Seed dormancy in Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis var. canadensis L.) can be overcome by seedcoat scarification to allow water imbibition, followed by chilling stratification to permit germination. During chilling stratification, there was an increase in the growth potential of the embryo as indicated by the ability of the isolated embryo to germinate in osmotic solutions. Penetration resistance of the testa also decreased after chilling stratification. The combination of seedcoat alteration and the increase in embryonic growth potential was associated with overcoming dormancy in redbud seed. GA3 or ethephon (50 μm) stimulated germination (28% and 60%, respectively) and increased the growth potential of treated embryos. Chemical names used: gibberellic acid (GA3), (2-chloroethyl) phosphoric acid (ethephon).
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