The Association of Official Seed Analysts adopted X-ray technology for testing agricultural and forest tree seeds in 1979. It has not been applied on flower seeds. To date, its use is still lacking, despite the relatively simple and nondestructive nature of the test. One of the reasons for the slow adoption is the lack of a simple X-ray unit that gives instant high resolution digital images. The Faxitron MX-20, a cabinet X-ray unit designed for high detail radiographic imaging of medical specimens, fulfills this need. The high magnification capacity of 1×, 1.5×, 2×, 3×, 4×, and 5×, and the low kilovoltage (kV) provide enhanced image performance with good quality contrast. The exposure time and X-ray tube kV can be selected to produce the best images. Its laser locator eases the positioning of a sample under examination accurately and the 2-× 4-inch field of view digital camera with 10 lp/mm resolution provides the instant high quality on-screen viewing of seed sample images. The most useful application at the Ornamental Plant Germplasm Center is not in seed testing as recommended for agricultural and tree seeds, but as a tool during seed cleaning to see in a matter of seconds whether empty, immature, insect-damaged, and broken seed have been removed. It has proven useful in Achillea, Alstroemeria, Aquilegia, Aruncus, Aster, Baptisia, Begonia, Campanula, Chrysanthemum, Coreopsis, Dianthus, Euphorbia, Geranium, Hemerocallis, Impatiens, Iris, Lilium, Lupin, Lysimachia, Narcissus, Pelargonium, Penstemon, Petunia, Phlox, Platycodon, Ranunculus, Rudbeckia, Salvia, Silene, Stokesia, Tagetes, Talinum, Verbena, Veronica, and Viola.
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