Seeds from bulb plant?

A while back I requested ID on this plant:
http://tinypic.com/r/214wmjm/5
and response was Tulip.
It is doing well in pot, and producing what look like seeds. I am collecting these, and before I put time into growing them out, can I ask: Does a bulb plant like Tulip produce viable seeds?
Inquiring minds...
So Calif Coastal
TIA
HB
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Higgs Boson wrote: ...

yes, they can, it depends upon the genetics of the plants, some do well if they are cross-bred but don't self-fertilize well, others do just fine with self-pollination.
the seeds that you can see through that are like superfine tissue paper with no nub (germ) visible in the flat part are not going to be viable. they blow away quite easily if you breath on them.
the seeds that have some bulk to them and the nub in the middle are the best bet.
to get them to sprout it is often a requirement for a cold damp period. some people use a fridge with damp peat moss, sand and perlite mix. must not dry out or they shrivel up and are gone to nothing quickly. after sprouting then put them in a loose soil mix and keep at least moist. damping off can be a problem, so the right surface layer of the soil is important. some people use grit for this.
the sprouts will grow and look like a small chives or blades of grass the first season (about six weeks). below ground the sprout is putting a root downwards to make a tiny bulb. end of the first season the bulb is about the size of grain of rice and looks like a bulb in miniature. very cute!
each year the bulb will get bigger and in some species will keep dropping down further to reach the right place for your climate. a flower can show up anywhere from three to seven years later (varies by species and growing conditions).
from my rather scattered efforts without a dedicated place to sprout or keep them i'll probably get 1 of 300 seeds to adulthood. someone with more space, better soil and equipment could probably do quite well and get this to 1 of 20 or better.
good luck,
songbird
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Wow, thanks, Songbird, for that detailed look at growing bulbs from seed. Esp thanks for seed ID. And how interesting, visualizing that tiny bulb getting bigger by the year! Dunno if I have enuff years left to wait out this process! But should be fascinating if I decide to embark on the journey.
HB
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Higgs Boson wrote: ...

you're welcome. :) i like tulips and playing around with cross breeding.
i moved two large patches in the late fall (with roots and sprouts showing and all). yesterday i saw that those new patches are coming up just fine. so while it isn't the best time to do things, it isn't the end of the world for them either...
songbird
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Higgs Boson wrote:

...
...
here is a picture for grins:
http://www.anthive.com/flowers/100_4123_Tiny_Tulips.jpg
songbird
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On 3/5/12 12:00 AM, Higgs Boson wrote:

Yes, that is how new varieties are created.
Bulbs ususally form pods with the seeds inside. You should wait until the pod starts to dry on the plant before havesting. You might better wait until the pod starts to split. If you don't wait, the seeds will not be sufficiently mature to sprout.
Only allow a very few pods to mature. Seed formation often weakens the bulb and might inhibit next year's flowers.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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Thanks to you, too, David. Yes, I have been waiting till the pods start to dry. Will keep an eye out for splitting, and not allow too many to mature.
HB
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On 3/5/12 6:21 PM, Higgs Boson wrote:

In some cases, bulbs will actually reseed themselves. I have a bed of grape hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum) in my back yard under a peach tree. The flower stalks are short and very numerous, far too numerous for me to dead-head them which would require me to go through the bed on my hands and knees with my nose only inches from the ground. I now have grape hyacinth coming up in other places, even in the decomposed granite paths that wend through my garden.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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David E. Ross wrote: ...

those are beautiful plants and quite a few nice varieties now with different colors, but like you've found out, they spread via seed pretty easily.
i only have a few patches of them and am trying not to have too many more because they do crowd out other plants from growing through because the bulbs get so tightly packed among each other.
for many of the other spring bulb plants i've had seeds at times, from crocus, regular big hyacynths, daffodils and even iris (the dutch bulb type and also the regular bearded kinds). the crocus seems to easily grow from seeds, i always find sprouts in the gardens. very tiny blades that look like grass or chives again, but looking closely sorts it out.
oftentimes it is rather hard to believe that such a long stalk can come from such a small start. the tiny crocus bulbs can be 1-2mm across.
songbird
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***Surprised they would be happy under a tree which would shade them, at least in summer before tree loses leaves. Have I misunderstood something?

Sounds like good exercise <g>
I now have > grape hyacinth coming up in other places, even in the decomposed granite

***Now THAT is interesting!. Mind saying how many years this has taken to develop?
HB

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On 3/6/12 1:27 PM, Higgs Boson wrote:

Yes, the grape hyacinths are under a tree, but it is not a large tree. In the summer, I get much more sunshine and hotter weather that you do. They seem to thrive with part shade.
They have been sharing space with primroses (Primula polyantha) for about 35 years.
--
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Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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When the petals on the tulip blooms begin to wilt and fall of the stem you can start the cleanup process. The blooms widen and one by one the petals begin to fall off until just the stem, topped off by the seed pod remain. Instead of cutting off the stems on the bulbs, just remove any seed heads on your tulips that were pollinated during the spring. Unless you're engaged in a tulip hybridizing program, and want to collect tulip seeds, there's no need for your tulips to produce a seed pod. In fact, your tulip bulbs will focus their energy on feeding the seed pod to produce viable seeds negatively affecting next year's bloom. Deadhead any tulip seed pods for healthier bulbs and more blooms next year.
--
allen73


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Higgs Boson wrote: ...

tomorrow i should be able to get a few pictures of newly sprouted tulip seeds. i noticed a few in the pots i put out last summer. nothing happened as it was too warm, but now that they went through a winter they've sprouted.
will post a link when i get the picture sent to the website.
songbird
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Higgs Boson wrote: ...

the pics i took today turned out:
these are the new seedlings, some with seed still attached. the one in the back with the seed flat to the camera shows a well formed seed. compared to the seedling in the foreground that is edgewise to the camera you can see how thin the seeds are.
http://www.anthive.com/flowers/100_6090_Tulip_Seedlings.jpg
the second year tulips are shown here just sprouting out. for scale of reference they are planted in pea gravel so those are not rocks but pea sized pebbles.
http://www.anthive.com/flowers/100_6084_Tulip_Seedlings_2nd_Year.jpg
songbird
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Bird, you take a helluva picture. My compliments.
HB
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Higgs Boson wrote: ...

aw, shucks. :) thanks.
songbird
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