En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

Propagating Texas Mountain Laurel by seed from Tucson AZ
May 20, 2010 - Propagation of Texas Mountain Laurel from seed
view the full question and answer

Transplanting False Gaura in Austin
October 27, 2010 - I am transplanting my false gaura. Do they transplant well, and should I cut them back?
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Indian Paintbrush in Corona CA
November 05, 2013 - I have a very mature Indian Paintbrush Plant that was becoming too large for the area I had originally planted it in, so I transplanted it to an area much more suited for its size. I reviewed the que...
view the full question and answer

Century Plant
April 20, 2013 - I have a century plant that has just begun to bloom. I have a transplanted a few pups, successfully. I am wondering how I am to go about removing the mother plant once it blooms and dies. I'm reading...
view the full question and answer

Sapindus drummondii or Rhus aromatica for Austria
May 07, 2006 - Hy! I'm from Austria/Europe, and interested in some North American native plants specially. It would be great if you can help me with my two questions: Sapindus drummondii I read from different...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center