'viable' seed

Ernie O'Byrne nargsbs at EFN.ORG
Sun Sep 24 20:18:02 CEST 2000

Anne, and others,

Last year I got a nice half of a full seedhead of Arisaema sikokianum from a
generous donor for the nursery. They were uncleaned and I immediately cleaned them
to sow. I was dismayed that only about five of the seeds were large and obviously
viable. The rest were various sizes ranging from about 1.5mm to 1mm and 'dished'
on the surfaces, sometimes once, sometimes several times. I sowed the large seeds
in a pot to themselves and sowed the others with no hope of success (well, I must
have had some hope to sow them at all), thinking that they were certainly duds.
Well, they came up like grass. I had sown them thickly, not imagining that they
would actually all come up. The oddest thing was that there was no discernible
difference between those and the large seed seedlings.

So, the bottom line is, don't assume too much. Try and see what the results are.


Anne Chambers wrote:

> <snip>
> Well, I'm no expert and I'm sure Ray will put in his tuppenceworth if he
> thinks I'm off the mark (please, Ray!), but generally I find it's fairly
> obvious. When you pick the seedhead and start to open the individual
> berries, if they contain viable seed, each seed is a good size. Berries
> may vary in the number of seeds contained but usually the seed size is
> consistent - maybe 3 to 4 mm in diameter for larger species like
> consanguineum. If the seed is not viable, the berries are usually
> smaller and when you squash them, all you get is a tiny undeveloped
> 'seed'.


Ernie O'Byrne
Northwest Garden Nursery
86813 Central Road
Eugene, OR 97402-9284
Eugene, Oregon is officially USDA Zone 8a, but we can generally grow only Zone 7
Member of NARGS, AGS, SRGC, HPS, Meconopsis Group

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