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  A. kiusianus germination
From: "Randy Story" story at caltech.edu> on 2002.09.25 at 03:23:36(9451)

I just received some of Harry Witmore's Amorphophallus kiusianus seeds
(thanks Harry!) and am curious about their germination. The article on
Amorphophallus cultivation (Hetterscheid and Ittenbach, Aroideana issue 19
or online at http://www.aroid.org/genera/amorphophallus/amcult.html) states
that fresh Amorphophallus seed usually germinates in 1-3 weeks except for A.
henryi and A. kiusianus. I also checked in the archives where a couple
people reported 2 year germination times for A. kiusianus.

This is slow. Has anyone ever tried speeding up germination in any way,
such as by using Giberellic acid (a plant hormone, for those who might be
curious)? Or do I just need to learn patience, somehow...?

If anyone knows of anything, even unsuccessful attempts, I would be curious.
It sounds that for most other Amorphophallus species there is little reason
to try to speed things up. Are there methods used with any other aroids?

I do have giberellic acid and I will do the experiment unless someone can
suggest something better.


From: "Petra Schmidt" petra at plantdelights.com> on 2002.09.25 at 16:15:30(9452)
Hey Randy...collect the berries as soon as they ripen and soak them in water
overnight, clean them off, and sow them...expect germination within a few
weeks...easy as pie.

From: "Randy Story" story at caltech.edu> on 2002.09.26 at 00:22:03(9457)

Any idea of what you do that might be different? Freshness, soaking,
temperature (are they outdoors?). Perhaps germination inhibitor(s) leach
out by soaking??

I ask because everything else I've found seems to suggest a long germination
time for this species, including two posts on this list that I found in the
archive. I just noticed that both of them are from Alan Galloway, in 1997
and 2001, reporting germination times of 21 months and 29 months
respectively. There was apparently simultaneous germination of a batch of
seeds in each case. Any idea what's up?

I'm happy to hear that it shouldn't take 2 years!



From: "Petra Schmidt" petra at plantdelights.com> on 2002.09.26 at 14:17:30(9461)
We've all discussed this many times before, Randy, well, maybe moreso on the
arisaema-l list group than on aroid-l, but the water soak works just as well
with amorphs than it does with arisaemas. The key is collecting the berries
as soon as they ripen and soaking them in water to break down the seed
coat/inhibitors, and making sure the seeds are clean when sown. Seeds are
sown inside in a propagation house here at PDN.
Expect longer germination periods if the seeds/berries are sent to you,
meaning, these are usually not as fresh and have already begun drying off.
That's not a problem at all in most cases; most will germinate within a few
months or longer. Much easier to collect, soak, and clean them right away
which you can do only if you have the plants in your own collection to work
Keep us posted on the germination methods you use...

From: "Randy Story" story at caltech.edu> on 2002.09.27 at 17:33:53(9463)
Thanks Petra,

Since Harry sent me three seeds, I have planted one without any treatment
and soaked the other two overnight, one in 100 ppm giberellic acid, the
other in distilled water. It sounds like it might be too late for the
soaking step, but maybe the seed will "think" it's just been through
seasonal heavy rains. Hopefully rot won't set in! I'll let you know if I
have any success.

I guess I'm just impatient and a even a few months seems like a long time.
I've learned to deal with dormancy of tubers, though. I think.


From: "Harry Witmore" harrywitmore at witmore.net> on 2002.09.28 at 16:55:14(9465)
Since I was the source of the seeds let me explain exactly why they were not
sent in berry. All I sent them to have already heard it but if you have
small children or even grandchildren (I got these), you will be interested.
I had quite a few if these berries, 60 I guess. I took about half for myself
and offered the rest to the group. I cleaned and soaked mine per Petra's
advice and left the rest to ripen in place.

I decided it was time to offer the rest because they all seemed ripe. I sent
out the note and got a great response. So, my plan was to go out Monday
morning and begin to send them out. I left them to be picked Monday.
Grandkids came over Sunday and played in the garden while I made supper.

I went out Monday to pick the berries. To my surprise they had all succumbed
to finger blight and were no where to be seen. As they day go brighter I
went back out and began scanning the ground for seeds, berries, anything I
could find. I began to locate seeds that had already been extracted from the
berries. I collected about 15 of these. The more I searched I began to find
a large number of berries buried in the ground close to the parent plant.
They were all intact and I saved these for the folks that wanted them
outside the US. I washed the others and packed them in sphagnum. I shipped
them out as soon as I got addresses.

They never had a chance to dry out since it had rained Sunday night. Turns
out the grandkids had so much fun with me planting 4 o'clock seeds they
decided to expand and these Amorph berries were too tempting and they
squeezed some out on the ground and the rest they dug a hole and 'planted'

So if you have young kids around make sure you protect yourself from this
kind of 'finger blight'.

Harry Witmore

From: StroWi at t-online.de (StroWi) on 2002.09.29 at 20:48:00(9470)

that was really a VERY nice report!

I can imagine the kids having fun and helping Grandpa to do this laborous planting of the seeds.....

Reminds me very much of my own kids, aged 4 3/4 and 2 3/4; I always freeze with horror when I hear them in my "Wintergarten" where they are not allowed to go unattended.

I always thought, that it would be over when they will be grown up (and will have left the house...),
but your mail opended, my eyes...
...there might be progenies......

With deep sympathy,


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