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Pistachio nut seeds

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Rainforestgirl starts with ...
Does anyone know where I can buy Pistachio seeds please - thanks so much 🌱🌱🌱
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Rainforestgirl
Kuranda
28th May 2018 4:22pm
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Markmelb says...
You need to keep a watch for fresh pistachios in February - i saw around and they germinate quite fast.
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Markmelb
MOUNT WAVERLEY,3149,VIC
29th May 2018 1:15pm
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jakfruit etiquette says...
Does anyone know the lifespan/viability of unharvested pistachio, seed still hanging on the tree, might be able to round some up. Also rootstock spp seed still on tree.
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jakfruit etiquette
vic
9th June 2018 3:24pm
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brad16 says...
Hi J.E.

I recall reading somewhere that pistachio seeds desiccate and/or go mouldy pretty quickly if left on the tree. The information was related to consumption and recommended harvesting asap when colour changes, but both desiccation and mould would effect viability too I'd think. Pistachio are recalcitrant. That is they lose viability when they desiccate (dry out).

The hanging seed would definitely be passed its prime, but if they were inspected for mould and still retained their shape, it may be worth a try if you're prepared to accept a low strike rate. Worst case scenario is try again next year with fresh seed.

Personally I'd go for it. What's too lose?
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brad16
GOROKAN,2263,NSW
10th June 2018 8:30am
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Rainforestgirl says...
Thanks everybody for your input - as I know nothing about pistachios appreciate all feedback. 🙏
🌱🌱🌱
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Rainforestgirl
Kuranda
10th June 2018 8:57pm
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denise1 says...
I have imported some pistachio seeds from Turkey. They arrived looking dry and shriveled a bit but they still sprouted.
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denise1
auckland NZ
10th June 2018 9:19pm
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jakfruit etiquette says...
Hi Rainforest Girl,
Pistachios are usually grafted onto rootstock of a close relative, also they usually ripen the nuts in late summer/early autumn. This might be the wet season in Kuranda,and might cause problems with mould etc on the nuts.
It is possible they would ripen earlier in the overall warmer climate and miss the wet??
They might do better in Speewah, Mareeba
or on the Tablelands than Kuranda in the forest.
If I find any seed, will let you know here.



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jakfruit etiquette
vic
11th June 2018 12:12pm
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Rainforestgirl says...
Thank you for all your fabulous info. I have learnt a lot. Appreciative of all your input. Have a fabulous season and gardening year 🌷🌷🌷
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Rainforestgirl
Kuranda
16th June 2018 12:37pm
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brad16 says...
Hi Rainforestgirl,

With regards to your original question ... The Royal Nut Company in Brunswick VIC sells raw Australian, Iranian and U.S.A. pistachio kernels.

https://www.royalnutcompany.com.au/nuts/pistachio/

Your question, and denise1's comment about sprouting seed from Turkey, prompted me to experiment with a batch, so I purchased some Iranian kernels (which just arrived).

The plan is to re-hydrate them, stratify them in the fridge over winter, and germinate them in September.

I sorted out some (which hadn't broken, excessively dried out, and maintained a bit of colour) and put them in a glass bowl with water. About one quarter of them sank to the bottom.
After gently swishing them around, the water turned murky with dust and what-not, so I decided to give them a little wash (I'm sure they would have been fumigated for export/import anyway). After all of that, just under half of them where sinking to the bottom.

I then bagged them in a zip-lock bag with water, removed all the air and put them in the fridge to start re-hydrating. I'm not trying to germinate them yet, just re-hydrate and stratify (keep them chilled and dormant in the fridge) until winter is over.

That's another experiment under way. I'm also experimenting with wheat that has been in storage for 40 years. It's still good as food (I use it on a regular basis), but I'm curious as to whether any of it is viable seed.
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brad16
GOROKAN,2263,NSW
19th June 2018 3:05pm
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brad16 says...
My Pistachio Experiment:

What I'm aiming to do:
* See how well pre-packaged pistachios (packed and stored for consumption) germinate and grow.
* See if stratifying 're-hydrated' improves/reduces germination strike rate.
* See if the ones that float/sink are more/less likely to germinate.

What I've done so far:
* Bought 1 kg of raw Iranian pistachio kernels.
* Sorted out a selection of unbroken ones that retained the most shape, colour, and just looked 'in better condition' than the rest.
* Put about half into a zip-lock bag full of water, and soaked in the fridge overnight (it was about 20 hours, though 12 did the same job).
* Put the remaining dry ones into an air tight container and into the fridge (they will get no soaking until the day before planting, to see if re-hydrating is a waste of time).
* Separated the ones that float/sink.
* Stored in loosely covered sandwich bags with paper towel.
* Checked and gently rinsed the following day to avoid stale water/moisture and mould.

To give an idea of how many kernels come in a 1 kg bag, see the photo with the 2 bowls and 1 container. I ate around the same amount as is in the container.

If your curious about different pistachio types, Kerman are renowned as the benchmark cultivar world wide (like Hass for avocado). Although Kerman is a provence of Iran, Kerman pistachios are the predominant cultivar for Turkey and the USA. Australia mainly produces Sirora (developed by the CSIRO). Iran is known for other cultivars like those in the link:

http://irantraders.net/en/iranian-pistachio-types/

The ones I ate tasted nice, but rather 'dusty'. Occasionally (about 1 in 20) had a very nice flavour that I can't put my finger on. I don't know if they are all the same type. If there are different types in there, I'm hoping for a female of that one. It's a very 'elegant' and 'floral' flavour, and I liked it.
Pictures - Click to enlarge

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Picture: 5
 
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brad16
GOROKAN,2263,NSW
21st June 2018 5:04pm
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Markmelb says...
Brad16 The ones you ate and were nice are the females.

I hope you get germination - mine were surprisingly fast from fresh Feb fruit.
They are almost big enough to graft.

If you search you will see the actually
graft to an extremely hardy and disease
tolerant related Pistachia species not
to seedlings.
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Markmelb
MOUNT WAVERLEY,3149,VIC
22nd June 2018 6:25pm
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Original Post was last edited: 24th June 2018 8:01am
brad16 says...
Thanks Markmelb,

Females having a different flavour is an interesting point. I was unaware of this. It seems like it would be great if you could eat it (non-destructively) before sowing it.

I ate maybe another 100 or so of the dried ones and only had one with the flavour I mentioned. The flavour is quite different to the others. It is very noticeable when you're not paying attention. It stands out from the subtle differences between each. It tastes like a completely different kernel and, statistically, their numbers don't seem to match up with a division by sex (assuming 50:50 male:female). I'm inclined to think that there are a few in the batch that either:

* have 'crossed' over from other pistachio batches through storage and processing areas of another type.

or

* have undergone an internal change in their starch storage provisions (like how 'malt' is made by germinating and drying barley).

One of my favourite desserts as a child was ice-cream with caramel topping, covered with malt. Knowing about malt made me think that a small number of the pistachio kernels may have begun the germination process before they were dried for storage and packing. The flavour wasn't 'just like' malt, but it's not too much of a stretch of imagination to draw similarities (even though I haven't eaten malt for a VERY long time).

If anything, the main thing of interest for me from this is now ...

... Malting Pistachios!

Problem is, I don't have a suitable climate to grow them. 10 years ago I was looking into setting up a pistachio plantation in western QLD (desert climate). The more I looked into pistachios, the more I realised it wasn't viable, and dropped the idea ... until these forum discussions again piqued my interest. Once again though, I'm starting to realise how non-viable they are for my climates.

I planted the ones that sank in an 'ignore them' area (there were 125). The rest remain in the fridge (pending being eaten or maybe planted).

If you're curious about all the empty tubes ... they're from a failed batch of Athertonia diversifolia. The seed I received was old and non-viable, although I planted the ones I optimistically 'hoped' would come good. That was a few years ago now, so I regard them as empty.
Pictures - Click to enlarge

Picture: 1
  
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brad16
GOROKAN,2263,NSW
23rd June 2018 6:51pm
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Markmelb says...
The seeds that sink would be most viable same as citrus.

Found this link https://www.actahort.org/books/591/591_5.htm

Currently, the California pistachio industry relies upon four rootstocks, two species and two interspecific hybrids, all members of the genus Pistacia. They are P. atlantica, P. integerrima (PGI), P. atlantica x P. integerrima (PGII and UCB-1). The first three are open pollinated, the last a result of closed pollination

Im thinking of getting some of those rootstocks or seed to grow them and grafting my seedlings to them. I have a mate with a young grafted male & female of probably the CSIRO types they grew?
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Markmelb
MOUNT WAVERLEY,3149,VIC
24th June 2018 8:04am
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Original Post was last edited: 24th June 2018 8:05am
brad16 says...
I noticed one of the pistachios I planted has sprouted. Since it is mid winter right now, I didn't expect to see this.

This one was one of the 125 I soaked in water in the fridge for a week. The day after planting them, I put the remaining pistachios I had bought into water, selected another 75 that sank to the bottom and planted them to make an even 200.
The rest that floated, I added salt to make a brine, and soaked them in the fridge over night. The next morning I roasted them in the oven. When I did this, a friend called on the phone, I got distracted and burnt them (they only take a few minutes). They were only a light brown colour (like a cardboard box) but they tasted just like burnt cardboard too! Oops.

Markmelb, what strike rate did you get from the ones you planted earlier in the year? I'd be interested to compare that to the number that have germinated by the time spring arrives. Just to compare freshly planted Australian ones to not as freshly planted imported ones that have 'over-wintered'.
Pictures - Click to enlarge

Picture: 1
  
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brad16
GOROKAN,2263,NSW
13th July 2018 12:21pm
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Markmelb says...
I had 100% germination from the fresh seeds i had.

I think the seedling you have is showing the root -- as the epicotal leaves appear from the split nut- take it out and replant before it dries out
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Markmelb
MOUNT WAVERLEY,3149,VIC
14th July 2018 8:08am
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brad16 says...
100%

I doubt these will get that, but this is what really interests me. I want to compare less fresh imported germination to fresh.

I'm not actually going to grow them, I just wanted to test viability.

Thanks for you input!
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brad16
GOROKAN,2263,NSW
14th July 2018 12:45pm
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brad16 says...
I noticed this morning that a few others have sprouted. So although I wasn't planning on actually growing these, I didn't put them out there for the slugs to eat. So brought these ones inside.

When previously looking into pistachios as a plantation, they were known as being recalcitrant (lose viability when they dry out). My main objective of this was to gauge how much drying out actually effected their viability, to gauge how many you would get if attempting to plant them from 'packaged to eat' pistachios imported from OS.

Compared to Markmelb's 100% for fresh Australian raw kernels, which germinated quickly, packaged ones from Iran (assumed to have been harvest last September, ie. 9 months before planting and then dried) have sprouted 5 out of the 200 (2.5%) so far (and that's selecting kernels that sank in water, indicating they hadn't dried out as much as the ones that floated). It has been nearly 4 weeks, although it is winter.

I'm sure others will sprout by the time spring starts, but that's a long time waiting to be eaten by slugs etc. and overwintering is proven unnecessary by Markmelb. This is also curious, because I had references indicating that pistachios benefited from stratification.

As for the slugs, mine were planted very shallow. They were just placed in tubes, already containing mix and top filled with seedling mix, just to cover.
Planting deeper would've helped avoid the slugs (they really love pistachios! They'll abandon all other food sources and head straight for them).

So to date, most of my questions have been answered. 2.5% strike rate should improve in a month or so though.

Any that do grow, I'll just use to see how they do on their own roots. Grafting dioecious plants is as much about gender selection as it is about disease and vigour control. A seedling is an unknown gender, but that's another avenue I want to go down in the future also.
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Picture: 1

Picture: 2
 
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brad16
GOROKAN,2263,NSW
21st July 2018 11:43am
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brad16 says...
I tried germinating a batch from the USA. Although they were fresher than the ones I received from Iran (twice as many sank in a bowl of water) none of them sprouted. I ended up getting 16 from the Iranian batch of 200.

The problem with USA pistachios is that they are tumbled to remove the papery testa covering. This damages the kernel and reduces its viability. Their flavour had notes of some of the ones I liked in the Iranian batch, but nonetheless quite uninteresting.

The USA pistachios have been potted for 6 weeks now with zero signs of anything so far. All in all, they were pretty disappointing.

Next, I want to try some Turkish Antep and maybe some Kerman (non-USA). Their harvest time is coming up very soon, so next month I'll have a look around to see what I can find. Australian Sirora are easier to come by, but curiosity always means I'd be wondering about those others.

Anyway, if anyone else is pondering whether to purchase Iranian or USA pistachios from The Royal Nut Company online, I'd recommend the Iranian over the USA ones. I'll buy the Iranian ones again, but I won't be the USA ones. I'm not saying the USA ones are horrible, but they offer zero seed value and I enjoyed eating the Iranian ones more.
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brad16
GOROKAN,2263,NSW
27th August 2018 12:20pm
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