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Orchid seed orchid seeds orchid seed germination asymbiotic orchid seed germination

Orchid seed orchid seeds orchid seed germination asymbiotic orchid seed germination

Hi Nadine!

Nadine Vreeland

Our Books

Now available:

Asymbiotic Technique of Orchid Seed Germination

By Aaron J. Hicks

The Orchid Seedbank Project,
PO Box 7042
Chandler, AZ 85246


      Copyright 2009. 145 pp, paperback. 14 b/w diagrams, 1 color diagram, 14 b/w photos, 21 color photos, and 6 tables.
      8" x 10-1/2" format. With references.
      ISBN 0-9673049-0-3
      US $54 + shipping/handling

      Currently in sixth printing

      Available from the Orchid Seedbank Project, or at Ravenroost Books.

      Why isn't this book available anywhere else?

      We’re working on second edition, and we do not have a release date. We also have a second book that is a little smaller and contains more pertinent information with less technical background.



Chapter 1: The orchid seed: Germination

    Orchid mycorrhiza

Chapter 2: A brief history of orchids from seed


Chapter 3: The basics

    Orchid seed production (green capsule, pollination, pollination of miniature flowers, pollination of vanilla, pollen storage, pollen viability)

    Orchid seed harvesting

    Orchid seed storage (humidity, hydrates, relative humidity, measuring humidity, constant humidity solutions, longevity, short-lived seed, rehydration)

    Handling and shipping of orchid seed (static controls, laws)

    Lab basics (chemical safety, glassware, lab equipment, pH, buffers, suitable pH for germination of orchid seed)

    Media, sterilization, and bacteriology 101 (chemical sterilization, thermal sterilization, filtration sterilization, denaturation, UV light sterilization, radiation sterilization, microwaves, introductory microbiology)

    Preparation of the media (types of media, fertilizer-based media, improvised media, formulae for expedient orchid seed germination, stock solutions, stock solution preparation, aseptic sowing area, flasks)

Chapter 4: Technique

    Preparation of the sowing area (glass sheet technique, glove boxes, laminar flow hoods, hands, bleach vs. alcohol)

    Disinfection of seed (batch washing, filtration, dropwise, decanting, rapidfire, chlorine gas sterilization, floating seed, disinfection times, vacuum treatment, documentation)

    Green capsule technique (technique)

    Variations on a theme (use of steam during flasking, techniques for introducing seed, OSP technique, small-volume flasks, sterile area alternatives, lid seals, miscellaneous)

Chapter 5: Post-sowing

    Dealing with contamination problems (aggressive efforts, source of contamination, treating plugs, sealing flasks, mites, vacuum treatment)

    Care of the sown flasks (dry flasks, root growth, disposal of flasks and conditioning)


    Deflasking and seedling care

Chapter 6: Advanced techniques

    Media modifications (charcoal, water, iron, sugars, vitamins, nitrogen, inositol, amino-acid based media (entire section for cyps!), making your own media, fruit juices and other extracts, anticontaminants in media, nutrient deficiencies)

    Specific genera (terrestrial orchids)

    Making your own glove box

    Manufacturing baffle ports for a glove box

    New directions in seed disinfection (thermal, gas, peroxides, hypochlorites, duration of exposure with hypochlorites, Virkon S, DCCA, outdated techniques)

    Practicing with inert compounds

    Alternative gelling agents (PhytaGel, kappa carrageenan, membrane rafts, capillary media, super absorbent polymers)

    Viability testing and seed analysis (microscopic examination, seed types, chemical staining, photomicrography, floating seed)

Appendix I:

    Where to start (media, flasking area, seeds, sowing, easy starts)

Appendix II:

    Improvised home flasking

Appendix III:

    Sources, conversions, additional reading, trademarks, about the author, about the OSP, how it works)


Asymbiotic Technique of Orchid Seed Germination is the most comprehensive text to date on the subject of growing orchids from seed.

Designed to accommodate everyone from the novice to those working in established orchid labs, Orchid Seed Germination provides valuable information on all phases of growing orchids from seed. From disinfection to deflasking, this manual provides references, in-depth information, and the very latest on the seed propagation of orchids.

The author is the director of the Orchid Seedbank Project, a research and conservation effort to help propagate and conserve orchids.

Errata for the book (first printing only)

*New!* View snapshots from the book.
Page 14 (Color, 52Kb)
Page 34 (Black and white, 88Kb)
Page 61 (Black and white, 114Kb)
Page 79 (Black and white, 229Kb)

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© Copyright 2006 The Orchid Seedbank Project. All rights reserved.


The Orchid Seedbank Project
PO Box 7042
Chandler, AZ 85246