Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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 - October 18, 2014

From: Elmendorf, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Seeds and Seeding, Shrubs
Title: How to germinate seed for Styrax grandifolius
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

How do I germinate seed for the Styrax grandifolius?

ANSWER:

The USDA Plants Database shows that Styrax grandifolius (Bigleaf snowbell) is listed as "Endangered" in both Illinois and Indiana and "Presumed Extirpated" from Ohio.  It occurs in several counties in extreme eastern Texas and eastward through Arkansas and Louisiana to Georgia, Florida, South and North Carolina and north to Indiana, Illinois and Ohio.

One study, Conservation Assessment for the Bigleaf Snowbell (Styrax grandifolius Ait.), by Steve R. Hill from the USDA Forest Service, Eastern Region, says that there nothing is known about the the seeds longevity and whether they persist in the soil seed bank.  The study doesn't give germination information for Styrax grandifolius, but does give it for a related species, Styrax japonicus, that says that this species germinates best if it receives one month of warm stratitification and two months of cold stratification but they don't offer temperatures for either stratification.

The Randy Stewart Landscape Design blog says that Styrax species usually need stratification to easily germinate.

Garden Guides says that cold stratification is NOT required. 

The Permaculture Research Institute has instructions on How to Germinate Your Seeds that gives instructions for stratification.  Germination Instructions for Seeds from Wild Ones has more information on stratification.  Schumacher Tree & Shrub Seeds talks about warm stratification in How to Treat Seeds.

If you have plenty of seeds, you might do your own experiment for germinating them by trying some with cold stratification, some with warm stratification and then cold stratification treatments and some with no stratification.

 

From the Image Gallery


Bigleaf snowbell
Styrax grandifolius

More Seeds and Seeding Questions

Plants for Daisy Girl Scout native plants project
December 13, 2013 - Hello, I am a daisy Girl Scout leader and we are working on one of our Journeys and Native Plants Patch Program which requires our group of 5-6 year old girls to plant and care for a mini-garden. ...
view the full question and answer

Desmodium spp. (beggar's lice) in Leander TX
November 11, 2011 - Our home backs up to a greenbelt on Blockhouse Creek in Williamson County, Texas (FM 1431 and Parmer Lane). The combination of the flood and drought has left our beautiful greenbelt with an abundance...
view the full question and answer

Mexican Sycamore trees grown from seed
November 15, 2011 - If someone is selling an alleged Mexican Sycamore grown from a seed harvested from a mature tree growing in Austin, is it likely to be a TRUE Mexican Sycamore -- or has it most likely been pollinated ...
view the full question and answer

Growing bluebonnets in pot in Flower Mound TX
November 01, 2011 - We received a package of bluebonnet seeds along with the DVD Wildflowers: Seeds of History as a gift. In the film, Andrea DeLong mentions that bluebonnets did not grow well in a rich organic soil. W...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for burned acreage in Bastrop, Texas
October 31, 2011 - The fire took 2/3 of the trees on my half acre in Bastrop County. It was mostly wild. What do I plant for ground cover? Do I plant native grass seed in fall? I want to keep it native as possible. ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.