Staphylea trifolia (Bladdernut) Seeds
Zones: 3 to 8.
Native to North America.
The Bladdernut is a small understory tree that likes shade or part shade and moist soil. It is commonly found near rivers and streams and woodland thickets. It grows 10 to 15 feet tall and has compound foliage comprised of three leaflets. It features clusters of white, bell-shaped flowers in spring. By late summer the tree develops bladder-like, papery seed capsules 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) long containing small round brown seeds.
The Bladdernut is a great little tree for naturalizing and a perfect addition to a shade garden.
Size: Height 10 to 15 ft; Width 10 to 15 ft.
Scarification: The seeds have a hard coat that should be lightly sanded and / or nicked with a file to help make it permeable to moisture to germinate. Next place the seeds in a container with warm water and let them soak overnight.
Stratification: Provide about 180 days warm stratification followed by 90 days cold, moist stratification at 3° C (37° F) to 5° C (41° F).
- After scarification, place seeds in sandwich bag(s) with a bit of damp sand or vermiculite to keep moist.
- Warm stratify for 180 days.
- Next cold stratify. Place the bag(s) with seeds in refrigerator for about 90 days.
- After the required time take the seeds out of the refrigerator and sow the seeds in pots 1/4 inch deep and cover lightly. Water gently so as not to wash away the seeds. Keep soil moist but not wet.
- This species is well known to have a slow and sporadic germination. Do not throw out any seeds that have not germinated, but repeat the warm-cold stratification again and be patient for more seeds to germinate. Some seeds may germinate a few years after the original sowing date.