Haemanthus barkerae seed germination

Leo A. Martin leo@possi.org
Sat, 22 Mar 2014 15:30:18 PDT
Nhu wrote

> It doesn't hurt to keep them until you see them shrivel...I've only seen
> this in Crinum where they refuse to germinate and then just die.

in response to Ken, who wrote

>> I harvested 8 seeds last December, off my Haemanthus barkerae bulb which
>> produced two separate blooms 3 months earlier, in September.  Two of the seeds
>> germinated and produced leaves almost immediately ... but the other seeds have yet to
>> do so.  The remaining seeds themselves seem to appear healthy, plump and solid and
>> unaffected by fungi or molds.  I've kept them moist, in bright light but not direct
>> sunlight, outdoors this past very mild winter here in San Diego.  Should I continue to
>> wait and give them a chance at germination?  Should seeds of this species be
>> completely covered, for better germination?

I have seen a fair number of fleshy amaryllid seed from many genera never sprout, though
looking healthy on arrival, while their siblings grow actively. I have never dissected
the seeds to see whether they had embryos. Perhaps these seeds have had the endosperm
nucleus fertilized but not the embryo nucleus.

Cycads are only very distantly related to flowering plants, and have a different seed
strategy, but it is common for some Cycadales genera to form what appear to be
fully-developed seeds that lack embryos.

By the way, Ken, I don't think it's a good idea to cover fleshy amaryllid seed.

Leo Martin
Phoenix Arizona USA

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