Seed from six species of the Apiaceae and six parsley (Petroselinum crispum L.) cultivars with three seed lots of each parsley cultivar were tested for the presence of germination inhibiting substances. Aqueous leachate from seed of all six species inhibited germination of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) and radish (Raphanus sativus L.). Leachate from root parsley seeds (P. crispum tuberosum) were least inhibitory, while leachate from celery and celeriac (both Apium graveolens L.) seeds were most inhibitory. Inhibitory concentrations in leachate varied by seed lot within a cultivar. Aqueous leachate of seeds from the primary umbels caused less inhibition of germination than did leachate from tertiary umbels. Washing parsley seeds in aerated water for 3 hours or more removed some of the germination inhibitory substance as indicated by the germination bioassay. An aqueous extract prepared from seedcoat tissue, removed during mechanical scarification, inhibited radish seed germination; inhibition was proportional to the duration of scarification and the amount of seedcoat tissue extracted. Parsley seeds scarified ≤60 minutes germinated at rates comparable to washed seeds, but longer scarification time reduced germination. Washing seeds of Apiaceae prior to commercial drying and cleaning may be a practical solution for removal of inhibitors.
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