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Cladrastis kentukea from seed

Posted by hairmetal4ever Z7 MD (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 10, 14 at 20:41

Anyone try it?

Tips or suggestions welcome. Do they had the same hard coat many other legumes do? Cercis comes to mind here.


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RE: Cladrastis kentukea from seed

Scarified in 95% Sulfuric Acid for ~45 minutes then stratified for 30-45 days. Worked like a charm...they started germinating in the fridge. Not sure what the rate was but I had more germinate than I could plant....it was probably 75-85%.


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RE: Cladrastis kentukea from seed

I soaked in water a few days and then filed through the seedcoat with a nail file (BTW, this technique works much better on Kentucky coffeetree seeds - they are bigger, easier to file, and I got better germination rate). Got 20-30% germination maybe. Gave up the experiment though - the parent trees succumbed to our zone 4 cold, and they weren't high on my list.


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RE: Cladrastis kentukea from seed

Where can you obtain sulfuric acid? Is there a specific concentration (Mol I think?) that works?

I get nervous about using it - that I'd burn either myself, or, more likely, the seed embryo.

This post was edited by hairmetal4ever on Mon, Aug 11, 14 at 10:42


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RE: Cladrastis kentukea from seed

Small numbers...I'd just nick the seedcoat with a nail file or a little snip with nailclippers - just enough to let water get in to the interior.
I guess if one is doing large numbers, the sulfuric acid deal might be worth fooling with, but I'm not gonna mess with it.


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RE: Cladrastis kentukea from seed

@hairmetal4ever
http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/product/sial/258105?lang=en®ion=US

You are right to be nervous. I'm lucky, I had a lab I could use with all the glassware, safety gear, and procedures already available.

After 30-40 minutes, the seeds started to bleed color (like a teabag) into the acid. I diluted the acid and then rinsed the seeds at ~45min.

You could try a lower acid concentration and leave the seeds in until you saw the color bleed starting. HCl (Muriatic Acid) for a pool or battery acid (Sulfuric Acid) can be bought fairly easily. You may need 2-3 hours or more of soak time b/c they are at much lower concentration than the 95% Sulfuric.


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RE: Cladrastis kentukea from seed

I've grown a few of these by seed. I started by taking a file from my toolbox and filed away the seed coat. Don't be shy about this. It'll go from dark brown to light brown to whitish. You're through when you hit the white. Then I put them in a glass of water for a day or two. You should see the seed swell up from absorbing water. Then plant. I've had seeds several years old germinate.


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RE: Cladrastis kentukea from seed

Bumping this since I ordered some seed from Schumacher's.

Is the seed shaped in a way that it's obvious where the embryo is? If I nick or file it I don't want to cause damage to the embryo or seed leaves?

Which brings the next question - do the cotyledons turn above ground or are they hypogeal?


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RE: Cladrastis kentukea from seed

  • Posted by beng z6 western MD (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 23, 14 at 8:49

If you're going that route, IMO, plant seeds where you finally want them. After a couple yrs, they're difficult to transplant & don't handle it well. The shellbark hickory I transplanted hardly noticed, but transplanted KCT suffered badly for yrs & the stem finally died, but has resprouted from the roots.


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