Davidia involucrata

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by GavinMc, Dec 26, 2020.

  1. GavinMc

    GavinMc New Member

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    Just thought I’d post for the benefit of those interested my experience with germinating Davidia seeds.
    There is so little info on this on the net, and what there is makes it seem a long and difficult process.
    But I have, quite by chance, hit upon an easy way.
    I collected about 200 fruits, mostly off the ground and some off the tree, in November, when the outside flesh was quite soft.
    Bear in mind I am in SW Scotland(mild, warmed by Gulf Stream) and had had no air or ground frost by that stage.
    The flesh was scrubbed off with a stiff brush. I then dusted each ‘nut’ with ground nutmeg since I didn’t have any other anti-bacterial powder to hand, and this subsequently proved to work well preventing fungal growth on the nuts while in storage, in my fridge at 5 degrees C.
    I kept all the nuts in my fridge for three months and then sowed about half in a small, bottom heat, covered propagator and waited. And waited. With zero results.
    After three months I pulled out most of the nuts from the propagator, crushed them in a vice and extracted the seeds, and resowed them.
    This process resulted in a few losses and crushed seeds so....I went to the fridge to get some more nuts to source replacements.
    And then, blow me down, I discovered a few of the nuts kept at 5 degrees for now five to six months were SPROUTING.
    So, sprouting nuts were planted in potting compost and the pic below is what I now have. The nuts in the fridge have continued to randomly germinate for the last six months.
    I’m confident I do not have a dodgy fridge thermometer, food keeps in there just fine, thank you.
    Hope all this helps: just put nuts in the fridge (in a clear, tall plastic pot such that you can see sprouting nuts without disturbing them or damaging them) and check every week after three months.
    All the best
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    WA USA (Z8)
    Method I have seen described of planting in tub filled with loose organic material and left outside would produce same outcome. Seeds can be dumped or fished out periodically, sprouted ones potted up and remainder returned to tub. Cold period is needed for root to sprout, warm one for top to sprout and grow on. These kinds of behaviors were evolved by temperate climate plants to prevent germination at times of year when seedlings would be killed by unsuitable weather conditions.

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