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  Orontium seed germination
From: Adam Black epiphyte1 at earthlink.net> on 2006.05.12 at 18:23:29(14175)
Does anyone have any tips for growing Orontium aquaticum from seed? I
know the seeds germinate within the fruits, float for a while after
becoming detatched from the infructescense, and then sink, but that is
about all I know. A few of the fruits that I opened up had already
started to germinate, so I assume they are ready? Do I need to peel the
tough covering off the seeds, or does this protective covering need to
stay intact and the seedling will penetrate through it? These are very
different from Anthurium and other Aroid seeds I am used to with a soft
fruit that the seeds are simply squeezed out of.

Right now I have a pot filled 3/4 full of soil, submerged in a cattle
trough so that there is a couple of inches (which equals something like
several centimeters - but this in an American aroid!) of water over the
soil line, but the rim of the pot is above the water line to contain the
floating unpeeled fruits. Does this sound like I am on the right track?
Would it be better if the seeds were in wet but not submerged
conditions? Any other suggestions would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

Adam

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From: "?goston J?nos" agoston.janos at citromail.hu> on 2006.05.12 at 23:07:06(14177)
Dear Adam,

I received this year a cuple of seeds from a BG
(=Botanical Garden). They were packed in wet sphagnum. There were allready 1-3
leaves on the fruit. So I think you should not remove anything.
This is only my opinion. I hope somebody will
conform or confute this...

Jani

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From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at msn.com> on 2006.05.13 at 05:03:41(14179)
Reply-To : Discussion of aroids
Sent : Saturday, May 13, 2006 1:23 AM
To : Discussion of aroids
Subject : [Aroid-l] Orontium seed germination

Dear Adam,

I cultivated Orontium from a collected adult plant a few years ago, and had
it bloom and produce seeds which I grew in cultivation to adulthood. Dr.
Croat photographed my plants of Orontium in bloom during a visit to my home
back when. All that you report re: the structure of the seeds, etc (below)
is correct.
I refer you to an article I wrote and which was published in Aroideana Vol.
16 in 1993, ''Experiencing Urospathas", in which I suggest ways to
sucessfully grow aquatics for long periods without the 'soil' rotting and
killing the plant by being immersed under water. In case you do not have
access to this article, basically the method consists of using a
half-and-half mix of heavy/coarse sand with a little leaf mulch or other
compost/soil mixed in. However---this is placed above a 3" layer of larva
stones, crock, etc. placed in the bottom of the pot. The soil-mix is placed
on top of the stones, and the seed or plant potted in this 'soil'. The pot
is then placed in a large saucer or other container which contains no more
than 2" of water, and so the 'soil' mix is kept ABOVE and out of the actual
water while being kept constantly wet. Water these pots/plants from above
till you observe roots growing out of the pot`s drain holes into the saucer
of water, this is super-important as at first the soil-mix is never wet
enough from just absorbsing water from below for some aquatics until this
happens. Change out the water in the saucer regularly/weekly. Fert. w/ a
VERY weak liquid fert. on a regular basis.
In a few weeks, when you check your pot of 'soil' that you have submerged
in your cattle trough, below the 'soil' surface will stink like a rotting
body, and no plant can grow in this. The late and GREAT Dr. Monroe Birdsey
did grow some aquatics (Typhonodorum, Urospatha, Lasia) in pots that were
completely submerged in his concrete fish tanks, but his pots were of pure
sand, and their fert. consisted of the fishes waste products. He confided
that on occasion he placed a fert. tablet or two buried deep in the sand in
these pots, he knew which brand of tablet to use which did not poison the
water and so kill his fish!
For germinating/growing the larger seeds of Orontium, don`t peel the seeds,
and I`d use the same method/pot that you have, but change out the soil for
mainly coarse sand, and place the surface of the sand in the pot a tad above
the surface of the water till they root. I believe in nature the seeds
drop into water and float for a while till they wash up on the sides of the
body of water, where they take root. Those that sink before they 'hit the
beach', as it were, may not make it! By the way, the above method works
well with Montrichardia, Typhonium and Typhonodorum, all have simular seeds
and germination stratagies
Good Luck, I hope this helps.

Julius

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From: Adam Black epiphyte1 at earthlink.net> on 2006.05.13 at 11:28:24(14181)
Thanks for your reply, Julius. I am familiar with your method for
growing aquatic aroids in pots that you have described before (and use
it on my Cyrtospermas), but always assumed that was more geared for
those species that prefer swampy but not regularly submerged ground as
opposed to those sp. that seem to be predominantly emergent aquatics. I
realize that both types of habitat preference experience both dry and
wet extremes, but it seems like Orontium prefers to be grown as an
emergent (at least I have never seen it growing in unsubmerged places
during times of "normal" water levels). I had not considered your method
as I figured it might be too exposed and thought more water might be
required and more natural for germination of seedlings. It sounded like
you are recommending growing this plant to maturity using your potted
method once the seedlings are established (as opposed to germination),
but these are intended to be planted out as large display colony in the
water gardens at the botanical gardens where I work around the single
plant we currently have, rooted in the bottom sediments. I am also
starting a hardy aroid garden featuring terrestrial as well as aquatic
aroids, where I intend to include some Orontium as well.

In my original message I had not specified the components of my "soil" I
was using. I was using a 50/50 mix of peat and coarse sand, the same mix
we use for propagating water lilies. The cattle trough (also used for
water lily propagation) has been set up for years and is biologically
active (including fish, amphibians and various invertebrates) and
includes a pump to gently circulate water around.

Thanks again for all your help!

Adam

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From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at msn.com> on 2006.05.13 at 15:18:25(14185)
Reply-To : Discussion of aroids
Sent : Saturday, May 13, 2006 6:28 PM
To : Discussion of aroids
Subject : Re: [Aroid-l] Orontium seed germination

Dear Adam,

Based on the additional info. which you supplied, you might want to
germinate the seeds as I described, and once firmly rooted in the substrate,
the pots, containing the mix you describe, can be submerged completely
underwater a little at a time with the tops of the leaves just 'floating' at
the waters surface till they are like the ones at Monroe`s place used to be
in his fish ponds. I`m certain that you will be sucessful with your plan!
Good luck!
The Orontiums where I collected my original plant were growing in black soil
in extremely shallow water at the edge of a slowly flowing, very shallow
stream near Sebring, Florida, and in the dry would have been out of the
water.
Good Growing,

Julius

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From: Adam Black epiphyte1 at earthlink.net> on 2006.05.14 at 21:03:28(14188)
Thanks again, Julius! By the way, I never knew Orontium ranged as far
south as Sebring, but now see there are records of them all the way down
to Collier County on the gulf side and Martin County on the east coast.
I have slogged around in nearly every portion of the state and never
found them anywhere except in very localized populations in the very
northern portion of the peninsula.

Thanks!

Adam

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