Attempting germination of rose achene/seed/embryo by continuous water soaking

Here is a R.multiflora achene suture cleaving open due soley to the action of continuous water soaking after many weeks…the seed within is swelling up and starting to poke out from its “radicle pole”.

Here is a different view of the same process leading to suture cleavage:

These embryos were extracted only from the swelling/splitting achenes (just like those shown in the above pictures), and were submitted to three days of further saoking in a small glass of water. They are germianting very fast, and all of them are behaving the same vigorous way.

No embryos that I have sampled from such splitting water-soaked achenes have behaved in any way other than what you see in this picture, once removed from testa and water-soaked for a few more days:

Here is my first water-soaked R.multiflora achene which germinated in a glass of water…I buried it the day before yesterday in seed raising mix, but pulled it out today to show you…I can see that the radicle has about doubled its length, and thickened, since initial planting.

It would also be interesting to me, to see how long-term water soaking WITHOUT cold stratification compares in those achenes where a period of cold seems to be essential to the germination process… I don’t know why I am saying this, only that it just makes me wonder…I don’t have such achenes to test out at the moment, too bad.

“Osmositic pressure gradients” exist where on one side of any partition there is a greater concentration of water molecules, compared to the other side of the partition. This difference in water molecule density always causes a NET flow of water molecules from the more water-dense side (eg the liquid water in the glass) to the less water-dense side (the achene/embryo system), assuming of course that the barrier (the achene in our case) permits water to cross it.

So what I am suggesting here is that this water-soaking is just a super-blast of water, compared to a trickle of water that we normally apply to achenes anyway, when we ensure our seeds are stratifying in damp conditions…In other words, we are already doing this “soaking” when we damp stratify, but in a less “pressurised” manner.

Interesting also is the observation that grey mouldy colonies, even scums, are forming on these submerged achenes…and these seemed to form quite early on in the water-soaking…these are the same sort of moulds I imagine that people talk about seeing on their stratified achenes…I know some people on this forum believe that these fungi could play a beneficial role in the process of germination…they sure are present and thriving here!

For your entertainment, below is a water-soaked achene now just hours from sprouting its radicle…(reminds me of a turtle…LOL…)

I’m pretty sure this one I’ve just pulled outta the water to picture here, is the same as one of those I pictured above yesterday, as I selected the “most cleaved sutured ones” yesterday, to take those pictures…so this gives you an idea of the rapid anabolic growth going on in the embryo underneath over just 24hrs, when comparing pictures from yesterday.

Also, a word or two about those embryos I extracted from this batch pictured above, which proved that the water-soaking did not drown the embryos, but instead switched them over into “germination mode”…just for fun, I am going to see exactly how they behave when left in this glass of water…could they sprout out of the glass?! A few months ago I would not have even DARED consider this…LOL…

Interestingly, so far none of these vigorously germinating embryos in the glass of water, have shown any signs of failure to grow radicles/rootlets, failure to gain mass and grow, dying etc etc…Such abnormalities were often observed in a percentage of jar-cultured embryos I used to extract in the past straight from ripe hips/achenes, and I could not explain why this was so…but at that time, I had not thought that there may exist a population of physiologically-UNRIPE-for-germination embryos, within ripe hips/achene fruits…which were VERY water thirsty!..I now believe it is these “unripe ones” that were behaving abnormally…like they were partly alive but not fully alive, like their batteries were not charged up to go full steam into germinating…they sometimes started to grow then stopped then died, or else never started to grow sat there and died.

To counter this trouble I had developed an idea that they clearly were not able to assimilate water, and I used to submit them to “water resuscitation” which seemed to benefit them initially, but once out of the water after a day or two, they again withered, often dying fast… At the time, I lacked knowledge as to exactly how long a “water resuscitaion” they required to get them to become fully “battery charged”, if you like. I would not have dared to keep them in water for weeks if required, I always wrongly assumed thay would have rotted…

Thanks for reading, hope this makes sense.

Actually, now that I look back at it, the picture above reminds me more of a clam than a turtle, must laugh at myself!

For the sake of completeness, below is pictured the first of the water-soaked R.multiflora achenes to sprout…now fully germinated, approximately one week now after it started to sprout in the glass of water.

Looks quite ok.

I’m gonna keep this one as my future roostock supply, as it was such a little performer for me…lol!

These water-soaked achenes which are still in the glass of water, are still loving it, there is about to be an en-masse sprouting from that batch… I never kept a date as to when I started the soaking, but is must be getting close to 8 weeks…wateva…

The control embryos immersed in the glass of water developed long extensions/hypocotyls, got a little green then did drown eventually, which is no surprise.

Watching this very simple water-soaking experiment unfold has been real fun for me, and continues to amaze me. I wonder how long the longest-to-sprout achene will take to sprout in the glass of water?

It seems to me that the “not quite ripe for germination” seeds may really be a survival mechanism not unlike many other seeds, that insures its’ survival in case of fire, excessive animal populations causing the eradication of ‘mother’ plants, prolonged weather (excess rain, excessive drought) conditions not conducive to the survival of the seedling, etc. Most species have some internal time clocks that allow for the sprouting of some but not all seeds in any given time period for this very reason. Even then, when conditions are right, a larger amount of the seeds will sprout in seasons that support their survival, but even so an amount will remain dormant, sometimes for many more years, until such a time that most of them sprout. I don’t believe this has anything to do with unripe, or immature seeds. It is simply natures’ way of insuring survival.

I linked to a local botanist’s journal on the sprouting of Nelumbo seeds, which have been known to sprout after 1000 years. The parallels are uncanny.


Yes, this is exactly what appears to be happening with these achenes, also. Nature is incredible, isn’t it.

Hi all.

This time I repeated my simple experiment of germinating a few R. Multiflora achenes (n=14) in a glass of water, (immediately after they were shelled out of ripe red hips), at room temperature. This time, I kept dates, to get more time-exact results. We are in our winter here, diurnal temperature ranges over the past few weeks have been in the order of about 45F-65F.

This soak was started on June 10…this is the first one to sprout out of the 14:

I must have missed it when it started to sprout a few days ago as the light was poor due to overcast rainy conditions, and I was obviously not really looking carefully enough! I guess there is about 4 days worth of sprouting showing in this picture, which was taken a few minutes ago…so say this one commenced sprouting after ~30 days of soaking.

I am most curious as to how long the longest sprouting time will be…I’ll post the results as soon as I know.

Also pictured here (just for a bit of fun), is a photo I took a few minutes ago of the R. Multiflora seedling that germinated for me in water, which I had pictured in the Wednesday May 26 entry further up this thread…this gives you an idea of its behavior as a seedling in the ensuing couple of months of its life:

LOL…after reviewing this last photo, I spotted a grub in the photo which I had missed in reality…LOL! had succumbed to the slug baits…these baits have saved countless seedlings from slug/grub damage, they have been invaluable for me!!


ignore the above entry…i am trying to work out why photobucket html-coded images cannot upload onto the body of the message, whereas with freeimage hosting the html code for the photo does upload here…weird and frustrating stuff!!

George- On Photobucket I have no problem posting if I delete the… Http://[IMG] … at the beginning and the… [IMG] …at the end. Nothing else added or changed.

Hi Jackie!

Yeah, what you say is exactly right…what you advise is exactly how I too have been uploading single images for each message, using Photobucket.

I think I didn’t explain my troubles yesterday well enough!!

Actually, yesterday I was trying to see if Photobucket could be used to replicate what I was able to do in the message you see with two images, separated by commentary in the same message (I did this yesterday using Free Image Hosting, and Jim’s Sproul’s great tricks on how this is done)…trouble is, it seems these same tricks don’t work when using Photobucket.

I guess I’ll just start using Free Image Hosting from now on, unless you, Jackie, or any other folks here can be kind enough to explain how this can be done using Photobucket (nearly all my images are on Photobucket ATM).

test message,

testing to see if an image appears here, or not…