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Balanites aegyptiacus

Why are the seeds of this species difficult? The seeds may have physiological dormancy, which can be overcome by mimicking the seasonal patterns of the species' native habitat.

Balanites aegyptiacus (Image: M. Meso, Kenya Forestry Research Institute)

Seed Storage

This species has Orthodox seeds - dry to 15-20% eRH and store at -20ºC, or as cool as possible.

Germination Requirements

Remove seed covering structures before sowing. Germinate on agar, germination paper or sand under an alternating temperature regime of 33/19ºC (with a 12/12hr photoperiod).

The seeds of this species may be Physiologically Dormant. If germination is low, this type of seed dormancy can be overcome by mimicking the seasonal patterns of the species' native habitat. Use a moist pre-chill or pre-heat treatment (depending on local climatic conditions) or a dry after-ripening treatment, before germinating the seeds on agar, germination paper or sand at their optimum temperature. If this does not work, you can perform delicate surgery to enable the embryo to grow. Excise the tissue near the root tip.

Seed Morphology

See images of this species at the Digital Atlas of Economic Plants.



Accepted nameBalanites aegyptiacus (L.) Del.

SynonymsXimenia aegyptiaca L.

Common name: desert date

References and Links

  • Baskin, C.C. and Baskin J.M. (1998). Seeds: ecology, biogeography, and evolution of dormancy and germination. Academic Press, USA.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (1994). Genebank Standards. FAO/IPGRI, Rome, Italy.
  • AFPD (African Flowering Plants Database) - Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de la Ville de Genève, Switzerland, and South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, RSA: Balanites aegyptiacus.
  • PROTAbase (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) - Wageningen, Netherlands: Balanites aegyptiacus.
  • SID (Seed Information Database) - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK: Balanites aegyptiacus.
  • Tropicos - Missouri Botanical Garden, USA: Balanites aegyptiacus.