I love to discover signs of life in barren places.
Oxblood Lillies, within the plant community, are known to be sterile. Barren. No signs of life within it’s seed.
It seemed odd that God would create a plant that produced a sterile seed. It just didn’t make any logical sense. After digging Oxbloods for over 20 years, I’ve found that some bulbs were elongated, and some bulbs were round. I just chalked it up to heat factors within the soil, lack of water, over crowding or neglect. Some of these ‘found’ bulbs formed seed pods, similar to Rain Lillies. Random Oxbloods also began to magically appear in places I did not plant them. Squirrels? Moles? Lawnmowers?
I was curious. Could the barren Oxblood Lily seeds actually contain life?
I took two very moist paper towels, and a handful of black seeds from a dried seedpod. I also took a bulbet from a rare dwarf Crinum, just for fun. The seeds need to be fully dried before picking. Most seedpods seem to wilt away before advancing,. If conditions are right, the luscious, big fat seedpod will produce 20 or more black sliver seeds.
Place the black seeds between paper towels. I kept my conditions very moist. I kept my cookie tray with seeds in front of a window….I figured the seeds would like that. I opened the paper towels daily and checked for signs of life.
Germination happened in about one and a half weeks. I was so excited!!
Just think………If you have Oxblood Lillies, you might have some of these old, reseeding beauties in your yard too. Check for your own signs of life next time a nice seedpod forms.
Signs of life are everywhere…….even in the barren, sterile Oxblood Lily.