Update on our frangipani seed pod seedlings.

Update on our frangipani seed pod seedlings.

In early 2015, we shared our exciting discovery of the frangipani pod in our garden. http://dempseys.co.za/fascinating-frangipani-pod-in-dempseys-garden/ We’ve been slack in reporting on the growth progress but we have these recent photos to show you that the four ‘seed survivors’ are thriving. We managed to save approximately 18 seeds, we planted them and once they were ‘shooting’, we gave a few away as gifts. This was around May last year. Later a snail gang wiped out a further few seedlings and we were left with only four plants, these we have nurtured. We look forward to the day when the plants flower as there is a strong chance that the colour of the flowers will differ from the yellow of the original tree flower:)

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Fascinating Frangipani pod in Dempsey’s garden.

Fascinating Frangipani pod in Dempsey’s garden.

Discovered by chance recently in our garden is this fascinating pod hanging from our frangipani tree. At first glance the texture seemed hard and spiky similar to that of a pine cone. Upon close inspection, the complete opposite was discovered! Those hard looking things are light and fluffy weightless seeds! WOW!

Have you ever seen one of these?

Frangipani or Plumeria, produces heavy-petaled pinwheel-shaped tubular flowers that are prized for their exotic fragrance and for making leis. Frangipani grows in warm tropical climates. The bushes flower profusely in summer and fall, but they rarely produce seed. Harvesting fully mature seed at the right time improves the chances for successful germination. Though you can’t speed up the time it takes for seeds to mature, you can improve the plant’s chances of setting viable seed. Seed pods are only occasionally produced on Plumeria plants, less often on plants grown indoors. Some cultivars are sterile and never produce pods. Pods contain seeds that grow into new plants.

The seeds begin forming as soon as the flowers wilt on plants that experience successful pollination. The pods grow up to 7 inches in length and are green during the first few months after they begin to grow. The seeds take up to eight months to reach maturity from the time of pollination, so plants pollinated in fall produce seed in late spring or early summer. In the plant’s native tropical climate, spring or summer flowers may also successfully set seeds that are ready for harvest in late fall or early winter.

The pods begin to split open once the seeds are fully mature and ready for harvest. The pods develop their full dark brown, nearly black color. Mature pods are hard and brittle when they split open. The pods each contain up to 60 seeds. The seeds have small wings and are also hard and dry once mature. Harvest the seeds only after the pods begin to open naturally but before they split completely open and spill the seed.

Harvest Tips:-
Cut or pluck the pods from the frangipani bush, taking care not to break the stem holding the pod. Holding a bowl beneath the pod as you cut it free with the other hand, catches any seeds that spill out during harvest. Frangipani seeds only remain viable for a short time after harvest, so it’s best to plant them immediately to ensure the best germination rate. The seeds may not produce flowers the same colour as the parent plant. For example, a pink parent plant may produce a plant with blooms that are white, red or pink.

We are going to give it a try at Dempsey’s and will report on our progress or…lack thereof!

Information taken from: http://www.ehow.com/info_8562121_frangipani-seed-pods-ready-pick.html

split open frangipani pod with flowers

Split open frangipani pod with flowers

weightless seeds lifting from frangipani pod

Weightless seeds lifting from frangipani pod

close up of frangipani pod

Close up of frangipani pod