Asked December 11, 2018, 11:19 AM EST

What appears to look like a pinecone showed up on my front porch. After a few days the red berries Appeared on the pinecone. I have never seen anything like this. Do you know what it is?

Baltimore County Maryland plant identification plant care trees magnolia pod

3 Responses

Can I plant the seed pod? If When? Where?

Each of the red fruits contains seeds. There is research indicating that the fleshy pulp of the fruit contains germination inhibitors, so you will have to extract the seeds from the fruit. Do a Google search for "seed maceration" to learn about a technique to do this. Depending on the species, seeds of magnolias need 2 to 6 months of chilling temperature in order to germinate. The seeds can be sown outside in the fall to provide natural chilling or store the seeds in moist sand or sphagnum moss in the refrigerator and plant them outside in a partly shaded area in the spring. It can take several years for a seed grown magnolia to mature and produce flowers.

If you're interested in learning more about seed propagation, "Seeds of Woody Plants in North America" (by James Young) is a good reference book.