Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Adansonia digitata (Baobab), Laburnum watereri, and Mystery Seeds

Today I received my next batch of seeds! I was surprised that they arrived in only about 8 days from Australia. When I order seeds from the United States it usually takes about four weeks to clear the border.

The first set of seeds is Adansonia digitata (African Baobab). Three of the eleven seeds I received clearly would not germinate. This was obvious from visual inspection but I floated the seeds in water and the same three were the only seeds to float. Afterwards I tried ripping open those three seeds with my hands and it was quite easy so I threw them out. For the remainder of the seeds I boiled some water in a kettle and then poured it over them for about 30 seconds in a collander. I then placed them in water to soak overnight and I'll plant them tomorrow. The soil will be about 50% sand as good drainage is essential.

The next seed variety is Laburnum vossii (Laburnum watereri, Goldenchain Tree). I have found a lot of conflicting information on germinating these plants. These seeds are small but have hard coats. They would be very difficult to scarify so I'm going to try soaking them for several days. The adult plant resembles Wisteria but in the form of a tree. It is a very beautiful plant that is covered with yellow flowers throughout late spring and early summer. I'm going to use a general potting mix

The last few seeds are mystery seeds. I think they may be Trachycarpus fortunei (Chinese Windmill Palm), but they are atleast five years old and may have extremely poor germination. I should be able to identify the actual species when they sprout. I'm going to use a general potting mix with about 1/3 sand.

The seeds soaking (baobab left, mystery centre, laburnum right).

1 comment:

  1. New Events!
    I ordered 20 Adansonia grandidieri (Grandidier's Baobab) seeds off of ebay from a dealer in Austin, Texas here in the states. Got the seeds in a couple of days, and right away I noticed that they are much larger than the Adasonia Digitata seeds and are lighter in colour.

    For pre-seeding germination preparation I followed your method pretty closely. I boiled water, and poured this water over the seeds (30seconds), in addition to soaking the seed in the boiling water for about 5 seconds. After this I soaked the seeds in hot water, just having the tap all the way to the hot side, and placed the seeds under a UV flood lamp for a night and day cycle (24 hours total). While soaking initially none of the seeds sank, which dampened my spirits; however, when I checked them the next day (about 16 hours) I noticed 5 sank. I'm assuming due to the relatively large size of the seeds that their density is less than that of water's.

    Regardless, I planted them all in a soil mixture of: 1/2 sand, 1/4 potting soil, 1/8 manure, and 1/8 cacti mix/bedding. Also I had a layer of rocks on the bottom of the long trough pot I used (which has 2 drainage holes on its bottom, very much like the one you used for your Adeniums). I sowed the seeds about 1 inch deep and thoroughly watered the soil. I placed the pot in a incubator set at 32 C in the afternoon, Day 0.

    The next day, Day 1, I checked around the same time and didn't notice any growth and didn't add any water. The incubator I'm using keeps in moisture so the humidity is quite high, and I haven't added a light source... yet.

    Day 2, I checked the seeds around the same time as Day 1 and didn't notice any growth breaking the surface. I got a little curious so I dug to one of the seeds at the far edge of the potting trough. VICTORY! This seed has already sprouted albeit very small. I didn't check any more of the seeds so as not to disturb them. I watered the seeds and placed them back in the incubator.

    I'm going to head back to the incubator tomorrow and see if any break the surface, and if so add a light source; however, I had a few questions, if you would be so kind to enlighten me. One, when using a bulb does it have to produce UV rays? Some glasses block out UV rays, but when it comes to green houses I guess I don't know what is used. Two, how often did you water your Baobabs? I was thinking about every two days give them a thorough watering? Any opinions?

    Airric (Castor)


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