Germinating Coix lacryma-jobi - Help!

Ellen Sutter egsutter at UCDAVIS.EDU
Wed Mar 15 14:03:59 EST 1995

You have a few other possibilities for seeds with hard seed coats.  One is
to soak them in concentrated sulfuric acid (yes concentrated!) for anywhere
from 30 min to 2 hours depending on the seed.  Acetic acid will not scarify
the seed coat sufficiently.  Another way that people deal with hard seed
coats is to pour hot (or just boiling) water over the seed in a jar and
then let the water cool overnight.  Of course, both methods have inherent
dangers in that the embryo may be damaged.  Another possibility is to use a
file or sandpaper to remove enough of the seed coat so that water can
enter. By the way - the seeds that you have imbibed and planted, if they
have not rotted, can be treated and should germinate.  See Hartmann,
Kester, and Davies 5th edition - Plant Propagation for ideas for
germinating the seed.
        Ellen Sutter

        I have some seeds from a plant called a rainforest pearl (Coix lacryma-
>jobi) that I am trying to grow.  Unfortunately, my efforts thus far
>have not succeeded, and I only have eight seeds left.  Having read through
>some of the recent literature on seed dormancy and germination, I found a
>variety of ideas, but none that applied to this type of seed.  It has a
>very hard seed coat.  The scant info I have on the plant recommends simply
>imbibing it for 12 hours or so and then planting it.  This has not worked
>and I fear risking more seeds, although, I may try cutting the seed coat.  If
>anyone has any knowledge of this plant,and methods of breaking its seed's
>dormancy, I would greatly appreciate an email.
>        One more tidbit.  I am also trying to get some seeds from a
>Camellia japonica to germinate and have had no success imbibing or cutting
>the seed coat.  I have also tried removal of the seed coat with concentrated
>acetic acid and this has not worked either. If anyone can help me here,
>again I would appreciate and email. Thanks.
>Arend Librande

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