A. franchetianum immature seeds

Jim McClements, Dover, DE z6 JimMcClem at AOL.COM
Thu Dec 19 01:36:03 CET 2002

In a message dated 12/18/02 8:09:58 AM, jahalve at MHTC.NET writes:

<< My Arisaema franchetianum had a large seed head and the plan was to dig
the plant and bring it indoors to see if the seed head would continue to
ripen potted up.  An unpredicted hard frost hit first.  (One of these
years I will rely on the calendar and quit procrastinating until the
weatherman's predictions indicate that I have to do something!)  I
potted the plant up and cut the damaged leaves off.  The seed head
didn't seem to change much over the next month.

After about a month, the seed head stalk withered and obviously no more
nutrients or whatever would be going to the seed head.  When the berries
started to shrivel a little, I opened them.  The seeds (1 per berry
except for 4 or 5 that had 2) were pearly white and fairly solid.  They
didn't appear as solid as I expect these seeds to be but I didn't
squeeze too hard to verify just how solid they were.  Anyway, I planted
them (50 or100?) and about 1 1/2 month later I have a dozen seedlings.
I expect more to emerge.  The rate of germination isn't good if only 20
or so emerge, but that is more than I expected.

I'm going to try this on more species that are late ripening, although
the goal will be to bring them indoors before the leaves are damaged by
cold weather.  Since the germination rate may be very low and the seeds
may not store well, I won't be sending any of these to the seed

Has anyone tried with some of these species to see how solid the seeds
need to be before they can be considered viable?  Can a non-scientist
like me squeeze a seed gently and if the insides don't spurt out, plant
it with some hope of germination?


If a seed is soft and breaks when squeezed, I would doubt that it's any good.
However, being "non-sqeezable" certainly doesn't guarantee fertility.

I think that the size and roundness of the seed are pretty good indicators.
Smallish, tapered seeds are less promising. Also. some folks rely on whether
the seed floats or sinks in a glass of water.

I would suggest that a good way to test is to take a sample, soak them in a
detergent solution for a few hours and then keep them in a damp towel, in a
"baggie" at room temperature. If they're fertile, you should start seeing
some sprouting in a few weeks. If they're not, they'll usually soften and rot
in the same time frame.


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