Embryo Cap Removal and High-temperature Exposure -Stimulate Rapid Germination of Needle Palm Seeds

in HortScience

High synchrony, rate, and germination of needle palm [Rhapidophyllum hystrix (Pursh) H.A. Wendle & Drude] seeds were achieved only after removing the sclerotesta and embryo cap, which imposed physical dormancy. After scarification, recently harvested seeds or seeds stored for 12 months at 5C and 100% relative humidity had 96% and 98% final germination (G), with 9 to 11 days required to achieve 50% of final germination (T50) at 30C. Germination temperature controlled G, T50, and days between 10% and 90% of final germination (T90 - T10) of scarified seeds, with respective values of 98%) 9 days, and 5 days at 30C, and 18%, 31 days, and 12 days at 15C. Seeds with 36% moisture at harvest had no reduction in G until moisture was <14%. Germination of seeds with 19% moisture declined from 80% if stored at 0C to 33% if stored at -l0C; no seeds germinated after storage at less than -l0C.

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