Reproduction From Seeds

About the same procedures are common to all flowering plants. In the first place, the aquarium or terrarium should be designed so that all conditions favor successful flowering, pollination, and setting of the seeds. The seeds should be left to mature properly. After a resting period in either a moist or dry atmosphere, the actual conditions and length of time depending on the plant, the seeds can be sown. At this time and after they develop into seedlings extra care and caution must be exercised, as the germinating seeds and young seedlings are very delicate.

Propagation from seeds is necessary in the case of plants that do not reproduce vegetatively (Aponogeton), annuals which die

Left: The complete inflorescence of Cryptocoryne wendtii showing the important structures: kettle, tube, and limb.

Right: Dissected kettle with the male and female structures exposed; female organs at the base, male organs at the distal end.

each year after flowering (Ottelia), and species such as Echino-doruH cordifolius which reproduce faster and more abundantly by seed than vegetatively. A few plants, such as Samolus valerandi, flower well in terrariums but neither flower nor produce vegetative offspring under aquarium conditions. Such plants are allowed to flower in terrariums or paludariums and the seeds sown underwater or the seedlings transplanted to the aquarium.

In nurseries it is often more practical with such groups as Echinodorus to use seeds than vegetative offspring. One year of vegetative propagation might produce 1 to 30 new plants, while a pair of plants during the same time might produce over 1,000 viable seeds. To produce large numbers of new plants vegetatively would require large numbers of parent plants and correspondingly large tanks and floor space, while much less space is necessary for two or three flowering parents and their offspring. Although the plants produced from seeds may take twice as long to reach salable size, the reduced need for space makes generative reproduction economically practical.

Bifurcate spike inflorescence of Aponogeton ulvaceus.

Bifurcate spike inflorescence of Aponogeton ulvaceus.

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