Crinum seed question ?

Alani Davis
Tue, 07 Feb 2012 05:48:56 PST
Hi Steve -
I definitely have been there. This is probably too much information
but in attempt to be clear, I am going to risk over doing it. Each
embryo can only produce one radical, so a single seed can only sprout
once. However, this is tricky with Crinum because the fleshy seeds can
be so tight fused together that what appears to be a single seed is in
fact more than one seed and in such a case it will appear as if a
single seed is producing multiple radicals. There is something else to
keep in mind however which is the wiry root-like structure that
appears from a Crinum seed is almost not root. The very tip of the
projection is the radical which will form the basal plate from whence
the roots will grow. This portion appears as a slightly different
colored tip to the projection. The rest of the the elongating stem
like structure that appears to be a root is actually a modified
cotyledon and homologous to the first embryonic leaves. As you have
probably seen the first true leaves emerge from a slit in this stem
after the seed is most shriveled. This generally after the radical has
been worked into the substrate by the elongating modified cotyledon
and the area above the radical had begun to swell forming the bulb as
nutrients are transferred from the seed. Depending on the species the
actual roots will begin to grow from the basal plate at different
points. Some species grow extensive true roots quickly like Crinum
luteolum while others form a nice bulb but few roots after the seed is
totally dried up. So back back to you question. When the root it
snapped off of a Crinum seed, it is a little more that it appears. I
don't know if it is possible for a single Crinum seed to have multiple
embryos which might allow it to produce addition radicals, but
otherwise it should not be able to do that.

Alani Davis
Tallahassee, Florida

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