345 Seed Germination of Inland Saltgrass

in HortScience
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523

Distichlis spicata var. stricta (Torrey) Beetle is a native grass that tolerates salt, high pH, and some heavy metals. It has been proposed for use in several challenging environments, including mine spoils and salt-impacted areas of golf courses, but its widespread use has been hindered by several factors, one of which is seed dormancy. Dormancy appears to be coat-imposed and can be overcome by scarification in relatively young seed lots. Thirteen-year-old seeds germinated better without scarification. Seeds were tested at several constant and alternating temperatures. Temperatures around 30 °C seemed to give the highest percentage germination, approaching the viability that was shown by tetrazolium chloride tests for each seed lot. Alternating temperatures increased the germination of unscarified seeds but not as much as scarification did. Light appears to be unnecessary for germination.