546 Seed Germination of Abelia × grandiflora (Andre) Rehd.

in HortScience
Authors:
S.M. Scheiber1Dept. of Horticulture, Georgia Station, Univ. of Georgia, Griffin, GA 30223; 2Dept. of Horticulture, Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602

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Carol D. Robacker1Dept. of Horticulture, Georgia Station, Univ. of Georgia, Griffin, GA 30223; 2Dept. of Horticulture, Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602

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M.A. Dirr1Dept. of Horticulture, Georgia Station, Univ. of Georgia, Griffin, GA 30223; 2Dept. of Horticulture, Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602

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Flowering evergreen shrubs that are compact and resistant to pests are in great demand in the nursery and landscape industries. The genus Abelia contains 30 species that vary in many traits including flower color, growth habit, and hardiness. Abelia × grandiflora (Andre) Rehd. and its cultivars are the most widely grown Abelia taxa and are characterized by pest resistance, an abundance of pinkish white flowers, long flowering period, and glossy evergreen foliage. Interspecific hybridization among Abelia × grandiflora, its cultivars, and other species in the genus Abelia offer the potential for new cultivars; however, seed germination within the genus has been described as slow and inconsistent. Experiments were conducted to test procedures to increase germination percentages and rates. Each Abelia seed is enclosed in a leathery achene. The effect of achene removal was examined in combination with cold, moist stratification for 60 days at 4 °C, immersion in 100 ppm gibberellic acid for 24 h, and no treatment. Treatments were replicated five times with 15 seeds per replication. Seeds were sown on sphagnum peat, and grown under mist in the greenhouse. Weekly germination counts were recorded for 8 weeks. Seeds with attached achenes germinated at a significantly higher percentage than those without achenes. Cold, moist stratification and gibberellic acid treatments were not significantly different than the control. No significant differences were found within the achene treatments for relative rate of emergence, but significant differences were found for the time until 90% of final emergence was reached.

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