And by the way, I did run into another person somewhere that said not to buy the Eastern Prince variety because it is sterile. Whether or not this means that the fruit won't be good is another question. It does seem however that semi hardwood cuttings taken in August will work about half the time.
I didn't see anything about germination, but otherwise useful info. Not much available here in the west.
I saw this in the Gurney's catalog but didn't know what it was
but alas, not available
Schisandra, Official (Schisandra chinensis) seeds:
Perennial woody vine. Native to Manchuria, northeastern China and Japan. The odoriferous pink or white flowers give way to bright red fruit which droops down in clusters from the vine. This is known as the many-flavored berry. The taste is sour and the effect stimulating. Used in Chinese medicine as an immune-enhancing herb. Cultivation: Extra care. Soak berries overnight and remove seed from fruit before planting. Give 2 weeks cold conditioning or plant outdoors in fall or early spring. Likes a shady situation. Cold hardy.
Open Pollinated 20 seeds/pkt. $3.95 (per Packet) http://www.horizonherbs.com/product.asp?specific=713
It is basically a 3 part process where the seeds are soaked in water for 4-5 days, then stratified in moist sand at 18-20 degrees C for 30 days and then for another 30 days at 0-12 degrees C. The seeds are then planted in soil that is moist and warm “enough”
In thinking about why some seeds are so difficult to germinate I imagine there may be two reasons; one is that they remain dormant for a long period of time until the conditions are just right, the other being that they do best if passed through the digestive tract of some animal where they are subjected to organic chemicals and/or bacteria. My approach will be a sort of combination of the two.
First a word about the seeds. I received 13 berries of various sizes. The smaller ones had only one very hard seed about 3mm by 2mm and the larger berries had two seeds each. In total I have 19 seeds.
This is what I have done so far. I put about 2 litres of RO demineralised water (rain water would be good, but its winter here and I have RO water for my dozens of orchids) in a small bucket. Then I made a sachet of my worm castings (small handful) out of cheese cloth, and dropped it in the water. I’m using a small aquarium air pump with a diffuser stone to keep the water aerated. This will promote the growth of the bacteria in the compost tea. Also, as Carol Deppe points out in one of her fabulous books, when presoaking seeds for germination, it must be understood that it is alive and needs oxygen to breath. Thus my airpump will keep me from having to change the water several times a day during the soaking phase.
After 24 hours, I put the dried berries into the liquid to allow them to rehydrate. After another 24 hours (now) I removed the pulp and returned the seeds to the pot. So far, about half are floating and the other half have sunk. In a few more days I will start the stratification processes.
it's available from Oikos Tree Crops
March 9, 2012: After downloading and reading the PDF’s @
http://jlhudsonseeds.net/Germination.htm (a great resource for free)
I’ve decided that an overly long warm stratification period probably isn’t necessary, and have moved them into the fridge at about 4 degrees C.
Try this website for info about Schizandra and lots of other great plants!