hort.net Seasonal photo, (c) 2006 Christopher P. Lindsey, All Rights Reserved: do not copy
articles | gallery of plants | blog | tech blog | plant profiles | patents | mailing lists | top stories | links | shorturl service | tom clothier's archive0
Gallery of Plants
Tech Blog
Plant Profiles
Mailing Lists
    Search ALL lists
    Search help
    Subscription info
Top Stories
sHORTurl service
Tom Clothier's Archive
 Top Stories
New Trillium species discovered

Disease could hit Britain's trees hard

Ten of the best snowdrop cultivars

Plant protein database helps identify plant gene functions

Dendroclimatologists record history through trees

Potato beetle could be thwarted through gene manipulation

Hawaii expands coffee farm quarantine

Study explains flower petal loss

RSS story archive

Re: [Aroid-l] Orontium seed germination

  • Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Orontium seed germination
  • From: Adam Black epiphyte1@earthlink.net
  • Date: Sat, 13 May 2006 14:28:24 -0400

Thanks for your reply, Julius. I am familiar with your method for growing aquatic aroids in pots that you have described before (and use it on my Cyrtospermas), but always assumed that was more geared for those species that prefer swampy but not regularly submerged ground as opposed to those sp. that seem to be predominantly emergent aquatics. I realize that both types of habitat preference experience both dry and wet extremes, but it seems like Orontium prefers to be grown as an emergent (at least I have never seen it growing in unsubmerged places during times of "normal" water levels). I had not considered your method as I figured it might be too exposed and thought more water might be required and more natural for germination of seedlings. It sounded like you are recommending growing this plant to maturity using your potted method once the seedlings are established (as opposed to germination), but these are intended to be planted out as large display colony in the water gardens at the botanical gardens where I work around the single plant we currently have, rooted in the bottom sediments. I am also starting a hardy aroid garden featuring terrestrial as well as aquatic aroids, where I intend to include some Orontium as well.

In my original message I had not specified the components of my "soil" I was using. I was using a 50/50 mix of peat and coarse sand, the same mix we use for propagating water lilies. The cattle trough (also used for water lily propagation) has been set up for years and is biologically active (including fish, amphibians and various invertebrates) and includes a pump to gently circulate water around.

Thanks again for all your help!


Julius Boos wrote:

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.



Aroid-l mailing list

Aroid-l mailing list

Other Mailing lists | Author Index | Date Index | Subject Index | Thread Index

 © 1995-2017 Mallorn Computing, Inc.All Rights Reserved.
Our Privacy Statement