Last updated April 24, 2009
The first seedling is a Ghost Pine (Pinus sabiniana). We found the seed in March while visiting my parents' graves in St. Paul's cemetery in Chicago Park, CA. The seed, still in the cone (which in itself is impressive), was in the initial stages of germinating. What's impressive is the size of the seedling--it's planted in a standard one gallon nursery pot.
The second is an unidentified plant. I found the berries in western Colusa County, California in October 2007. I extracted the seeds, germinated them in baggies, and planted the germinants into paper pots in the spring of 2008. When after several months nothing emerged I started dumping the paper pots. However I found upon close examination they had produced healthy roots. The remaining pots were left outside next to the house where they were exposed to weather this last winter down to approximately -10°F. However, in the last couple of weeks (April 2009), they began producing above ground growth, as seen in the picture.