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Mr. Smarty Plants - How does Graptopetalum filiferum produce seeds?

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Monday - June 22, 2009

From: Lebanon, NH
Region: Northeast
Topic: Propagation
Title: How does Graptopetalum filiferum produce seeds?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi I have a Graptopetalum filiferum. I found a seed on top of one of the plants and it resembles something like a cantelope melon seed-about 1/3" long, orange. Do these succulents produce seeds in such a manner? Thanks

ANSWER:

There are two Graptopetalum species (Family Crassulaceae) that are North American natives, G. bartramii (Patagonia Mountain leatherpetal) and G. rusbyi (San Francisco River leatherpetal), but according to www.crassulaceae.com, G. filiferum is a Mexican species.  It is reported to be  "difficult in cultivation" and "reproduces itself with many suckers" and the info also says that reproduction is by seed.  USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) says that the seeds of the plants in the Family Crassulaceae (Stonecrop Family) are less than 1 mm long.  Some members of the Crassulaceae (including G. macdougallii) reproduce by making plantlets (also called bulbils or gemmae). ZipCodeZoo.com says the seeds of G. filiferum are 'small' but it does not mention whether it also produces plantlets. If your G. filiferum did not have a stalk and flowers like the ones in the pictures on the www.crassulaceae.com page, then what you found on your plant was not a seed.  It could have been a plantlet, I suppose, but I don't find clear evidence that this species produces plantlets.

 


 

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