 

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update and additional reply to thunderhorse comment treating the seeds: 

 

Ephedra sinica seems to have terminated the growing points, last segments of all growth are yellow and seemingly dead. its still cold here, but not as in the very cold rush which was unique 

 

the cf fragilis I had found at some altitude which i thought was a solitary group of 1 male and 2-3 females proved a colony up the hill. I only explored a tiny bid of it.. quite a tiresome and difficult habitat, but the plants seemed to go up an animal path, which made me thought about whether the path was old so its got ephedra all through due to animals herd who eat the fruits... 

 

  and there is also a massive colony of the cf fragilis in another ancient ruins site. 

 

TH>  re> the seeds and making tricks with the seed to make it germinate easily.. 

 

I am seeing pretty good results by sowing the seed as is, without doing anything and creating the right temperature for it.. I seems the right temp make even pretty old seed, to germ... I dont have results foe the sinica and I dont know how old the sinica seed is, but heat seems to be an important element here. will report back..

 

Its probably good idea to sow the seed pointy side down

 

and I feel that cold shocking and then sowing in warm substrate might be better and the best to wake up even for older seeds, than any soaking in the water for 24 hours of something... but I dont have any hard evidence for the cold shock, just dont feel soaking would be important.. filing could .. anywaysz, thoughts, thoughts... 

 

I also have to say that sowing trays + heating mat  = awesome results (also for other stuff, like 3 capsicum chinense vars sprouting in 6 days :) ) 

 

I got several 8 months old cf fragilis in such a tray, and they seem fine so far that its still wet all the time. I am looking forward to separete and repot to see the evolution of the root.. 

 

Gosh is it normal I am so excited? I feel its such an awesome and forgotten genus... 

 

 

Edited by sagiXsagi
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Ephedra sinica seems to have terminated the growing points, last segments of all growth are yellow and seemingly dead. its still cold here, but not as in the very cold rush which was unique 

 

 

Gosh is it normal I am so excited? I feel its such an awesome and forgotten genus... 

 

 

^^

if the go yellow and die back, and than come back, than they are not pampered enough, so increase the waterings, step, by step, and the fertilizer, and they will go green and strong.

 

totes excited too! *feels perpetual energy wheel coming on :3

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last segment went yellow only, I would not increase watering to a cutting that hasn't yet established in mid-winter.. Later, sure.... 

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not quite fresh but viable chilensis sprouting at 8 days (sowing tray, heat mat) 

 

comparing foeminea and cf fragilis seedlings of the same age: fragilis is definately fatter and bigger overall 

Edited by sagiXsagi
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ok hmmm , "Once there was a great horse who loved a different kind of grass... ;) " ...

maybe I can come up with some more myth later..

 

Anyhow I got this far on the hunt..

 

I soaked 5 of those E sinica for 2 days after scarifying... one was a beat up broken one tho,

sowed in an acacia tube with a mix of loam and grit and added a layer of sand over them..

-plonked into the home made propagator tank I now call Ixtlawattle

 

I then soaked another scarified 5 for approx 12 hours, poked them into the sand of the first lot's tube... and then added a little more sand.. and labelled up..

2017-02-13 16.32.08.jpg

and improvised a ventilated humidity dome from some cake packaging..

2017-02-13 17.56.12.jpg

 

The remaining seeds in the bag just got a hand wipe cut to size and inserted in with them to convert to a stratification bag.., a few drops or so of tap water to whet their little whistles..., and into the fridge :) for some nice cold strat..

 

I'll probably leave there for about a month and then sow or .... according to the instructions on this site for E' equisetina

http://plantselect.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Ephedra-equisetina.pdf

"" If sowing in stratification bags, remove seeds that have germinated and put the rest of the seed back in the cooler. ""

2017-02-13 16.40.15.jpg

It's about 3 or 4C in the fridge ..

 

I might've found some gerardiana and equisetina plants to buy if I'm super lucky too , if even luckier.. I might get a breeding pair .. thankfully I was able to request for them to be reserved pending a stock check..

sadly they were definite on selling out of white berry chilensis and yellow berry chilensis..

Edited by ☽Ţ ҉ĥϋηϠ₡яღ☯ॐ€ðяئॐ♡Pϟiℓℴϟℴ

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broke the cheap camera I was using - again - pics are trapped inside. 

 

anywayz,  first sinica sprout at 11 days

 

edit: I am also seeing activity in the nodes of the sinica, so it seems it overcame the cold shock. its making leaves and seems to be shooting from multiple nodes. 

 

Edited by sagiXsagi
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while fresh foeminea and cf fragilis seem to germinate relatively easily , I am not having good results from the sinica seed I got in the trade - mate didnt know how old the seed was.. so, I don know how fresh they are but the two of them that did germinate, seemed to have trouble to get out of the seed husk completely - so   [ edit: but then again that was the behaviour of the very old chilensis seed: the few that did sprout, were week and had trouble with the husk, the one that is still alive, I think, still has the seed on... ]

 

it seems fresh seed means stronger seedlings , thus a confirmation of many reports that the freshness of the seeds is pretty important, to the point of them being too weak.. 

 

maybe it would be interesting to treat those especially old chilensis seed with gibberelic acid, to see what would happen... if it would revive a known-to-be-old  seed batch.... 

 

I will be treating - filing my next sinica batch and report back, one of the spouts already died, I have hopes for the other because the eye is out . 

 

my mature one I got from a german ebayer seems to be doing fine now . I am a bit worried on how to support it, as it now sprouts new shoots .. 

 

and its quite a suiting plant, I think for cactiphiles, a slow grower that demands patience, an ancient plant. 

 

but the mediteranean and mid east liana ephedras like foeminea, aphylla (alta) , fragilis which has a semi-climber habit, seem to grow multiple times faster than other species from harsher climates and thats one to consider when choosing which species you grow. 

 

 

Edited by sagiXsagi
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got some plants and seeds over the last week or 2... 

E' gerardiana v sikkimensis2017-02-17 15.09.23.jpg

E' fragilis2017-02-18 14.22.26.jpg

E' equisetina2017-02-21 10.06.23.jpg

 

and some E' gerardiana v sikkimensis seed ...

which I began sowing yesterday by stabbing 20 small holes into a sand-topped wattle tube2017-02-24 21.34.17.jpg

and dropped a seed in each of the ploughed furrows, ....

sprayed in and plopped into the old style propagator/mini greenhouse.. 

 

I have zilch on the cheapo sinica seeds from amazon , will be good to try with some different seeds...

nothing on the cold stratted/then sowed sinica either... nor on the strat bag ... 

maybe they'ze dead?

 

wish me luck and give me a shout if I'm missing anything plz..

 

With your ebay cutting , maybe just let it find it's way around some reg compost? - these above plants came in ordinary potting compost and were searching around under the soil with new shoots...

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you reay dont muck around over there horsey...lol:wink:

 

look forward to seeing that equisenta boom, and with sagi banging down chilensis seed this is a fine thread indeed IMO.

 

Sinicas are barstards of things:lol:

Edited by waterboy 2.0
just cant spell tonight
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amazing plants, TH, please take more shots / close up of the fragilis! 

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TH> there are not much ID treats like that and its hard to take good pics of this plants .. Take a couple more photos when it starts sprouting from the nodes / when making new leaves (this lasts a few days) , to maybe compare to my cf fragilis. 

 

My strain sure reddens as a reaction to both cold and light, but it could occur in other species as well... 

 

PS: close up of sinica re sprouting from the nodes after doing leaves and cf fragilis, regrowing after a short halt during the cold of this winter.. 

fragilis seedl.jpg

sinica closeup.jpg

Edited by sagiXsagi
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ok i found out my reg prop is currently at 30C , so much for advice from uk .,.. 

so my homebuilt prop i can adjust, but i need it 25C fpr the fabaceas.., anyhow , I stuck my watch thermometer in an eclosed tub above 3 wattle tubes of ephedra sinica (2) and of gera sikk' (1) and tried the windowsill,,.. low and behold 20C!

but only in the daytime...

 

I gather 20C is the most common germ temp advice info internationally so I'm pretty sure 20C is what it's probably strictly gotta be ... 

 

and 20C is what I set the night time temps in the homebuilt prop, so they spend their nights shacked up with wattles now and guard the window for me in the day...

2017-03-01 09.48.10.jpg2017-03-01 09.48.23.jpg

then figured hey, why not post some more refrigerated seeds into a baby tub of wattle mix n sand on the windowsill to practice for when i have some live sinica seeds, and just in case these really aren't dead after all

2017-03-01 15.07.36.jpg2017-03-01 15.11.57.jpg2017-03-01 15.12.10.jpg

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I think 25-28 C would be better than 20 . they are supposed to like warmth to sprout, but I dont know if this is true for all species.. heating mat seems to help a lot... 

 

if everything goes fine you should be seeing sproutings at 8-12 days... 

 

update on the sinica sowing + new sowing 6/3/2017 (sinica, chilensis, sida rhombifolia, 2x acacia) : 

 

out of some 15 sinica seeds sown without treatment, the 2 that sprouted where too weak to shed the shell even under light. One didnt even get its eye out - both died.

maybe its not a good seed batch... 

 

Well today I tried again today, sowing the rest of both sinica and viable chilensis seed I hadnt sent away. I already got some chilensis seedlings. I dont expect them to be nearly as easy/as as fragilis/foeminea seem to be, so, I need numbers to ensure survival of at least a couple plants... 

 

the difference to the previous sowing is that the sowing tray is more shallow, today I tried to place them all into correct positioning (pointy side down, eye up) which is a somewhat tiring thing but I think is worth it.  anyways, this depth of soil in this tray seems to gives me the best results combined with the heat mat - for example I get the best sprouting times for my chilli sowings. I have a tray of mandrakes, foeminea cf fragilis and chilensis seedlings (plus an atropa belladonna, I think - hope) that was started like this, now its out taking full sun... 

 

One thing to remember and remind oneself is that its not really adviced to transplant too soon.. 

 

also, I filed the sinica seed this time (19) , while I left chilensis untreated (21)  . I also sowed , sida rhombofolia and a couple filed acacia obtusifolia (6) and acacia phleb

( 5) . I havent tried acacia for sime time so it was time to check the tray treatment. I should be doing another tray with acacias only..

 

PS: foeminea, cf fragilis and even chilensis to a smaller degree all redden as a response to being placed in a very sunny spot... 

 

Edited by sagiXsagi
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it seems 2017 will be an ephedric year more than 2016. 

 

yesterday I got the gerardiana seed from oz

and today I received a 7 species pack 

(excited) 

 

so lets do a seed comparison - I should be doing a photo log as well but I dont have a camera :P 

 

as expected, the sinica, intermedia and equisetina have minimal or not easily noticable differences at the first glance. The american species are interesting , viridis is easily the largest E seed I have seen so far and by the way gerardianas are the smallest I have seen so far. Nevadensis are smaller than viridis but still pretty biggy and roundish and "pump" . 

 

Now, from the pictures of the eshop I thought there was something wrong with the fragilis seed depicted - I thought it was either mislabeled or the wrong picture. It seems that was I received as fragilis resembles a bit what I received as major/nebrodensis. these are not shinny seeds. 

 

I could be well wrong and my cf fragilis be a form of foeminea, but I am not at all convinced the fragilis seed I got is fragilis. At the very least I expected seeds that resemble foemineas, not seeds resembling a totally different clade. 

 

My hypothesis is that the "fragilis" seed might be mislabeled spanish major. Would be cool mistake, but I am not sure I am gonna know... I think ephedra species are commonly misidentified, so such a mistake shouldnt come as a surprise. 

 

or these seeds are right and I got it somewhat wrong, we will see! 

 

Lots of studying to be done at "the female reproductive unit of ephedra" 2010 paper on cone and seed anatomy. 

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updates

well, what do you know!! 

 

3x sinica  sprouting today - in just 4 dayz!!!! a world record or something? :P   anyways a pretty pleasant surprise. Even if the seed didnt look so good, something was done nicely here. was it the filing? was it the warmer substrate? maybe both? for what its worth I expected at least a portion of that seed batch be dud, but sprouting in 4 days changes that hypothesis pretty much.

 

Or filing can help old/weak seeds to sprout. Now I have to try the filing with the old chilensis seed I got. Note that I didnt file the viable chilensis seed sown in the same tray as sinica.

 

PS: most of the 5 and etiolated cf fragilis that I recently transplanted from a shallow tray like the ones I am using seem to have suffered from some damage. I cannot tell if its sunburn from change of position, or damage from tiny snails, I hope they are not dying because I was transplanted them wet and maybe a bit early - but they dont seem to be withering from below. we ll see. So far I have minimal or no loss at transplanting, even though I have performed it in plants aged  4- 9 months (cf fragilis), should be trickier in chilensis, of which I got seedlings also in trays plus, f.e. 6 seedlings in a single small pot. Chilensis seedlings were also a bit burnt when I took them from artificial light to the roof too fast - then I took them to some balcony because weather shifted and started raining... 

 

PS2: rooting cuttings or plantlets seem to be an awesome way to get ahead and skip the difficult stages of 1-2 year seedlings, if you can find them cheap. Maybe I should not talk so much as I haven't been doing this for more than a year, so I dont even have yearlings. Yet, the local climer species seem to be pretty forgiving, compared to what we know about ephedras and how difficult it is sometimes to grow it. And one foeminea rooted cutting I put in a barrel seems to be really taking off. Plus I am hoping that sharing my train of thought will make reading my notes more pleasant and engaging, also more educational. 

 

PS3: my sinica cutting seems to be really taking off. sprouting from some 15 nodes! I dont think I have mentioned that this sinica is planted in the soil that came with it from germany, mostly. There was sand in that soil.  Perhaps the woody little stem ensures it is past the dangerous stages of damping off at the base. 

Edited by sagiXsagi
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thanks for those seeds man I got 2 types down -chilensis and foemina, 5 each...

and transferred the sand with 20 gerard' sikki into my latest method trial with baby food tubs and plain john innes seed loam..., much the same as the baby food tub with sand way i did before ...

also banged 5 USA-sourced equisetina seed down which i have some spares of that i put aside for you mate :)

and taking your advice on heat from below so they're in the homebuild prop2017-03-15 22.56.30.jpg2017-03-15 22.56.57.jpg

I'm still pretty sure the sinica seeds i got from amazon are dead as fk so it will be super ace to try with some different ones

 

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got another 6 tubs down today, this time; all scarified .. 

2017-03-20 21.45.53.jpg2017-03-20 21.46.04.jpg2017-03-20 21.46.15.jpg2017-03-20 21.46.27.jpg2017-03-20 21.46.50.jpg2017-03-20 21.47.02.jpg

damn, those E' gera' v'sikki' were so tiny I had to use a scissors to scarify them because my scratch-art tool just kept pinging them out of my grip across the carpet!

 

Gna have to wait until I move out the kid's pumpkins and sunflowers 2017-03-20 21.47.22.jpg before getting the viridis, fragilis

and nevadensis sowed..

 

That feltso good to sow some fresh sinic's , wish me luck eh? :) 

 

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wish you luck dude. yeah gerardianas are tiny the smallest so far

 

First viridis sprout!  well I thought I had posted here about sowing various species seed... almost sure... 

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sowing them into an individual small tube/pot to give them time to germinate and grow out a bit before disturbing is a good strategy:wink:

Edited by waterboy 2.0
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horsey I dont want to turn you down man, but we also need pictures like this I already showed , or the newer update, for example on sinica.. 

 

we need close ups on the scale-like leaves, which might/should be a little helping thjing in IDing, and confirming species - you know I am the doubtful guy, does what I bought fit the description? its very difficult to ID ephedras, so its kind of interesting and futile at the same time.. But NOT, if you got flowering and fruiting plants, then it can be doable to ID... 

 

I am thinking that observing the pattern of growth of our plants should be on our notes for each species... 

 

horsey

 

sure the general appearance of a plant is helpful, the general habit, but in those slow growing plants, the observation of the plant seems to have to be done in a wider period of time... a picture of what you just bought doesnt do.. does it have active growing tips?? my gerardianas (3) arrived happy and sprouting new shoots.. 

 

Ι am carefully taking them to more sun.. also planning to transplant mine, what did you do with yours horsey you put it in the ground as well? 

 

sinica closeup.jpg

e-sinica.jpg

Edited by sagiXsagi
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sorry man , yeah they're in the ground and there's zero growth on any of the species at all 

i think its maybe waay too cold in uk to have any growth yet outdoor, I was just tryna give better pics cuz I thought you meant the picture quality last time ,

-will watch for shoots

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