I'm looking for seed of robinia neomexicana - the small tree that's supposedly blooming somewhat later than black locust but has a similar resistance to drought, cold etc.
My motivation is creating an environment for bees that would offer a lot of summer forage. Black locust is our main spring flow and the bees love it so when I found about a later-flowering species I started looking.
It's hard. I was not able to locate an active commercial source online. This kinda makes me blush because I consider myself handy with Google
Does anyone know a vendor that has this kind of seed in stock?
I would need to have it shipped to Slovenia, Europe.
Well... My first attempt was unimpressive. I've read that these can be hard to germinate but I guess I didn't fully appreciate it.
In late spring of 2016 I used 12 seeds and put them through the hot water soak twice during 2 days. They let out color and swelled nicely. Things were looking good.
By the time autumn came I had one single good looking young tree about a foot and a half tall. I'm not entirely sure that it will make it to spring because the winter has been unusually dry so far - since the last week of November we've had about 50 days of no rain or snow worth mentioning until yesterday and the top layer of soil was definitely below freezing. I'm counting on the Robinia family being tough plants.
For this year's round, here's what I'll be trying out:
These are the results of this year's germination attempts so far.
- Nail clipper (in the middle of the longest side of the seed) + soaking in warmish water: seemed awesome at first as 3 of the seeds started growing in a couple of days. However, the rest are taking their sweet time. It's only now, 10 days later, that some of the others in this group are showing some signs of life, but not all. Overall not very impressive.
- No mechanical damage + boiling water (boiling on the stove, taken off and poured over the seeds within a minute) + left soaking : starting to grow after 7 days, 30% so far but still ongoing
- No mechanical damage + boiling water 2 x (once per day) + left soaking : starting to grow after 4 days, 70% germination
In all the cases the seeds were soaking in a covered pot in a room at about 20-22 C (68-72 F).
So far it would appear that the 2 x boiling method is far superior to others.
Didn't try the high speed / frequency shaking thing because I don't have any equipment for it.
Last year's seedling that had been planted out in autumn did well and is starting to show furry buds. The winter was mild (down to -10 C = 14 F; normally -15 do -20 could easily happen for a week or so) but the cold spell lasted longer than usual (-10 C for the entire month of January).
... And in case anybody else wants to try this plant in Europe... Sadly, this year the people at Plants of the Southwest told me they don't ship outside the U.S. anymore. You'll have to wait some 5-7 years for my seedlings to start flowering
A week later, some more seeds from the single boiling water treatment have sprouted, bringing the total rate to about 50%. The rest don't look very promising. So the original impression that the twice-boiling method is the superior one remains.
It's weird that we cook bacon and bake cookies. Eat this tiny ad: