Influence of Seed Treatments on Germination and Initial Growth of Ornamental Palms

in HortScience

Experiments were conducted in the Dominican Republic to determine the effect of physical and chemical treatments on the germination of the ornamental palms Roystonea hispaniolana Bailey (Royal palm), Acrocomia quisqueyana Bailey (Corozo palm), Sabal umbraculifera Mart (Cana palm), Phoenix canariensis (Canary Islands date palm), Veitchia merrillii (Becc) Bailey (Manila palm), Chrysalidocarpus lutescens Wendl (Areca palm), and Caryota urens (Fishtail palm). Treatments were seed immersion in water or gibberellic acid 3 (GA3) solution for 72 hours, immersion in concentrated nitric acid for 5 minutes, or cracking of the seed coat. Rate and percentage of emergence 90 days after treatment were measured. The best results for Roystonea, Phoenix, Veitchia, Caryota, and Chrysalidocarpus were obtained soaking the seeds in water or a 200-ppm gibberellic acid solution. Nitric acid and seed coat cracking significantly reduced the germination percentage in all the species, except Acrocomia guisqueyana and Sabal umbraculifera. Seeds of Acrocomia did not germinate as a response to any of the treatments tested. Sabal seeds germinated only after coat cracking or nitric acid treatment.

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