Cyclanthera pedata

Germination Tips

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This species needs special care as described.
Special Care: 
Jim Graham, an ORG&HPS member writes: For Cyclanthera pedata, there is an agonizing excerpt from the Kew guide ("..germinate on agar..two years.." etc). I obtained the seeds before I read the description, and when I did I promptly undertook the following alternate germination strategy: 1. Throw packet of seeds into sock drawer and leave there (in darkness) for about a month. Periodic opening of drawer and cursing at seeds may have been of benefit. 2. Remove seeds from packet and nick the coat with a nail file. 3. Put the seeds into a small container and soak at room temp....but then forget about them so they stay in the water for about 4 days. 4. Plant at room temp under lights. Cover with a thin layer of potting medium (I use Pro-Mix). When I did this 5 seeds popped after about a week. As there were only about 5 or 6 seeds in the pack it was a pretty good success rate. Kew's "Difficult Seeds Project": Germinate on agar, germination paper or sand at 30ºC. Incubating the seeds in 24hr darkness may also help germination. The seeds of this species may be Physiologically Dormant (based on other members of the same family). If germination is low, this type of seed dormancy can be overcome by mimicking the seasonal patterns of the species' native habitat. Use a moist pre-chill or pre-heat treatment (depending on local climatic conditions) or a dry after-ripening treatment, before germinating the seeds on agar, germination paper or sand at their optimum temperature. If this does not work, you can perform delicate surgery to enable the embryo to grow. Excise the tissue near the root tip. Glen Spurrell adds: It is a warm germinator and should be planted in situ when the soil is very warm in late spring early summer. It might also be noted it germinates quickly and growers should not plant too many because the vines are quite rampant. It’s a vegetable and it’s not hardy. Both the seed pods and the young tips of the vines are edible, although to be honest the pods are almost without flavour. The tips are lovely raw in a salad.
Most of the seeds in our Germination Guide have been offered from time to time in our annual Seed Exchange (Seedex).