En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - July 21, 2007

From: Berkeley, CA
Region: California
Topic: Propagation
Title: Long term storam of Lupinus arboreus seeds
Answered by: Michael Eason and Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi - I was wondering what the best way to store lupine seeds (for long-term storage and maximum viability) is? I am a graduate student at Berkeley studying Lupinus arboreus. We have been storing seeds collected from the wild in coin envelopes at room temperature, but have had problems with viability. Do you have any advice? Thanks.

ANSWER:

1. Collect seeds as close to natural dispersal as possible.

2. Remove any excess vegetative material (leaves, flower parts etc.) and place in a coin (paper) envelope.

3. Place the envelope in a sealed container with desiccatant and a hygrometer. (Put the dessicant at the bottom of the dessicator and not directly touching the envelope—you may want to put a piece of perforated cardboard between the dessicant and the envelopes.) You will want to lower the RH to ~15%. Use about equal parts desiccant to seed by volume. (If too much desiccant is used, the seeds will lose too much moisture and will not be viable.) The seeds will equilibrate to the surrounding RH, but this may take a few days depending on the amount of seeds.

4. For long term storage, once the seeds have equilibrated to the surrounding RH (15%) the best strategy is to store them in heat sealed aluminum envelopes and then place the envelopes in cold storage (< 0 degrees C). Of course, the transfer of seed from desiccator to the foil bag will have to occur quickly (and ideally in a dry room, RH = <20%) because the seed will begin to absorb moisture once removed from the dessicator.

The Seed Information Database of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, England has further information about Lupinus arboreus (yellow bush lupine) seeds.

You realize, of course, that the Lupinus genus does have germination issues because of the hard, virtually impermeable, seed coat. The seeds may have to be scarified to successfully germinate. You may also need to inoculate the seeds with Rhizobium bacteria prior to sowing them.

 

More Propagation Questions

Which seeds need to be scarified from Marble Falls TX
November 08, 2013 - Can I find out which seeds need to be scarified?
view the full question and answer

Revegetation with Rosa Woodsii in Heber UT
July 26, 2013 - I am using Woods Roses for a revegetation project (to stop trail short cutting) in a public picnic area. Growing them from seed was too slow so I am experimenting with transplanting and it is working ...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Limonium limbatum
September 04, 2013 - I have a Limonium limbatum but do not know how to propagate the plant. Can you help with this?
view the full question and answer

Saving frozen yuccas from North Carolina
February 23, 2013 - I live in NC and have 2 potted yucca plants on my deck. Every year I have brought them in for the winter. This year, someone told us that we could leave them out all winter. They began to die in the c...
view the full question and answer

Germination of Passiflora suberosa in Monterrey Mexico
October 26, 2009 - Hello, I need recommendation on how to germinate Passiflora seeds. I have a Passiflora suberosa plant, not on your database but native, and have fresh fuits of it. They look very much like a blueber...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center