Lemurophoenix germination

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As mentioned, the seed has proved very difficult to germinate, but here is a method sent to me by Jorg Schumann of Thrinax Nursery which he claims results in nearly 60% germination.

Put the seeds for 1-2 minutes in very hot water, then about one week in room temperate water. The first seeds started to germinate about now. Then put them in the sphagnum moss and water regularly. The seeds were in a box and opened once a week for fresh air.

Here is another method, some of which completely contradicts what Jorge has said! It was sent to me by Ruud Meeldijk of Golden Lotus:

I am trying to germinate Lemurophoenix for many years and the results are getting better and better.

To germinate the seeds, one thing is very important. Don't keep the seeds too wet or too dry. In both cases the seeds will throw the embryo's out. To put this seeds just 24 hours in water, is already dangerous! To put seeds in water for one week will kill all the seeds. There will be no embryo's left!!

My experience is: put the seeds for a few hours in water after arrival. Never ever put the seeds in the sun as 50% you will loose within a few hours (embryo's out). Lay the seeds on the soil, never under the soil! Cover them with plastic. If the night would be cool, there are water-drops on the plastic. Remove the plastic and shake the water-drops off. So, don't keep the seeds too dry or too wet.

Once they will germinate, the big problems are starting. When the roots are long enough they will need a lot of water! However, drainage must be excellent! Do not use soil, but use very small stones, like lava-stones. Never let them dry out! (Editors note: I use a mix of half perlite, half potting mix. It stays moist, but never wet and it seems to be doing the trick, tho I haven't had nearly as much experience as Ruud). Once they would dry out, the germinated seeds are dead.

So the difficult point is, in which stage they will need a lot of water. For me, germinating is no problem (not too dry and not too wet), but to get germinated seeds with one leaf, that's something else.

You will have to watch every day what is going on and who will have so much time for this.

Best regards. Ruud Meeldijk, Golden Lotus.

Rolf Kyburz, uses a polystyrene box (green grocers use them for broccoli here), into which he puts a layer of moist sphagnum moss, and then puts the seeds (which have been soaked for several hours) onto a low (@5cm/2ins high) platform made of bird wire. This he puts on top of the sphagnum and then covers the seeds with another layer of moist sphagnum, tho making sure that there is a clear gap between the lower sphagnum, and the seeds. He then completely seals the box, and keeps it at @30°C.

Clayton York, of Utopia Palms&Cycads, just puts his seeds (after a short soak) into the standard moist vermiculite (in a broccoli box on top of an electric blanket). He has, however, found that any seeds which where allowed to dry out during transportation don't germinate, e.g. any seeds that were on the outside of the bag. These he just throws away, and doesn't even attempt to germinate them.


There are several different methods here, going from the very simple, thru to the quite complex, but the constants which seem to come through is that the seeds like plenty of heat, humidity, and good ventilation, but they don't like too much water, so probably any method which meets these conditions would be successful.

If anyone has used this method successfully, or has any other relevant information please let me know. Any information about this spectacular rarity will be very gratefully received.

Assembled by:

Mike Gray

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