Seed ripeness

Park T. Owen, Knoxville, TN - Zone 6B/7A PTOWEN7844 at AOL.COM
Sat Aug 23 01:41:55 CEST 1997


The only species  I've had experience with is A. triphyllum, but based on
five or six seed heads in the past few years that were either broken off, or
were ones I had to pick early, seeds do continue to ripen if harvested early.
I've pick seed heads that were completely green (no yellow or orange color)
and after several months the berries turned red and appeared to have viable
seed.  I didn't keep records of those seeds in particular, but they appeared
like the rest which had ripened on the stalk.  As I recall, the berries
picked early seemed to have fewer seeds per berry, usually one.

One year I tried to continue to nourish a stalk which had been cut early by
standing it up in a glass of sugar water which was changed frequently.  The
stalk lasted quite a while, but eventually rotted.  I didn't notice any
improvement in development of viable seed from this method as compared to
allowing green seed heads to dry slowly in my garage on a cardboard tray with
no other treatment.

My advice is to allow the seed to ripen on the stalk as long as possible, but
if a green seed stalk is detached for any reason, allow it to dry slowly in a
realtively cool room out of direct light.  It may take longer to ripen, but
you should be able to harvest some seed.  Other species may vary.

Good luck.

Park T. Owen, Powell, TN - Zone 6B-7A

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