Cephalotus seeds

Wed, 23 Aug 1995 08:43:00 -0400


I think it was Clark that was asking about the release of
Cephalotus seed, so I thought I would share my recent
experiences with this plant. Although I have been growing
Cephalotus for several years, my plant has just flowered for
the first time. I didnt repot it for the first time this
year, as last year I put it into a very large pot so I
could leave it undisturbed for a while.

As soon as the flowers started to open, I was busy with one
of my pollinating brushes and this seemed to be working as
the ovaries of the pollinated flowers subsequently started
to swell. Last week I was prodding arround looking for
ripening seed but was unable to find any, even after pulling
some of the flowers to bits. Last night I had another look
and was more successfull. The seeds were far smaller than I
had imagined (for some reason I had thought they would be
approx. the size of VFT seeds - they are in fact allot
smaller!) and are contained in a feathery seed coat. Only a
few seeds are formed per flower though may be easily plucked
out when ripe encased in the seed coat -so seed collection
shouldnt be a problem so long as an eye is kept on how ripe
the seeds are. I hate to think how many seeds I casually
threw away onto the green house floor because I didnt
recognise them as seed last week :-(

Now the more experinced Cephalotus growers may be able to
answer another question. How should the seeds be handled and
sown? In particular should the seeds be removed from the
feathery seed coat before sowing, or should the whole lot be
planted.? I look forward to any words of wisdom on this.