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.
Cyclanthera pedata (Image: S. Wood, RBG Kew)
This species most probably has Orthodox seeds (based on other species in the same genus) - dry to 15-20% eRH and store at -20ºC, or as cool as possible.
Germinate on agar, germination paper or sand at 30ºC. Incubating the seeds in 24hr darkness may also help germination.
The seeds of this species may be Physiologically Dormant (based on other members of the same family). 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.
Cyclanthera pedata section
(Image: S. Wood, RBG Kew)
The fruit (5-15 cm x 3-8 cm) is irregularly ovoid and pointed at the ends. It is light yellow-green in colour with darker veins and has a smooth or softly spiny surface. The fruit is hollow, apart from a thin layer of flesh and up to 12 seeds attached to the placenta lobe. The seeds (12 x 7 x 3 mm) are flat and black in colour and look like diminutive mud turtles. The seed coat surface has ridges and depressions.
See more images of this species at the Digital Atlas of Economic Plants.
Accepted name: Cyclanthera pedata (L.) Schrad.
Synonyms: Momordica pedata L.
Common name: stuffing gourd
References and Links
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (1994). Genebank Standards. FAO/IPGRI, Rome, Italy.
- Janick, J. and Paull, R.E. (eds) (2008). The Encyclopedia of Fruit and Nuts. CAB International, UK.
- AFPD (African Flowering Plants Database) - Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de la Ville de Genève, Switzerland, and South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, RSA: Cyclanthera pedata.
- AVRDC - The World Vegetable Centre, Taiwan: fact sheet on Cyclanthera pedata.
- PROTAbase (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) - Wageningen, Netherlands: Cyclanthera pedata.
- Tropicos - Missouri Botanical Garden, USA: Cyclanthera pedata.