Kadsura coccinea Black-purple, Hei Lao Hu, Rare Chinese Fruit, 10-100 fresh seeds 2023
Kadsura coccinea (in Chinese Hei Lao Hu) is an evergreen climbing plant with woody stems.
Native to southern China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam in a wide variety of habitats including hillside slopes and ravines, semi-open shrubland and forests; usually at elevations from 400 - 1,400 metres, but sometimes descending to 200 metres or ascending to 1,900 metres.
Prefers a position in semi-shade. Requires a sheltered position in a moderately fertile well-drained neutral to acid soil. Flowers are produced on the current year's growth. Plants do not really require pruning.
Kadsura is dioecious, meaning male and female forms need to be grown to produce fruits.
The fruit color varies from red to dark purple, it has unique sweet flawor and high nutritional value. It is rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, amino acids and various trace elements. The aggregate fruit can be 6-10cm or more in diameter, made up of 50-60 or more individual fruits.
Kadsura Coccinea propagates well by 5-8 cm semi-hard cuttings with a heel and by layering of long shoots in the autumn. Seed best sown as soon as it is ripe in a shady position in a nursery seedbed.
Sowing time: spring
Germination temperature: 22-24°C
Sowing mix: good quality compost with good drainage
Water: keep compost wet
Germination time: 4-6 weeks.
Germination Method: seeds could be sown in compost, keep them in the shade and always moist.
Germination should occur in 4-6 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on until they are large enough to plant out.
If you want to have more control over the process use the wet towel method.
Soak the seeds in water for 12-24 hours, the seed coat must get soften and should be easily removable. Pinch the lightly with the nail clip until there's a crack, keep removing the seed coat with you hands or nail clip carefully to not damage the seeds. This procedure is not the must but will prevent the seeds from getting moldy. If it's hard to remove just keep it there:)
Put the seeds on a tissue or towel, spray it with water, fold and seal in a zip lock bag or container (easier to inspect the seeds and taking them out).
You can use 1 part of hydrogen peroxide and 4 parts of water for wetting.
Check your seeds regularly. At room temperature seeds will germinate in 3-4 week. If you plant directly in compost it will take longer as the germination is only the root emergence, cotyledon (leaves and stem you can actually see) takes longer.
Transfer germinated seeds into individual pots with good drainage and light compost (some sources recommend using peat and coco coir free potting medium). Place them in shady position. As it’s vine it will need support as it grows.
Plant is hardy to USDA zone 7, but it is recommended to keep young seedling in cold frame during their first winter. Kadsura coccinea plants mature at 3-4 years and can start having flowers and bearing fruits.