Gel surrounding seeds.
Just a post to add (maybe) to our overall knowledge of these plants that we
are obsessed by!
You may have read a posting by myself from late 1997 (I have to try to find
it to get the date) where I floated the fruit of two mature (ripe)
infructesences of Lasimorpha senegalensis in a bowl of water with a pinch of
the fungicide "Captan", so that I could observe the ongoing development of
the spines on outer seed coat as the seed continued development after the
fruits dropped off the spadix.
There has been some speculation as to the function of the gel or jelly that
swells/develops around the seeds of this group of Aroids (when they come in
contact with water), and around the seeds of other genera such as Anthurium.
Some suggested that it served as a "glue" which helped the seed adhere to
the bills of birds feeding on the ripe fruits and then to stick the seeds to
the tree branches, other ideas were that the gel may inhibit or at least
slow germination, or may act as a moisting agent to the seed. Well, we may
be able to now delete the inhibition factor, as I just carefully opened the
"skin" of the last seemingly fresh fruit, as basically I became tired of
water changes (the last fruit that showed signs of deterioration previous to
this one was two weeks ago, and it was "opened" to reveal two good seeds
with full development of the external spines) and this last fruit contained
a germinated seedling contained within this still-seemingly perfect fruit
"skin"! This little seedling was tightly coiled, roots, two (maybe
more?)leaves, seed and all, and when I placed it in a new bowl of water, a
large "blob" of the gel formed around it!
I just thought that a few of us may be interested to read about the length
of time the fruit remained alive and viable in water with a pinch of
"Captan", and the observation re: the germination with the gel present.
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