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  Dracunculus seedlings
From: "Malkmus, Bjoern" <malkmus at verwaltung.uni-mainz.de> on 1998.10.15 at 14:06:51(2694)
> I have 1 year old seedlings of Dracunculus canariensis. Can someone tell
> me if this plant goes dormant. I was waiting for them to go dormant
> before I pull them out of the pan they are currently growing in. If they
> don't go dormant, I will transplant them now.
>
> Thanks in advance
>
> Mike Bordelon
> Botany Greenhouse
> Smithsonian Institution
>

Hi Mike,
I wonder whether these are the seedlings from the seeds I send you
last year, are they ? Congratulations !

The experiences I made with this species are as follows:

1. Seedlings will not go dormant before their second year. So if
you planted them this spring, they will keep their leaves at least
until early summer next year and it is better not to interrupt them
while still growing. If you have to repot them, ok, but try to save
as many roots as possible, otherwise they WILL go dormant right now
and this might have a negative effect on them.
Sometimes seedlings won't take their dormancy until their third year,
but forcing them (by cutting water supply or very high temperatures)
after their first year will be ok anyway.

2. Even adult plants (when put in a cooler and half-shaded place and
with substrate being kept moist) don't go dormant. They will keep on
growing for more than 15 months before going dormant. This seems to
be the maximum growing period before their genes tell them to rest.
On the Canary Islands their growth depends on wheather, as soon as
they receive the first excessive rains in autumn (which all depend
on the trade winds) they start to grow until the medium falls too dry
in early summer. So usually they grow for about 9 months and
disappear for the rest of the year, yet even this depends on water.
On one occasion I saw new leaves at the end of August when it had
heavily rained before (which is very uncommon on the islands).

I hope that these information will match your question.

If you still have doubts, just contact me privately at:
malkmus@verwaltung.uni-mainz.de

Happy growing !

Bjorn Malkmus

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