Agave Chiapensis Fruit and Seeds

 I've been waiting now for months. I want the Agave chiapensis seed pods to dry up or otherwise signal they are ready. Technically I supposed these are fruit, not seed pods. They seem to be stuck at a green, fleshy stage. Not much has changed in months.

Fruit of Agave chiapensis

 

This past Sunday morning I had some time to kill so I thought... "I'm just going to cut open a few of these and see what's going on there!"


Agave chiapensis seed capsules
Cross section of an A. chiapensis fruit show 3 capsules

These "fruit" may look soft and juicy but don't judge a seed pod by it's cover - they were actually very woody and tough to cut open. I started the dissection with a utility knife but quickly switched to large kitchen knife.


Agave chiapensis fruit cut open
A. chiapensis fruit cut lengthwise showing seeds

The stack of seeds remind me of a book or magazine rack. The dark lines are actual seeds; the light brown striations are paper thin seeds that never developed.


Agave chiapensis seed pod inside
Inside of an Agave chiapensis seed pod

Once I removed the seeds I was struck by the inside of the capsule. I'm not sure what the darker spots are but I assumed they lined up with the darker (presumably viable) seeds.



Lots of messy work.


Agave chiapensis seeds
pheph! glad that's over!

Agave chiapensis seeds

After separating out the viable seeds it's clear there are fewer than the empty husks. I'm not sure why. Given that I only opened 5 fruit that's still an impressive number of seeds although I have no idea how they would be released in nature. It was a lot of work to get to this point. I'm guessing the very woody bloom stalks stay attached to the plant for at least a few years before finally falling over and then maybe releasing seeds (?) Maybe critters eat the fruit?

I'll try germinating these seeds and see what happens. stay tuned.


Happy propagating!


Update (10/30/2020)

After a week some of the seeds are starting to germinate.

Agave chiapensis seeds germinating


Comments

  1. That's a lot of seeds from 3 pieces of fruit! This agave seems to be more of a propagation challenge but it's interesting. I look forward to seeing what happens.

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    Replies
    1. thanks Kris - I hope the seeds germinate. It's a beautiful plant from southern Mexico w/ bright green, broad leaves, and a distinct tropical vibe (as much as can be the case w/an Agave)

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