Hyphaene coriacea germination

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Recently we received some seeds of Hyphaene coriacea from South Africa. The seeds were enclosed in a completely dry fruit and appeared to be old, perhaps too old to retain any viability.

Past experiences with large Borassoid palm seeds like these had been disappointing. Generally the seeds did not germinate and upon inspection proved to have rotted. It was necessary to try a different method which eliminated the causes of rotting e.g. prolonged damp, cool temperatures and poor ventilation.

The seeds were removed from their husk and placed on the top of the standard seed-raising medium in a 12" pot. The medium consists of 1 part riversand and 1/2 part peatmoss, screened to a fine grade. The medium was brought to a level about 3" below the pot rim and the seeds equally spaced, just sitting on the surface. They were then covered in peanut-shells. The pot was placed in a site where it received full sun until the afternoon and watered once a day.

Germination began within two weeks and required only one week for the seedling radicle to establish in the medium below the seed. After three weeks we have a germination rate of 66%.

The reasons for this success are clear, the seeds obviously require high temperatures to initiate germination. The peanut-shells provided protection from the direct sun and dehydration whilst allowing some ventilation. Placing the pot in the full sun obviously accounts for a large part of the success, allowing the medium to warm up and dry out each day.

The seedling radicle rapidly sinks itself into the medium and is very brittle. At this stage the seedlings can be carefully potted out individually into larger pots to accommodate the vigorous root system. The plants will be kept in full sun at all stages.


Contributed by:

Robert Tucker, Townsville Palmetum
(from Palms & Cycads No. 49, Oct-Dec 1995.)

External Links:

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[http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Hyphaene+coriacea+germination %22%20site:http://forum.pacsoa.org.au/&sa=Google+Search PACSOA Forums], [http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Hyphaene+coriacea+germination %22%20site:http://www.palmtalk.org/&sa=Google+Search PalmTalk]