Why are the seeds of this species difficult? The seeds may display dormancy, which would have to be overcome before they will germinate.
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Researchers have found that initial viability is maintained after drying seeds to 3% moisture content, so the seeds are likely to be Orthodox. Dry to 15-20% eRH and store at -20ºC, or as cool as possible.
Germinate on agar, germination paper or sand at a suitable temperature (depending on local climatic conditions).
Improvements in germination have been shown after short-term storage at different combinations of moisture status and temperature (e.g. 6% mc at 16ºC for 9 months; 9% mc at 4ºC for 9 months). These conditions may be allowing post-harvest ripening or they may be enabling the seeds to overcome dormancy problems.
The red fruit (6 mm x 5 mm) is ellipsoid, splitting into two. The fruit contains one shining, blue-black seed which is subglobose in structure.
When ripe, the fruit becomes brown and opens by its two valves to reveal the seed.
See images of this species at VIRBOGA (The Virtual Botanic Garden).
Accepted name: Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides (Lam.) B.Zepernick & Timler
Synonyms: Fagara senegalensis (DC.) A.Chev., Zanthoxylum senegalense DC., Fagara zanthoxyloides Lam.
Common name: candlewood, Senegal prickly-ash
References and Links
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (1994). Genebank Standards. FAO/IPGRI, Rome, Italy.
- Iwu, M.M. (1993). Handbook of African Medicinal Plants. CRC Press, USA.
- Sanon, M.D., Gaméné, C.S., Sacandé, M. & Neya, O. (2004). Desiccation and storage of Kigelia africana, Lophira lanceolata, Parinari curatellifolia and Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides seeds from Burkina Faso. In M. Sacandé, D. Joker, M. Dulloo & 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: Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides.
- SID (Seed Information Database) - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK: Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides.