Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua)




Propagation Method

Seed collection: Sweetgum fruit is an aggregate of small 2-celled capsules that from a spiked ball. Inside each capsule are one or two small winged seeds.

Harvest the fruit in the fall after they have turned from green to dark brown and before the beak-like capsules open to release the seeds. Place the fruit in a shallow pan in a dry place to permit the capsules to open and drop the seeds. This usually takes 5-7 days.

The capsules also contain a granular substance that helps seed dispersal and should not be confused with the larger brown winged seed. They can be stored dry for long periods in air tight containers in the refrigerator.

Seed dormancy: Sweetgum has physiological dormancy.

Seed germination: Stratify seeds using moist chilling for 30-60 days to satisfy physiological dormancy. Following stratification, sow seeds in a nursery container to produce a seedling or sow them in a plastic container in the classroom to observe germination.

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