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  sikokianum seedlings - Zone 5
From: Kathryn <kmulhear at ix.netcom.com> on 1997.06.02 at 20:11:38(792)
We have a four year old sikokianum which just bloomed for the first time which
we grew from Park seed. It's splendid in Zone 5, southern Maine coastal area. When it
goes to seed, what should we do? Nothing? Let them drop or dry them and start them
indoors the following year?

We have a number of (Park) seedlings in peat cups and would be grateful for any
advice on what soil they thrive in. Also can we plant them in containers and bring them
inside in the winter?

Thanks, Kathryn and Emmanuel

From: grsjr at juno.com (George R Stilwell, Jr.) on 1997.06.03 at 06:48:58(794)
Kathryn,

Arisaema are not fussy about soil. Any woodland soil will do. If it forms
a seedhead with viable seed it will be a miracle. Arisaema require plants
of both sexes to mate and produce seed. They are perculiar in that they
change sex with age and with stressful conditions - neuter at birth, male
in youth, female with maturity and reverting to male when stressed.

Arisaema require a cold season to thrive, so bringing them indoors will
only work if you give them a 1 - 2 month cold treatment either outdoors
or in the fridge. A number of AEG (Arisaema Enthusiasts Group) members
get two years growth in a year with this treatment. The trick is to keep
them in bearly miost condition while cold - too moist, they rot, too dry
they die. There have been a number of postings on Arisaema-L describing
the exact process.

+More
From: JimMcClem at aol.com on 1997.06.03 at 09:41:55(795)
Kathryn and Emmanuel

First, I hope you won't be too disappointed if your A. sik. is a male (which
it probably is, since it's a young plant) and doesn't set seed. It takes both
a male and female plant to make babies. Most arisaema species are dioecious
(unisex), although a few are not. They change from male to female as they get
older and larger. (not necessarily wiser!)

If seeds are made, the fruit is similar to that of our native "Jack", except
that it is very late turning red, despite the fact that the plant blooms very
early. However, the green seedhead can be harvested when the plant is taken
down by frost, and the berries will eventually ripen and the seed is usually
OK. I'm talking Delaware here, but I would hope that you'd have similar
results in Maine.

+More
From: Greg Hood <ghood at psc.edu> on 1997.06.03 at 11:56:32(796)
Kathryn,
I also grew sikokianum from Park seed (3 or so years ago), and planted
them out in a woodland bed (Ohio - Zone 5). Last year one or two of them
bloomed for the first time; this year nearly all of them bloomed.
One that bloomed last year produced seed, though it took a long time
to ripen. After a few fall frosts I picked the seed cluster, thinking
that something would eat it since it was lying on the ground. I kept
the cluster in an unheated garage, then planted the seeds this spring
in a flat in the garage. When none had germinated after a couple of
months, the flat was moved into a warm greenhouse, and now many of the
seeds have sprouted. This year I think I will plant quite a few of the
seeds directly in the ground and see what happens.

So, in response to Ray's note, I'd have to say that this Arisaema can
be female in youth, so don't give up hope on getting fertile seeds soon.
--Greg

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