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.
Melia volkensii (Image: M. Meso, Kenya Forestry Research Institute)
This species most probably has Orthodox seeds - dry to 15-20% eRH and store at -20ºC, or as cool as possible.
Based on the germination requirements for other species in the same genus: remove seed covering structures and germinate on agar, germination paper or sand at 20ºC, or under an alternating temperature regime of 35/20ºC (with an 8/16hr photoperiod).
The seeds of this species may be Physiologically Dormant (based on members of the same family). If germination is low, overcome dormancy 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.
(Image: S. Wood, RBG Kew)
Accepted name: Melia volkensii Gürke
References and Links
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (1994). Genebank Standards. FAO/IPGRI, Rome, Italy.
- Omondi, W. (2004). Desiccation sensitivity of seeds of four tree species of economic importance in Kenya. In M. Sacandé, D. Joker, M. Dulloo and K. Thompsen (eds) Comparative Storage Biology of Tropical Tree Seeds. 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: Melia volkensii.
- Forest & Landscape Denmark - University of Copenhagen, Denmark: seed leaflet on Melia volkensii.
- PROTAbase (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) - Wageningen, Netherlands: Melia volkensii.
- SID (Seed Information Database) - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK: Melia volkensii.
- Tropicos - Missouri Botanical Garden, USA: Melia volkensii.