Click photos to enlarge
Germinated seed just potted (left) and polystyrene
Germinated seeds in various stages of
The species of the Borasseae
tribe aren’t at all difficult to germinate, as shown by the successful trials
of other people with Bismarckia, Medemia and Borassus.
However, they all have a vigorous root system which is quite brittle in the
early stages, so some additional care is needed.
This is my experience with the Ilala palm. The first step, obviously,
was to clean the dry pulp off the seeds; this can be done in many ways
(including eating it ?!), but I have found it very easy and safe to put the
seeds in a vice and cut them with a small saw. Don’t worry about damaging the
seeds because there is a further hard shell before the endosperm. On the bottom,
there is a round opening in the middle, from where the radicle pushes out; you
can open this with a fingernail or tip of a pencil.
Then, as usual, I soaked them in water for three days, changing the
water daily. At first the seeds floated, as they have hollow insides, but after
a day they all sunk. I have tried the ‘baggie method’ before and it has
worked well with several other species. I put the bag, with peat and perlite and
five seeds, in the hottest spot of the greenhouse, as this species is known to
need high temperatures to germinate. Some time later, when checking, I found all
the seeds had germinated and rotted. I then realised that peat wasn’t the best
medium for this species.
So I decided to try another way. I filled a polystyrene box with 20 cm
of coarse river sand then put the seeds on the surface, sideways, and covered
the lot with perlite. I watered once and put the box’s lid on. I placed it on
the upper level of a shelf, in the greenhouse, where the temperature range was
I first checked two weeks later and found that eight out of the 10 seeds
had germinated and some had sent down a radicle of 10 cm. I repotted them in 30
cm deep pots, with a mix of sand, perlite and peat in the ratio of 2:1:1. Then I
put in another five seeds, with the remaining ungerminated two. Like before,
after a week the last two of the former batch germinated and a week later all
the remaining five also germinated .
To conclude: Hyphaene coriacea is easily germinated if the correct medium is used together with deep containers and high temperatures.
|PACSOF Home Page|
Palm Encyclopedia Site Map
Powered by FreeFind.
This site is copyrighted © 1998-2006, Palm & Cycad Societies of
For questions or comments, e-mail the webmaster.
Internet hosting provided by Zone 10, Inc.