Jim McKenney
Sun, 21 Mar 2010 06:14:03 PDT
Greg, search the archives, there was a productive thread on Symplocarpus
cultivation about two years ago – maybe sometime around late February or
March 2007. 


When you say “they” rotted, what are “they”? Do you mean that the
ungerminated seed rotted or do you mean that the seed germinated and the
seedlings rotted?


Symplocarpus in my experience is best grown from fresh seed. Seed ripens
here in mid-autumn. By November the old plants are often surrounded by the
big seeds on the ground unless there has been strong water flow through the
site. The seeds begin to germinate right away. 


Harry Phillips in his Growing And Propagating  Wildflowers (my idea of an
excellent gardening book)  reports that the seed does not respond to usual
storage methods. Phillips reported that if dried, the  seed coat dehydrated
and the embryos shriveled; if stratified, the seed broke down into a watery
mass.  I don’t know if anyone has come up with a way of storing the seed
successfully. I have a vague recollection that there was something in the
old thread which either contradicted that or had a better solution, but I
don’t remember more. 


If your import regulations allow you to import moist, germinated seed,
contact me in October to remind me and I’ll try to collect some fresh seed
for you. It’s a cool plant. 


Jim McKenney

Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone

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