I.D.-ing Your Flowering Stocks

“How can you tell between single and double stocks? I grow them for my greenhouse, but customers will not buy the singles because they are not as fragrant.~M.”


When double flowering stock (Matthiola annua) seeds germinate, generally only half the seedlings produce double flowers, and the other half will have single flowers.   Doubles are usually the most vigorous seedlings and are lighter in color than the singles.

In general, double stocks are more fragrant than single stocks.

Ball Holland has used an innovative method for identifying single stock at the cotyledon stage and replacing them with double stock.  Digital imaging is used to identify single flowering stock. Once they have been identified, a mechanical arm pulls single flowering stock and empty cells out of trays. In a separate area, a mechanical arm pulls double flowering stock from multiple trays to produce a full tray. Technology used in this process makes it expensive.  However, what makes it economically viable is that growers obtain a premium price for double stock. They are able to make enough of a profit to cover the expense of replacing single flowering stock. Because trays are filled with double flowering stock early in the production cycle, they do not waste bench space or time growing single stock beyond seedling emergence.



© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

2 thoughts on “I.D.-ing Your Flowering Stocks

  1. Hi – many thanks for this informational posting. Please accept this, my English is not the best. French is my native tongue but I am working on getting down English. Peace!

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