Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Harvesting Puya Seed

Puya Mirabilis Seed Capsule

Some Puya species will set seed immediately after flowering with no hand pollination necessary. This Puya Mirabilis flowered in late June 2011, and I harvested the seed the week of October 5th. It is important to ensure that the seed is ripe, and the capsules are as dry as possible. If you live in an area with large amounts of rainfall, protect the capsules to prevent mold. Some of the capsules toward the tip of the flower spike may contain only chaff.

Remove the outer husk of the capsule, exposing the three lobes of the placenta.

The separated lobes of the placenta.

Each lobes contains the ripened seed, which easily falls out.

The empty lobes.

The harvested seed. It is important to store this seed in a cool, dry place. Also avoid storing in bright light. It should be sown as soon as possible to ensure viability.

The next article we will demonstrate how to sow your harvested seed.

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