How many seeds per ounce?

When you look at seed catalogs, especially those that nursery growers will be using, they usually tell you how many seeds there will be in one ounce of each type of flower or vegetable. I’ve always found that information a wee bit exciting.

I grew wax begonias from hybrid seeds from a national seed source when I was a kid. When they germinate, they’re so small they look like moss. The tiniest specks you can see on the paper are the seeds from our summer begonias. I picked some before the rain to show you how really miniscule they are.

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I’m not going to spend hours researching it, but to give you a few common plants for comparison:

Average seeds per ounce…
I compared several online sources to get a range of seed sizes you might expect to encounter.

Tomatoes: 8,000 – 12,000

Watermelons: 400

Pumpkins: 225

Beans (bush): 100

Corn (sweet): 200

Zinnias: 2,000 – 6,000

Marigolds: 7,500-10,000

Texas bluebonnets: 850

Petunias: 250,000 – 300,000

Wax begonias: 1,000,000

Orchids: The count varies, but for some species many millions (almost microscopic)

Coconuts: Average is 3-5 pounds per seed (coconut).

Pecans: Some of the largest varieties tip the scales at 20-25 pecans per pound. Pecan shows often have competitions for the smallest pecans, as measured by number of pecans per pound. I helped with a pecan contest once where the winning entry had more than 400 pecans per pound. They weren’t much larger than pinto beans!

Posted by Neil Sperry
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