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Cistus needs fire to germinate

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Joined: 10/18/2005
Location: Malta
Posts: 4
Posted: Oct/08/2006 12:24 PM PST

I was told that seeds of some species germinate in nature after a fire. So for such seeds to germinate, one should pour boiling water. Cistus is one example

how true is this, what other plant undergo this process for germination?
wan2hav blog photos
Joined: 8/13/2006
Location: east coast..Connecticut at the sound !
Posts: 509
Posted: Oct/13/2006 8:38 PM PST are in a very far country.........WOW !!

I don't know all the plants that need fire to open the pods...but I know in the more western areas of the United States --there are some pine trees (conifers) that utilize wild fires to allow for germination. The burn allows them to open and I think also the burn also allows for clearer areas to support new growth.

There are some people here that specialize in different plants..some flowers ..some trees some plants..........I hope that one will drop by here to help you..soon I have no idea what CISTUS actual is..or whether one can substitute boiling water for FIRE .
Joined: 2/15/2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 2518
Posted: Oct/13/2006 10:33 PM PST

Hi, it's very true that a lot of plant seeds respond positively to exposure to smoke, heat or fire. A lot of the native species in my country require it for germination. Boiling water is a another good alternative in some cases as the seed pod is very hard and the boiling water acts to soften the seed casing, aiding germination. The chemicals in smoke alone activate the germination process (this includes cistus) and that's why "smokewater" has been made available to the home gardener. I've used all of the above processes on native plant seeds here with great success including mixing hot ashes from a wood fire in the potting mix. This link may help you out, it's a little technical but mentions cistus plants md=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12647865&dopt=Abst ract
Hoeandhope blog photos
Joined: 6/02/2004
Location: Statesboro, GA zone 8B
Posts: 895
Posted: Oct/14/2006 11:57 AM PST

What is cistus?
Joined: 2/15/2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 2518
Posted: Oct/15/2006 12:49 AM PST

Check this link out Mickie......
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