I recently acquired seeds of Tabernanthe iboga directly from Africa, of the long fruited variety, what they call in the region ‘male’ iboga. The round fruited iboga is called ‘female’; the indigenous classification is based on the morphology of the fruit. Both are used as entheogens in Central Africa.
Seeds were received in a dry form so that they were ok to import into the country, free of fruit, soil and other foreign material and labelled with the botanical name. Seeds were soaked overnight in 2-3 changes of water to revive the seeds and continue the germination process. The seeds are not recalcitrant, they can handle a drying phase and remain viable for a long time. One batch was planted in a typical seed raising mix in a hothouse (summer 2014, Australia) with night time temperatures averaging above 20 degrees Celsius and daytime temps low to mid 30s. Seedlings started emerging 3-4 weeks later.
The second batch of seeds were placed in a ziplock bag in our office with moist coco peat and kept in a dark cupboard for two weeks. The bag was checked regularly for signs of activity. The temperatures inside would have been 2-5 degrees warmer at night and also less during the day. Seed germination was rapid (2 weeks) and the seeds were planted out in trays next to the first batch of seeds. As you can see from the pictures below, seedling emergence was quicker and vitality was greater in the 2nd batch of seeds.
This pre-treatment of Tabernanthe iboga seeds allows the seeds to imbibe water and carry out gaseous exchange in a relatively constant temperature, dark and protected environment and appears to greatly assist in the number of seed germinations and also in the vitality of the seedlings.