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Yam Daisy (murnong) from seed


There are three species of native perennial root vegetable known as Yam Daisy (additionally known as Murnong), the one I’m rising is Microseris walteri.  

I’m advised that of the three, M walteri is the tastiest, and grows the biggest fattest roots with the least fiber.  Yam daisy was thought-about as one single species, then one species with
a number of totally different subspecies, now it’s thought-about to be three separate species (though there could also be extra lurking on the market).

Yam daisy was quite common round right here and was a staple meals previous to European settlement, however it is rather uncommon now.  Sadly the yam daisy has all however disappeared from a lot of its native vary.  I do know only a few individuals who have ever eaten yam daisy, and even much less who’ve grown it.  

I had been in search of yam daisy vegetation or seeds for just a few years however was by no means in a position to get it.  A 12 months or two in the past a really beneficiant grower buddy of mine requested if I might monitor down some yam daisy seeds for him.  He has given me loads of seeds over time so I put in some first rate effort and began to go searching on-line and ask round a bit extra significantly.  For some motive in all places has been offered out.  I discovered one place promoting 10 seeds for $8 (plus postage), however that value is absurd for one thing that’s meant to have low germination charges so I stored trying.

Yam Daisy seedlings germinating

Yam daisy is native to my space, and there are some rising not
greater than 50m from my home.  Sadly they’re on crown land, so I
cannot contact them.  I do not assume I’m even allowed to gather their
seed and not using a allow.  

I do know of a local plant nursery up the street who has yam daisy, sadly they aren’t promoting their vegetation as they’re increase inventory, plus they may not inform me which species that they had.

I discovered some yam daisy seeds on the market lately, they had been Microseris walteri.  I planted half of the seeds and posted the opposite half of the seeds to my buddy.  It took me just a few years, bit I lastly received him some seeds.

I’ve heard that yam daisy normally shows a germination charge of about 10%.  I planted a dozen seeds, and hoped that confidently I ought to get 2 or 3 of them to develop.  I figured from there I might construct up numbers in time.

I floor sowed the seeds in late winter, partially protected them from the heaviest frosts, and had 100% germination.  Each single seed germinated, even the smaller brown seeds that I assumed weren’t viable have germinated!  

My guess is recent seeds germinate effectively and germination drops off rapidly in older seed.  That is good to know.

Murnong seedlings – 100% germination from recent seeds

I do not actually know easy methods to develop yam daisy, however they’re native to this area so they need to survive.  Hopefully these develop effectively for me and produce seed in season. 

In the event that they develop for me and produce seed I’d like to perform a little yam daisy breeding to see if I can produce fatter roots, or sweeter roots, or typically improved vegetation.

I do not know how a lot (if any) genetic variety is in my inventory, however I
assume they’re utterly totally different to the native vegetation rising close to
by.  Because the native vegetation are so shut, and there are a lot of native pollinators right here, it’s cheap to imagine there will likely be some native pollen discovering its manner into my inventory.  That can introduce variety, and make breeding improved vegetation just a little simpler.

Given how absurdly tough yam daisy is to come back by, and the truth that they must be extra generally grown by their native residence vary, if I ever have any spare seed or further vegetation I’ll supply them by my on the market web page.  These seedlings are solely germinating and getting their first true leaves now, so I am unable to think about I’ll have something on the market overly quickly.

Replace 06 November 2021: my vegetation are about to ship up flower stalks.  They’re very younger, so I had anticipated this to nonetheless be a very long time off.

Yam daisy sending up flower stalk
Look intently, the vegetation on the fitting are sending up flower stalks

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