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

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Wednesday - May 06, 2009

From: austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Need a source of sulfuric acid for scarifying bluebonnet seeds in Austin, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I see that you recommend soaking blue bonnet seeds in concentrated h2so4 to facilitate germination. Where do you suggest I buy the sulfuric acid? I live here in Austin. Thank you,

ANSWER:

 FIrst as a reminder, I'm including the warning from our "How to Grow Bluebonnets" article.

(Caution: sulfuric acid requires special handling procedures and should not be attempted without proper equipment such as gloves, masks and a ventilation hood.) 

If you have not handled sulfuric acid before, it is nasty stuff, and personally I would try some of the other techniques for scarification. The cost/benefit analysis leans away from sulfuric acid.

The Capitol Scientific Company here in Austin is one source of sulfuric acid, and Sciencelab.com is a website  where it can be purchased.

 

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