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Alison E. Heather, Hector E. Pérez and Sandra B. Wilson

The perennial nature, prolific white to pink racemes, and attractive foliage and form of october flower [Polygonella polygama (Vent.) Engelm. & A. Gray] and sandhill wireweed [Polygonella robusta (Small) G.L. Nesom & V.M. Bates] suggest that these wildflowers could have significant ornamental and landscape potential if an effective propagation method could be developed. However, a paucity of seed biology information exists for these species. Two- to 4-month-old seeds of both species were tested for viability using triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TZ) before germination experiments. Initial viability of seed lots was 77.4% ± 6.3% and 53.5% ± 6.8% for october flower and sandhill wireweed, respectively. Initial germination tests showed that both species had the highest number of germinated seeds in cool temperatures (22/11 °C day/night), but a portion of the seed population remained dormant. Germination of both species at simulated seasonal temperatures indicated that seeds require a warm, moist period (warm stratification) before germination starts at cooler temperatures. Germination of both species also increased when gibberellic acid (GA3) was applied at the highest rate of 1000 ppm. We conclude that seeds of both species exhibit non-deep physiological dormancy.