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Ethyl Alcohol

This one's from left field...

I have received a packet of seeds (Bald Cypress) which came with a page of
instructions. The instructions call for soaking the seeds in Ethyl Alcohol
for 5 minutes, prior to subjecting them to a "cold soak" in the refrigerator
for 90 days.

Ethyl Alcohol is merely pure alcohol - the same stuff that is in Vodka (at
40%). 95% Ethyl Alcohol is sold (denatured) as Rubbing Alcohol. PURE Ethyl
Alcohol (again, 95%) is only available from the Liquor Control Board of
Ontario with a Doctor's prescription. It is also considerably more expensive
than Rubbing Alcohol.

I'm wondering if any of the biologists on the list can clue me in on what I
need to do here. Is the purpose of the 5 minute soak to sterilize the seeds
prior to their "cold soak"? Can rubbing alcohol be used for this purpose, or
do I have to go to my Doctor and ask for a prescription for the drinkable
variety? Or, alternatively, can I just pour a few ounces of Vodka over the
seeds to do the same thing (and much more cheaply)?

I don't want to damage the seeds by subjecting them to anything that could
harm them.

James Purchase