Sunday, July 24, 2011

This Year's Seed Bounty

It is the season to collect seeds again. Most trees are in fruit, which means it is time to bring out the gloves and ziplocks. And I did.

Seed no.1 is from a Visayan tree called banilad or Sterculia comosa. I found trees of this species lining the Libaong Beach in Panglao. Everytime I get the chance to go back there, I collect the seeds falling from two specimens. Timing has to be right as I am in stiff competition with the starlings that frequent the trees. Not sure though if the birds do eat the nut-looking seeds.

Another tree from Libaong beach is anan (Visayan) or balinghasay (Tagalog). Buchanania arborescens is a coastal tree that I have seen growing in limestone formations from Zambales to Bohol. The fruits are berry-like which later dry up to a crisp. I will not extract the seeds anymore and plant the dried fruits straight into a pot.

Seed no. 3 is from another coastal species, Dodonaea viscosa or kalapinai, which I heard could rival mangkono in wood hardness. The trees have fine leaves and are quite attractive. The seeds are very minute specks enclosed in a paper like pod. I collected a few clumps of the pod but yielded only few viable seeds. Some of the pods were completely empty.

These are not coffee beans but rather the seeds of kanumai or a beach persimmon. Kanumai is Diospyros maritima, and is found in a lot of Visayan islands. They fruit profusely and the seeds cover a good area under the tree's shade. I've only managed to sift a handful of the small seeds from the fine beach sand. If I had more time I would have gotten a lot more.

Seed 5 is from my favorite tree, Reutealis trisperma or baguilumbang. Every year I try to get seeds coming from a specimen in the UP Beta way, but everytime I come late. The seeds have already germinated to seedlings which are harder to tranport (as I have to go straight home and replant them). This time I managed to get fruits from a tree in the DENR nursery. The fruits of baguilumbang are about the size of a santol, but the seeds are really big, almost the size of a chestnut.

The last but certainly not the least seeds are from Dillenia philippinensis or the much raved katmon. I was with members of the Philippine Native Plant Conservation Society when we found the tree specimen heavily burdened with fruits. The members could not resist tasting the sour fleshy part of the fruit and have taken a few back home with them. I got one to dissect and show the beautiful spiral carpels of the fruit. Tucked within them are the seeds which have a short shelf life. I will have to plant them soon if I expect them to germinate. I will also have to prepare pots for the other seeds to have a very nice bounty of seedlings to keep, exchange and share in the next coming months.


Ron said...

Hello Pat,

Nice treasure trove of seeds you have there!

I was able to gather a lot of Katmon fruits which fell to the ground. There's a Katmon tree in People's Park, and no one apparently is interested in the fruit.

Do I plant the whole fruit? Or do I dissect out the seed?

Thanks, Pat!

... and I have a bunch of Roselle seeds waiting for you.


metscaper said...

Thanks for the rosella seeds.

disect the seeds out but I think you have to plant them fresh.

Beth said...

Hi! Would you know what these seeds are ?