Seed Germination: Caesalpinia Seeds | Growing Guide

  • Thread starter Stephen Tashi
  • Start date
In summary, Sellers of seeds of the Bird of Paradise tree say to scarify or nick the seeds before planting them. How hard or gently should this be done?
  • #1

Stephen Tashi

Science Advisor
Sellers of seeds of the Bird of Paradise tree say to scarify or nick the seeds before planting them. How hard or gently should this be done?

Is there a natural process that implements the scarifying?

I collect seeds from the trees in a friend's yard. There are lots of empty twisted pods on the ground. Is this twisted shape typical of how seed pods open?


  • BirdOfParadisePods.JPG
    52.9 KB · Views: 514
  • BirdOfParadiseSeed.JPG
    4.7 KB · Views: 517
Biology news on
  • #2
Opening - moisture changes and drying cause uneven pressure on the suture (the line on the fruit (seed pod) where the split happens)

Hard seed - many legumes like bird of paradise and alfalfa (pea family, fabaceae) have hard seeds. The seeds have to be stratified and/or be scarified to germinate - allow water to penetrate the outer seed coating - the testa - which is initially very resistant to water absorption.

Stratification is exposure to drying and wetting cycles, cold/frost is also often part of the deal.
Scarification occurs with moisture/cold cycling and microbial breakdown of the testa.

Scarification with sandpaper works well. Get a piece of fine grit paper, a small wide mouth jar with a lid, like a baby food jar. Cut the paper to fit inside the jar. What you want is to make a "second" interior wall lining with sandpaper - grit on the inside. This isn't a precision thing. Put the seeds in the jar, put on the cover, and shake. Because I used to do lots of seeds I used a Quaker oats cylindrical paper container. Seed houses have equipment that looks like a small potato polisher with very fine teeth. See video below

Try for about 5 minutes of agitation.

Before you plant, soak the scarified seeds for at least 24 hours. Any seeds that do not "puff up" need another dose of the sandpaper treatment.

PS: how well the plants grow is a function of the water they get until they have a decent root system. Water twice a week for the first few months.
Massive operation:
Small tabletop to potato polisher
  • Like
Likes Stephen Tashi
  • #3
I had several caesalpina seed pods sitting in the console of van between the front seats. Today I found the twisted halves of one the pods on the floor of the car and seeds were scattered about. Perhaps when these pods burst open, they fling their seeds.

1. How long does it take for Caesalpinia seeds to germinate?

The germination time for Caesalpinia seeds can vary, but on average it takes about 1-3 weeks for the seeds to germinate. Factors such as temperature, light, and moisture levels can affect the germination time.

2. What is the ideal temperature for Caesalpinia seed germination?

The ideal temperature for Caesalpinia seed germination is between 70-80°F (21-27°C). It is important to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the germination process to ensure successful germination.

3. Do Caesalpinia seeds require any special treatment before germination?

Yes, Caesalpinia seeds have a hard outer coat that needs to be broken down before germination can occur. This can be done by scarifying the seeds with sandpaper or soaking them in warm water for 24 hours before planting.

4. How much light do Caesalpinia seeds need for germination?

Caesalpinia seeds do not require light to germinate and can actually germinate better in the dark. Once the seeds have sprouted, they will need adequate light to continue growing.

5. How often should Caesalpinia seeds be watered during germination?

Caesalpinia seeds should be kept consistently moist but not waterlogged during germination. This usually means watering the seeds once a day or whenever the topsoil feels dry to the touch. Overwatering can lead to mold and fungal growth, so it is important to monitor the soil moisture levels closely.

Similar threads

  • MATLAB, Maple, Mathematica, LaTeX