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

Friday - March 25, 2005

From: Austin, TX
Region: Other
Topic: Propagation
Title: Propagation of Eastern Redbud
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have collected seeds from an Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis L.) and I want to learn how to germinate them. How can I find out this information?

ANSWER:

Since the seeds have a hard coat, scarification will aid in getting them to germinate. Jill Nokes in "How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest" describes three variations of scarifying by soaking in concentrated sulfuric acid. For all three methods the seeds were soaked in the sulfuric acid for 30-45 minutes, then rinsed thoroughly and air dried on newspapers. The simplest method next covered the seeds with boiling water and left them in the cooling water overnight. The next day the seeds were planted in individual containers. Another method involved cold stratification at 41° F. for 30 days after the 30-minute scarification in sulfuric acid. The final method aerated the scarified seeds in water in glass jars. The water in the jars was changed when it became discolored. When seeds began to swell, they were removed and stored in plastic bags with moist perlite for 60 days in cold storage. Seeds began to sprout by the end of that period and were planted in individual containers. Please note that caution should be used when handling concentrated sulfuric acid. it can cause skin burns and severe irritation of the respiratory tract. Ideally, it should be used only under a vented hood.

Another method for scarification of the seeds is abrasion using sand paper or sand. The seeds can be rubbed over fine sand paper to abrade the seed coat and then covered in boiling water and allowed to soak overnight in the cooling water before planting. Another method involves making a slurry of water and fine sand in a glass jar, adding the seeds and shaking vigorously before the boiling water treatment and overnight soaking in the cooling water.

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern redbud
Cercis canadensis

More Propagation Questions

Possibility of growing Buckleys yucca in South Carolina
February 03, 2008 - I live in Lexington, SC. I am wondering if I can grow Buckley's yucca (yucca constricta) here and if so, where can I purchase the seeds or plants? I am from Texas and we are trying to create a "we...
view the full question and answer

Standing Cypress Plants in San Antonio, TX
June 26, 2013 - I purchased seeds for standing cypress 2 years ago and this spring they look beautiful. What is the best way to harvest the seeds? Also, will the current plants come back next spring or will I have to...
view the full question and answer

Nutlet on rudbekia plants from Quincy IL
September 21, 2009 - On rudbeckia plants, what is a nutlet?
view the full question and answer

Replacing Drought-Stricken Cedars
January 16, 2012 - Hello, I live in Williamson County on a couple acres. We have several dead cedars as a result of drought; we're reluctant to cut them down because many of them provide a friendly barrier between us...
view the full question and answer

Germination of golden dalea seeds
August 23, 2007 - I have collected some golden dalea seeds. I live west of Austin in caliche soil. How would one germinate these seeds? What time of year should I plant them? What kind of seed treatment? Should I scari...
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