Hi Gang, This past month Science Magazine carried an article by Particia Berjak a professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Durban, South Africa). She has spent her career studying seed biology and has made major contributions in our understandings of germination, seed storage, seed dormancy, seed cell biology, etc. She has studied the ability of some seeds to remain viable for many years when stored dry and cool (orthodox seeds), and she has also provided insight into mechanisms of those seeds which do not store well and which are harmed by drying. Seeds that cannot be stored in a dehydrated state are called recalcitrant seeds, or unstorable seeds. They may have a shelf life of weeks, months, or perhaps a year or two. Recalcitrant seed present real problems in efforts to create seed banks because the seeds cannot be stored for years; orthodox seeds can be stored for many years under dry and cold (freezing) conditions. Dr. Berjak has made some progress understanding why seeds are recalcitrant as well as how botanists may overcome recalcitrancy. One imperative driving her research is that many plant species of South Africa have recalcitrant seeds (e.g., Crinum spp., most palms, avocado), and the country uses seed banking as one way to preserved its flora including agricultural plants and plants used for healing. I have placed the article online, and will leave it a while for those of you wishing to read it. It is great reading because it tells about science in a country that is home to many bulb species, and because it describes Dr. Berjak's ongoing efforts to solve a mystery of biology. Protector of the Seeds: Science, Jan. 2005 vol. 307:47-49. http://members.aol.com/PlantStudy/seedarticle.pdf Cordially, Conroe Joe Daytime 70-75 F, nights 45-50 F, no precipitation for over 3 days.