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How I Measure Seeds of Mucuna spp.



Seeds of Mucuna spp. are measured for Width, Length, Height, Hilum Thickess, and Flotation Capability

The ration of the Length to Width will represent how "circular" the seed is.
The ratio of the Length to Height (=thickness) will represent how "spherical" (marble-like) the seed is.
For each ratio, the closer the value is to 1.0, the more the shape is either circular or spherical.
The percentage of the seed thickness that the hilum consumes is an indication of whether the seed is "thick banded" or not.
   

Seed Flotation

If your seeds are found beached, it is safe to assume that they have floated in sea water.
You might be interested to learn if they also float in fresh water!
Non-drifted seeds collected directly from forests and jungles, or purchased from vendors, should be checked for flotation
in both fresh water and sea water.

Not all Mucuna seeds float, and those that do float in salt water may not float in fresh water.
Because of the salt content, sea water is more dense than fresh water.
This characteristic of sea water may allow some seeds to float, when they otherwise sink in less dense fresh water.
To become "sea-beans", such seeds will need to somehow make it to salt water, without first experiencing the aid of flotation in freshwater.
Note, however, that although some seeds may sink in freshwater streams and rivers,
the currents may still carry those seeds (well under water) to the sea,
where they may then float and become sea-beans without the benefit of floating in fresh water first!


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