Seed Dormancy and Germination of Geranium (Pelargonium hortorum Bailey)1

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Ornamental Horticulture and Vegetable Crops Departments, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611


No differences were observed in water uptake, respiration rate and seed coat morphology of ‘New Era Bright Red’ and ‘New Era Dark Red’ geranium. Water uptake in some seeds was rapid in the first 12 hours following initiation of imbibition. Radicle emergence and germination occurred 3 days after swelling and respiratory activity began as soon as seeds imbibed water. Nonswollen seeds did not germinate. Seed coat surfaces appeared wax-like in both cultivars and no relationship between occlusion of the hilum fissure and germination was observed. Dipping seed in concentrated H2SO4 or hot water, or removing a portion of the seed, increased germination rate and germination to nearly 100%. Results suggest the seed coat in geraniums can be impervious to water uptake.

Contributor Notes

Received for publication August 25, 1980. Paper No. 2554 of the Journal Series of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station.

The cost of publishing this paper was defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. Under postal regulations, this paper therefore must be hereby marked advertisement solely to indicate this fact.

Assistant Professor and Graduate Research Assistant, Ornamental Horticulture Department, and Professor, Vegetable Crops Department, respectively. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of Pan American Seed Company, West Chicago, Illinois and Bradenton, Florida.