Monday, February 17, 2014

Why don't I get seeds from madder? Miksi krappini eivät tee siemeniä?

Minulla on nyt ollut krappia eli värimataraa kasvamassa useita vuosia, ja olen kerran kerännyt niistä juurisatoakin. Vanhimmat kasvit taitavat olla kuusi vuotta vanhoja, enkä tänä vuonna kylväkään lisää niitä, vaan jaan olemassa olevia juurakoita. Hyötykasviyhdistyksen nettiluettelossa näkyy olevan värimataran siemeniä, mutta saatavuutta ei ole vielä vahvistettu. Ruissalon kasvitieteellisestä puutarhasta niitä voi myös kysyä.
Olen kuitenkin ihmetellyt, että vaikka kasvini ovat jo vanhoja, niin vain kahtena kesänä (viime kesänä ja kesällä 2011, 2012 oli viileä kesä, ja silloin ne eivät kukkineet) niissä on ollut kukkia, enkä ole huomannut niissä kertaakaan siemeniä. Enkö vain huomaa (täysin mahdollista), vai eivätkö kukat pölyty, vai mistä kummasta voisi johtua, ettei niihin tule siemeniä? Viime kesänä olisi luullut lämpösummankin riittäneen, koska kesä oli niin lämmin. Ylempi kuva, missä kukat ovat nupulla on otettu 18.7.2013 ja alempi kuva 13.8.2013. Onko kukaan onnistunut saamaan Suomessa siemeniä värimatarasta? Ainakin Ruissalossa se on onnistunut, koska olen sieltä aiemmin ostanut siemeniä. Olen ymmärtänyt ulkomaisesta värikasvikirjallisuudesta, että krappi ei aina tee siemeniä, mutta olisi mielenkiintoista tietää minkälaisia olosuhteita siementuotanto vaatii?

I have grown madder in my garden now for several years, and once harvested the roots for dyeing. My oldest plants are six years old (I think), and this year I'm not going to sow more of them, I just divide the older plants in the spring. In Finland Hyötykasviyhdistys sells madder seeds, but it is not sure yet, if they have them this year. Also the Turku Botanical Garden has sold madder seeds.

I have wondered that even though my plants are old and they have flowered only twice (last summer and summer 2011. Summer 2012 was not warm here and my madder didn't flower then), they have never produced seeds. Don't I notice the seeds (it's possible), or don't the flowers get pollinated, or why don't they produce seeds? Last summer was very warm so I would have thought that there was enough warmth for seeds to mature.The picture above is from July 17th and the picture below  from August 13th. Does anyone know what madder needs to produce seeds?

Tämän tutkimuksen mukaan krappi vaatii ristipölytyksen, eli todennäköisesti minulla ei kuki tarpeeksi monta eri kloonia olevaa krappia.

According to this, madder is self fertile, and I probably don't have enough different plants which are different clones of madder.


  1. I don't know either! I've been growing madder for 20 years, first in big pots and then in the garden, and I've never seen the actual seeds. It blooms quite frequently but that's all that happens. It's a mystery to me! But I've managed to expand the plot by dividing roots. That's how I got it from a friend in the first place.

  2. Last year was the first year I got seeds (4 years planting). There were only about 15 seeds from many more flowers. I think I might have tried to pollinate them with a paint brush, but I'm not sure. We had good sun last year and I think that helped a lot. I've had some branch cuttings root, but would also like to know how to produce more seeds.

  3. As far as I know Rubia really needs a lot of warmth to make seeds. I’ve had seeds when living in the South of France a few years ago, but they didn’t germinate at all. Traditionally in the Netherlands were there was a big madder industry in the past, they always did propagate the plant with the roots (in April/May).

  4. Thank you for the comments and advise! It is good to know this isn't only my problem. I thought that it may be that our summers are not warm enough, Marylene you must be right. I have now one madder plant in pot and I'm going to grow it in the greenhouse, so there is warmer, we'll see how that goes.
    It is easy to propagate from roots, once you have a plant to divide:)

  5. maybe it's not about warmth but about sunlight hours. i brought back some white ginger rhizomes from florida.they flower beautifully there. hre, and i'm on the med, the plants grow very well but have never flowered.

  6. Yes, it could be also the sunlight hours, and I have read somewhere that madder seeds ripen in October (if it's true), so maybe our summer is too short, too.

  7. My madder is three years old. No seeds so far. The heat of summer here is extreme--up to 45C this summer. I'll wait and see if I get seed this year!