View Full Version : Growing Dutchmans Pipe from Seed

07-13-2003, 08:07 AM
I live in the foothills near Auburn border between zones 7 & 9, am interested in growing Aristolochia Californica Dutchman`s Pipe from seed and have a native source plant from which I can collect the seed pods. When can the pods be collected to obtain viable seeds? Do the pods have to dry out on the plant before picking them? I have been taking 2-3 pods every month or so for the past 3 months and letting them dry at home. Many of the pods on the vine show evidence of being eaten at the bottom and I hesitate to wait until they dry out on the vine for fear they will all either be eaten or dry up and drop their seeds before I can pick them.

The pods I have dried and opened contain many seeds but the seeds appear to be somewhat 'skeletal' in appearance - sort of like a kernel of corn with most of the inside missing. Are these viable seeds or must I wait longer to pick the pods from the vine?

Any assistance will be appreciated.</p>

07-13-2003, 04:42 PM
It`s hard to tell from a written description whether or not you have any viable seeds.

However, don`t wait for little creatures to eat the developing pods & seeds! As the pods are maturing, fasten little cloth bags around them - you can get little muslin drawstring bags from tobacco shops, sometimes from stationary shops.

The sun gets through, and the pods grow and ripen in the bags, while the plant munching bugs are excluded you have to pull the drawstring tight, but not so tight as to crush the stem.

I`ve used the bag method with pods that dehisce violently, like Calif. poppy and lupine. It also worked the year some bug was eating my immature coast lily pods.

Good luck,

Lori Hubbart</p>

08-29-2003, 04:59 AM
The damage you are seeing is most likely from the swallowtail caterpillars and doesn`t seem to hurt the seeds. When the pods turn a bit yellow they will split open at the bottom and in my yard, yellowjacket wasps come to eat the meat of the seeds out very eagerly. Ripe seeds should look like a plump corn cob, I`ve not seen the skeletal look you describe, maybe those were not pollinated?

Here`s some pictures of ours:

Here`s the pic on that page with the caterpillars eating the seeds:

I`ve grown the seeds by cleaning them at the time they are splitting and putting them in damp perlite in the fridge in a ziplock till they sprout.

Also you can pin down some branches in the soil till they root then cut those off as cuttings very easily.

Paul Furman
san francisco native plants
415 722-6037