Effects of Seed Treatments on Germination of Seed Collected from Native Populations of Oenothera

in HortScience
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  • 1 Dept. of Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech Univ., Lubbock, TX 79409-2122

Oenothera biennis, common evening primrose, is grown commercially for its seed, which contains high levels of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a fatty acid with pharmaceutical and dietary importance. Other native species of Oenothera are being evaluated for the presence of GLA in their seed and their potential as a commercial source of GLA. Native evening primrose species have shown slow emergence and low germination percentages. Studies were conducted to determine the effects of chilling, scarification, and priming on germination of seed for six species of native evening primrose. Overall, seed germination was improved by seed treatments. However, responses to the various treatments differed among species.