Stratification Improves and Is Likely Required for Germination of Aconitum sinomontanum

in HortTechnology

Aconitum sinomontanum is a robust perennial monkshood native to China that shows promise as a cultivated ornamental. However, nothing has been reported about the germination requirements of the species, and little is known about the requirements of the genus as a whole. The objective of this study was to test the influence of stratification (moist prechilling) on germination of A. sinomontanum seeds. The seeds were from wild-collected plants of identical provenance growing at the Arnold Arboretum (Jamaica Plain, Mass.). After harvest and before stratification, seeds were stored dry at 38 °F (3.3 °C) and percentage germination was assessed after seeds were stratified, also at 38 °F, for 0, 21, 42, or 84 days. It is likely that stratification is required for seeds of this species to germinate, as unstratified seeds failed to germinate through the duration of the experiment (73 days). The highest level of germination (90.8%) was achieved after 84 days of stratification, and as length of stratification increased, so did percentage germination and indices of peak value and germination value. Days to maximum germination decreased with additional days of chilling. Growers wishing to germinate seed of this species should stratify seed for 3 months to achieve the highest level of germination.

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