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RE: [Aroid-l] Orontium seed germination

  • Subject: RE: [Aroid-l] Orontium seed germination
  • From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo@msn.com
  • Date: Sat, 13 May 2006 12:03:41 +0000

From : 	Adam Black <epiphyte1@earthlink.net>
Reply-To : Discussion of aroids <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Sent : Saturday, May 13, 2006 1:23 AM
To : Discussion of aroids <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Subject : [Aroid-l] Orontium seed germination

Dear Adam,

I cultivated Orontium from a collected adult plant a few years ago, and had it bloom and produce seeds which I grew in cultivation to adulthood. Dr. Croat photographed my plants of Orontium in bloom during a visit to my home back when. All that you report re: the structure of the seeds, etc (below) is correct.
I refer you to an article I wrote and which was published in Aroideana Vol. 16 in 1993, ''Experiencing Urospathas", in which I suggest ways to sucessfully grow aquatics for long periods without the 'soil' rotting and killing the plant by being immersed under water. In case you do not have access to this article, basically the method consists of using a half-and-half mix of heavy/coarse sand with a little leaf mulch or other compost/soil mixed in. However---this is placed above a 3" layer of larva stones, crock, etc. placed in the bottom of the pot. The soil-mix is placed on top of the stones, and the seed or plant potted in this 'soil'. The pot is then placed in a large saucer or other container which contains no more than 2" of water, and so the 'soil' mix is kept ABOVE and out of the actual water while being kept constantly wet. Water these pots/plants from above till you observe roots growing out of the pot`s drain holes into the saucer of water, this is super-important as at first the soil-mix is never wet enough from just absorbsing water from below for some aquatics until this happens. Change out the water in the saucer regularly/weekly. Fert. w/ a VERY weak liquid fert. on a regular basis.
In a few weeks, when you check your pot of 'soil' that you have submerged in your cattle trough, below the 'soil' surface will stink like a rotting body, and no plant can grow in this. The late and GREAT Dr. Monroe Birdsey did grow some aquatics (Typhonodorum, Urospatha, Lasia) in pots that were completely submerged in his concrete fish tanks, but his pots were of pure sand, and their fert. consisted of the fishes waste products. He confided that on occasion he placed a fert. tablet or two buried deep in the sand in these pots, he knew which brand of tablet to use which did not poison the water and so kill his fish!
For germinating/growing the larger seeds of Orontium, don`t peel the seeds, and I`d use the same method/pot that you have, but change out the soil for mainly coarse sand, and place the surface of the sand in the pot a tad above the surface of the water till they root. I believe in nature the seeds drop into water and float for a while till they wash up on the sides of the body of water, where they take root. Those that sink before they 'hit the beach', as it were, may not make it! By the way, the above method works well with Montrichardia, Typhonium and Typhonodorum, all have simular seeds and germination stratagies
Good Luck, I hope this helps.


Does anyone have any tips for growing Orontium aquaticum from seed? I know the seeds germinate within the fruits, float for a while after becoming detatched from the infructescense, and then sink, but that is about all I know. A few of the fruits that I opened up had already started to germinate, so I assume they are ready? Do I need to peel the tough covering off the seeds, or does this protective covering need to stay intact and the seedling will penetrate through it? These are very different from Anthurium and other Aroid seeds I am used to with a soft fruit that the seeds are simply squeezed out of.
Right now I have a pot filled 3/4 full of soil, submerged in a cattle trough so that there is a couple of inches (which equals something like several centimeters - but this in an American aroid!) of water over the soil line, but the rim of the pot is above the water line to contain the floating unpeeled fruits. Does this sound like I am on the right track? Would it be better if the seeds were in wet but not submerged conditions? Any other suggestions would be much appreciated.



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