Tropaeolum speciosum seed

Johannes-Ulrich Urban
Mon, 30 Jul 2012 14:36:00 PDT
Hello Gene,

If the seed is dark blue and comes off easily it is ripe. I recommend
removing the pulp under running water (a very messy job) as it may
contain agents that inhibit germination. It may as well contain agents
that promote germination or maybe the blue pulp serves as an attraction
to animals which eat the berry without digesting the seed. Some seeds
need to pass through a host's stomach and all the rest of it to
I am writing this as Tropaeolum seed is notoriously difficult to
germinate. If there is enough seed I would split it into several
portions and treat them differently. Ideally it would be great if the
results would be shared.

I have sown seed of Tropaeolum pentaphyllum ssp megapetalum last autumn,
 the berries look identical to those of T. speciosum. I always remove
the pulp as it tends to promote mildew in the seedpot. None germinated
immediately and the pot was kept in my frost free but cold greenhouse. 
This early summer I had a number of seedlings that came up when my
greenhouse got warm above 25°C.  A second flush of seedlings came after
it warmed up again after a cooler period.
This makes me recommend sowing Tropaeolum seed immediately and then let
the pot somewhere safe at fluctuating tempertures so the seeds can
choose the best moment to germinate.
One single seed of Tropaeolum tuberosum ssp sylvestre germinated this
way after 5 years (sown singly in a jiffy pot in a plastic bag)
..... so never throw your "dead" seed away too early.

bye for today,  Uli

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