Thursday, January 18, 2007
Tucumã-açu palm seed
If you've never planted palm seeds, there's something you should know about the subject matter. First of all, not all seeds germinate. They sure looked viable when you planted them but weeks and months passed without your seeing any sign of green. So you dig them up to find that they are rotten or to discover they have been eaten by some unseen culprit. At Bosque Lúcia I check my seeds every few months, but mostly when the containers need cleaning of the falling leaves from the surrounding trees. I'm always in need of containers and soil for planting new plants and seeds, so I seldom cry over the fact that some seeds didn't make it. When I discover that the seeds are still in tact, I carefully cover them over again with soil and hope for the best. Identification tags of planted seeds seem to disappear over time but I figure that what's important is that that the seeds produce palms. Some botanist or palm enthusiast can make the identification later on. What has impressed me most about palm seeds is that many are very, very slow to germinate. The epitome of slowness is the tucumã-açu seed (Astrocaryum aculeatum), which can take up to five years. Just this week I was cleaning up a container to discover the tucumã-açu seed you see in the image. It was like running into an old friend I hadn't seen in years. As a matter of fact, three years. And believe me, the seed is as solid as a rock. When and if the seed germinates, I think a party will be in order. Yet to come, a picture of the proud parent of the seed.