Seedlings: Moon Vine, Calonyction aculeatum

Moon Vine, Calonyction aculeatum, is a fast-growing, aggressive vine with large white flowers opening in the evening. It produces profuse seed but luckily does not self sow in central NC allowing for control of this vine in your garden. Even before the flowers open they are wildly attractive with a fluted, spiral shape. It’s recently been re-classified as Ipomoea alba. You may recall morning glories, sweet potatoes, and bindweed as being in this genus.

As you can see from the photo below, the large leaves are tightly wound up inside the seed and I’ve found that they don’t unfurl and expand without some help or without some tearing. The true leaves came in a few days later and looked normal.

Moon Vine - Calonyction aculeatum

Moon Vine – Calonyction aculeatum – 9 Days From Sowing

Germination: As pictured above. Seed was room-temperature stored and purchased in March 2016 making the seed less than 6 months old. Seed was cut with a utility knife on the pointed end and covered in soil to 1/2 inch and germinated at room temperature with light, though the light was unimportant. Germination was 50% at 6 days and 100% at 8 days.

I have germinated seed harvested in 2011 in 2016, making the seed 5 years old. Seed was room-temperature stored. I don’t recommend boiling seed, it helps but it’s inconsistent compared to mechanical scarification (cutting). If you don’t treat the seed, be prepared to wait months or years for germination.

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