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This is *so* exciting: Germinating hard shell seeds (royal poinciana) via scarification!

These are beauteous beasts. The one I have harks back to my childhood home and this one has frozen 2 or 3 times in the past 8 or so years, has been cut down to the ground but apparently the roots rule so it has come back every time and is currently at full height taller than the eaves. I planted it the Spring before a big water bearing storm, was waist high, and these things are water GUZZLERS, so the storm made it ZOOM the first year.

In the first five years it never bloomed. Then a couple of years ago it put one ONE puny bloom, and last year it popped out about ten, but this year it was COVERED, plus for the first time it put out SEED PODS, 30 or more! But I have never GROWN anything. Silly me, I thought seeds just were buried and watered.

Well, YouTube has several videos on getting these things to germinate. This is a HARD SHELL seed, like ebony seeds. You canít just soak them. Thereís something called SCARIFICATION, meaning clipping the business end of the seed, exposing what is the REAL seed inside (without clipping that white part), then soaking them for 24 hours or more, whereupon the inside REAL seed drinks up the water and swells up. Then you put it in potting soil or seed starter soil and lightly water them and wait for eleven days, whereupon the little plant supposedly pokes out. Who knows, will see in eleven days. Anyway, I have 30 pods and hundreds of seeds to try again if needed.

In the bottom right pic, the first seed is intact with its piggly wiggly thing; the middle one is after clipping that end without damaging the inner (real) seed; the 3rd is after soaking.

TOOLS are needed! Some of the seed pods might crack open on their own dropping the seeds on the ground. Mine and all the ones in YouTube were zipped up tight. They used a large knife to separate the woody package. What worked for me was a box cutter. The first info from YouTube said to use toenail clippers to snip the seed. This didnít work because the blades donít open wide enough to fit on the seed, which also is sort of slippery so doesnít allow for gripping it. Another thing they recommended were wire cutters. I had some pressure locking pliers that had a small wire cutter function, with a flat area with the cutting edge coming right where wanted.

Another thing was figuring out which end of the seed was the one to snip. There was only one video that addressed this, and the answer is: The one with the little hair. The other end (if the hair is missing) is shaped like the front end of a jet.

Caveat: I am now into the second day of the absolute worst allergy attack I've ever had. It started the morning BEFORE I was sawing into the woody pods so I can't blame the woody dust. Co-inky-dink?!1

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