Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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 Propagation Questions

Prosopsis velutina (velvet mesquite), Larrea tridentata (creosote bush), rain smell
October 02, 2007 - I am an El Paso native living in Plano TX. I terribly miss the smell of rain in El Paso and have learned that this smell is due to the velvet mesquite tree and also the creosote bush, among other thi...
view the full question and answer

Source for Texas Olive Tree from Tucson AZ
August 10, 2013 - Can one start a Texas Olive Tree from the olives it produces? How can you start one. I am having difficulty finding a nursery, but do see the trees around.
view the full question and answer

Growing mosses in the Pacific Northwest
February 05, 2015 - Can you provide information on types of Mosses as well as Microferns in the Northwest Mountain region near Seattle? I assume that Mosses and Microferns are more resilient to foot traffic (i.e.Cush...
view the full question and answer

Male and female Maclura pomifera trees in Boaz AL
September 06, 2010 - To grow a Maclura pomifera female tree, do I have to have a male tree for the female to produce fruit?
view the full question and answer

Assuring berries on Viburnum dentatum
October 27, 2008 - I just purchased 2 blue muffin viburnum bushes-I live in Kansas-How many years will it be before they get berries? They are full size(3-4 ft) Do I need to trim them down for winter or just mulch the...
view the full question and answer

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