Tuesday, October 20, 2009


i signed out The Avocado / Botany, Production and Uses (Whiley, Schaffer, Wolstenholme) from the university library today. i read a bit about successful germination. apparently an avocado seed should be planted soon after it is removed from the fruit to avoid dehydration-- and it doesn't take long for this to happen. scarification (removing the brown coat surrounding the pit or cutting sections from the cotyledons*) and soaking the pits in gibberellic acid (GA)** for 24 hours prior to planting have been shown to increase both the speed and percentage of germination. the seed coat actually contains chemicals that inhibit germination!

today the pit did seem to be drier. (this is its fourth day outside the fruit.) after reading about the danger of dehydration, i was hoping that the pits large size would mean the embryo was well protected. but squeezing the pit, it did not feel firm; it felt somewhat spongy. i removed the pit's coat with a dull knife. it was splitting already and there were some soft orangey-brown dents. i impulsively ripped the pit in half with my hands. there goes that one.

avocado pit interior, 4 days out of fruit

i suspect there is some rotting going on in there.

* the avocado is a dicot, so it has 2 cotyledons.
** gibberillic acid is a hormone found in plants.

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