In Hawaii, Waltheria indica (uhaloa) has been identified for expanded usage as a roadside groundcover in lowland dry ecosystems. Seed dormancy through lack of germination of viable seeds was identified in uhaloa. The presence of physical dormancy in uhaloa seeds was determined and dormancy relief methods were evaluated including hand scarification, dry heat temperature exposure, hot water exposure, and mechanical abrasion in an electric drum scarifier. As a compliment to dormancy relief, long-term storage parameters were evaluated for scarified and nonscarified seeds. The elucidation of physical dormancy was determined through hand scarification, resulting in 96% germination compared with 8% of nonscarified seeds, but is not practical on a large-scale basis. The greatest practical dormancy relief was achieved with a mechanical electric drum scarifier lined with 80-grit sandpaper for a duration of 15 or 30 seconds producing 95% and 99% germination, respectively. Seeds immersed in boiling water for 3 and 5 seconds resulted in 58.6% and 57.7% germination, respectively. Dormancy relief through dry heat exposure was inferior to other relief methods, producing 39% germination at 75 °C for 60 minutes. Nonscarified seeds exhibited minimal loss of viability during 10 months of storage at 5 °C at 12% and 50% relative humidity (RH), but a significant decline in viability of scarified seeds was detected.
This paper is a portion of a doctoral dissertation submitted by Scott B Lukas at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
We would like to thank the Hawaii Department of Transportation for providing funding for this research.