I just yanked a handful of pine cones off of a tree and spent two hours pulling the little winged beasties from their hiding place. Fifteen minutes later and all of the seeds are floating in a jar of water.
If seeds float they won't germinate? Are there exceptions to this rule?
Reading your post made me think of a forest fire documentary I watched some years ago. Some, but not all, pine cones will only open and release their seeds in nature when exposed to the heat from a forest fire. I googled this and learned it's called serotiny and happens in several forms, fire exposure being one of them. I looked at a few sites online and some say to store the seeds in the freezer for 2-3 months (I'm guessing for stratification) and then sow, others just say sow. I couldn't find any information on wether or not heat is required to stratify them. I think the heat is only needed to get certain varieties of pine cones to open so the seeds fall out. Good luck and let us know what germinates!
Scott Foster wrote:If seeds float they won't germinate? Are there exceptions to this rule?
I think it depends on the structure of the whole seed or fruit. For example, if your pine seeds are winged beasties, it may be the wings that make them float. A huge steel ship weighing hundreds of tons can float!
I tried collecting and planting wild caper seeds, and I separated the floaters from the sinkers, and planted both separately. Both germinated at about 50%. So did the ones from a fox scat.
Works at a residential alternative high school in the Himalayas SECMOL.org . "Back home" is Cape Cod, E Coast USA.
I cracked a bunch of the floaters and they were like the husk of partially popped popcorn with nothing inside. I cracked a couple of the sinkers and they had just a tiny bit of white meat inside. These seeds looked like little maple seeds when I pulled them out. I took the wing off before soaking and I didn't stratify. It's been well below freezing here for a good amount of time so I skipped the stratification process.
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