Scadoxus nutans

Martin Grantham
Tue, 08 Aug 2006 10:32:11 PDT

Before I share my experience with S. nutans, let me note for anyone on 
the list interested in purchasing fresh seed of S. nutans, I've noticed 
that is offering it for sale at a reasonable price.
I've been growing Scadoxus nutans for 5 or 6 years and in my experience 
plants can hold their fruit a year or more. Mature plants carry numerous 
old flower stalks with fruit at various stages. They eventually turn a 
bright orange-red, but  the seed inside has matured much earlier and 
invariably has already germinated within the tough sac-like inner ovary 
wall by the time fruit are red, so S. nutans could be called 
"viviparous." No doubt the fruit are waiting for an animal to consume 
them and the tough inner ovary sac would get them through its gut 
intact.  I have found it best to harvest seed before the fruit are red, 
at perhaps 4 or 5 months from flowering, or when the fruit is very hard, 
without any give when squeezed. Seed are viable once the endosperm is 
solid. By the time the fruit are red the embryo has become very 
convoluted within the ovary and is more difficult to extract without damage.
Some time ago I contacted you regarding seed set in S. cinnabarina and 
it is my observation that the clones in cultivation are female sterile 
as styles never elongate into the "anther zone." If anyone has produced 
seed on this species, I would be very interested to hear of it. I have 
used the pollen in attempting hybrids with results pending. I have not 
been able to obtain/exchange pollen from owners of potentially different 
genetic individuals to see if self incompatibility is the problem.

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