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.
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!"
|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.
|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.
|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.
|pheph! glad that's over!|
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.
After a week some of the seeds are starting to germinate.
Update January 2021
This weekend I cut down the flower stalks pulled off all of the seed pods which have largely dried into shapes resembling a Brazil Nut. As it turns out cracking them open at this stage is much easier the green version shown above.
|Partially dried A. chiapensis seed pods|
I noticed the top most seed pods seemed to have completely dried and are opening to reveal the three internal capsules. Lots of seeds came spilling out when I tried handling these dried out husks. I'm guessing that in their natural environment the wind helps in distributing the paper thin seeds