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  Re: Philodendron seeds
From: Tom Croat <croat at mobot.org> on 1997.01.23 at 17:02:13(222)
Eduardo: I have good luck sending aroid seeds in the mail. It is true
that most tropical aroids must be kept moist in transport. However, I
have found that sending them with the pericarp and especially the
mesocarp is hazardous since the this is where most of the sugar content
is and this creates the possibility of fungal attack. I have learned
that by washing off the mesocarp the seeds arrive better. However, when
you remove the coating you must prevent dehydration. I do this by a
proper balance of seed to dry newspaper. If for example you have 20
fresh seed of Anthurium you might want to use a square of newspaper 15
cm wide. Place the seeds in the middle, fold it up and then put the
packet into a small sealed plastic bag. Some effort needs to made to
prevent them from being crushed, such as by using bubble wrap. Seeds of
most species handled in this manner may survive a month or more.

Cleaning large seeds like Anthurium is best done in a seive. I
crush the covering off by macerating them lightly with my thumb after
placing them in the sieve. This can be done most easily while passing
water through the seive. Once macerated the mixture of seeds and seed
covering can poured into an open mouthed jar, topped with lid, then
shaked vigorously. This will cause the seeds and the various parts to
be further separated. The one can simply decant off the pericarps
because once separated from the seed these usually float to the surface.
Once you pour out most of the water most of the pericarp and other
residue will flow over the edge of the jar while the heavier seeds will
sink to the bottom. Seeds that actually float and which are unattached
to the pericarp may be inviable anyway. With a couple of shakings and
decantings one ca easily clean hundreds of seeds. Remember to keep the
resulting packets moist but not wet so the proper balance of water and
paper is important. This method I have used for 25 years with great
success. I often wonder if there isn't something in the ink from the
newsprint that keeps down the bacterial and fungal infections.

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