[NAFEX] Pawpaw seed--floaters and sinkers

mauch1 at aol.com mauch1 at aol.com
Tue Nov 15 11:59:00 EST 2005

Am cleaning pawpaw seed to ship to someone who will germinate them. About
1/2 sink and about 1/2 float. Does one 1/2 or the other have a higher
germination rate, after cold stratification, or do I assume they are all
equally viable? Anyone with pawpaw seed experience in this area?
The float test isn't always perfect, you have to know the seed you're dealing
with.  The seeds could be dead inside.  Depending on the number of seeds you have, 
I would take a pair of clippers and snip a seed open of the floaters (more the one if 
you can spare them).  That way you know if you're sending good seed or not.  You 
also might want to cut into a sinker to see whether it has a different look (potentially
healthier, I would hope).
Two examples:  Viable rose seed generally sinks, but if it's an important cross, sometimes
a germination can occur among a floater, and there's at least one variety of rose whose
seeds always float, but are perfectly viable (can't remember the rose variety off 
the top of my head at the moment).
Hickory nuts.  All of them floated for me, but some floated tip down and were lower in the water.
When these were cracked, they had healthy nutmeat (so I'm assuming viable).  The ones
that didn't tip down and floated higher in the water were either empty or dead.
Chris Mauchline
SE PA, zone 6
40° 5' N 75° 51'W
~650 ft elevation
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