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James A. Schrader and William R. Graves

Genotypic variation and horticultural potential of Alnus maritima [Marsh.] Nutt. (seaside alder), a large shrub or small tree found naturally in only three small, disjunct populations, have not been studied. We examined effects of population of origin and environment on seed germination and growth and morphology of seedlings. The first experiment showed that 6 weeks of cold stratification optimized germination of half-sibling seeds from Oklahoma at 73.2%. When this treatment was applied to multiple groups of half-siblings from all populations in a second experiment, seeds from Oklahoma had a higher germination percentage (55.0%) than seeds from Georgia (31.4%) and the Delmarva Peninsula (14.7%). In a third experiment, morphology and growth of multiple groups of half-siblings from all three populations were compared in one environment. Leaves of seedlings from Oklahoma were longer (12.8 cm) and more narrow (2.15 length to width ratio) than leaves of seedlings from Georgia (12.0 cm long; ratio = 1.76) and the Delmarva Peninsula (11.6 cm long; ratio = 1.86). Seedlings from Oklahoma and Georgia accumulated dry weight at higher rates (181 and 160 mg·d-1, respectively) than seedlings from Delmarva (130 mg·d-1), while seedlings from Oklahoma and Delmarva were more densely foliated (0.72 and 0.64 leaves and lateral shoots per centimeter of primary stem, respectively) than those from Georgia (0.46 per cm). These differences indicate genetic divergence among the three disjunct populations and the potential to exploit genetic variation to select horticulturally superior A. maritima for use in managed landscapes.

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Anna J. Talcott and William R. Graves

days for germination), peak day (day of most germination), peak value (cumulative germination percentage on the day of greatest germination divided by the number of days to reach that level), germination value (peak value multiplied by the mean daily

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Frank Balestri and William R. Graves

product of peak value and mean daily germination, germination value, was determined as a composite expression of the rate and completeness of germination ( Czabator, 1962 ). Germination percentage was determined on day 56. Experimental units in which no

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J. Ryan Stewart* and William R. Graves

Carolina buckthorn (Rhamnus caroliniana Walt.) is ornamental and could be promoted as a stress-resistant shrub for horticultural landscapes. Its status as a relative of invasive species, including common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica L.), raises concerns regarding the environmental consequences of planting Carolina buckthorn outside of its natural habitat. To assess the ease of propagating Carolina buckthorn from seed, and to gather data relevant to assessments of invasiveness, we compared seed-germination characteristics between the two species. Seeds of Carolina buckthorn were collected from native populations in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. Seeds of common buckthorn were collected from populations in Iowa. We stratified seeds of both species for up to 112 days at 4 °C. Germination at 20 °C then was evaluated for 56 days. Over stratification durations, 40% and 71% of seeds of Carolina buckthorn and common buckthorn germinated, respectively. Stratification for 112 days optimized germination value for Carolina buckthorn, but stratification for 42, 56, 84, and 112 days evoked similar germination percentages. Seeds of Carolina buckthorn from Oklahoma germinated at a higher percentage (56%) than did seeds from Missouri (25%). Neither germination value nor germination percentage of common buckthorn was influenced by stratification. We conclude that seeds of Carolina buckthorn are more recalcitrant than are seeds of common buckthorn. This suggests that Carolina buckthorn, particularly those from Missouri with low reproductive success, may be less invasive than their Eurasian kin. Horticulturists can optimize germination percentage of Carolina buckthorn by cold-stratifying seeds for as little as 42 days, but 112 days optimizes germination value.

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Jyotsna Sharma and William R. Graves

Attributes of Leitneria floridana Chapman have been recognized, but this North American shrub remains rare in commerce, and little information on propagation is available. We studied germination of seeds collected from several disjunct populations of L. floridana in 2002 and 2003. In 2002, ≤5% germination occurred when ripe drupes from Missouri and Florida were sown soon after collection. Effects of GA3 (750 mg·L-1 for 24 hours) were assessed on stored drupes leached with water and on seeds excised from stored drupes. Germination percentages were 21 and 32 for leached drupes and excised seeds from Florida, respectively, but ≤5% germination occurred among germplasm from Missouri and among untreated drupes from both provenances. Viability of ungerminated seeds among treatments ranged from 0% to 7%. In 2003, fleshy, apparently unripe drupes from Texas, which were scarified with H2SO4 and then treated with 1000 mg·L-1 GA3 showed 48% germination (germination value = 3.9). Up to 29% germination (germination value = 2.7) occurred when seeds were excised from unripe drupes from Arkansas and Missouri and then were treated for 24 hours with 750 or 1000 mg·L-1 GA3. We conclude that provenance, developmental stage of drupes when collected, storage, and pregermination treatments influence viability and germination of seeds of L. floridana. Barriers to germination may be avoided by collecting drupes when they are green and fleshy.

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Gary A. Couvillon

Several studies with annual crops have shown that large seeds improve percent germination, seedling growth, and uniformity, yield, seedling vigor, and stress tolerance. Little information is available on the influence of seed size on the resulting seedlings of woody plant species. Cercis canadensis L. seeds were divided into large and small seed size fractions and the seeds scarified, stratified, and planted. A larger percentage of large seeds germinated than did small seeds. Seedlings from large seeds had a greater peak and germination value than small seeds, indicating greater vigor and a more rapid germination rate thus more uniform seedlings. Seedlings from large seeds, as indicated by fresh and dry weights, were larger and contained a greater leaf area than those produced by small seed.

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Michael S. Dosmann, Jeffery K. Iles, and Mark P. Widrlechner

Germinability of two, half-sib seed sources of Cercidiphyllum japonicum Sieb. & Zucc. and one seed source of Cercidiphyllum magnificum (Nakai) Nakai was determined after not stratifying or stratifying seeds at 3.5 ± 0.5 °C (38.3 ± 0.9 °F) for 8 days followed by germination for 21 days at 25 °C (77 °F) in darkness or under a 15-hour photoperiod. Stratification was not required for germination, but increased germination percentage, peak value, and germination value for both species. Stratification increased germination of C. japonicum from 42% to 75%, and germination of C. magnificum from 12% to 24%. Light enhanced germination of nonstratified seeds of one source of C. japonicum and of C. magnificum from 34% to 52% and from 8% to 15%, respectively. Stratification improved germinability of both species and obviated any preexisting light requirements the seeds may have had.

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J. Ryan Stewart and William R. Graves

Little is known about the reproductive biology of carolina buckthorn [Rhamnus caroliniana Walt. or Frangula caroliniana (Walt.) Gray], an attractive North American shrub or small tree that might merit increased use in managed landscapes. The fecundity and high germinability of seeds of the Eurasian common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica L.), however, have been characterized as factors contributing to its invasiveness. We compared seed germination of these species to ascertain how easily carolina buckthorn could be grown from seed in nurseries and to acquire data for predicting whether carolina buckthorn might be invasive if introduced into managed landscapes. Fruits of carolina buckthorn were collected from indigenous plants in central Missouri, southern Oklahoma, and southern Texas. Fruits of common buckthorn were collected from shrubs naturalized in central Iowa. Seeds of both species were stratified for up to 112 days in darkness at 4 °C; germination at 24 °C in the dark was then evaluated for 56 days. Quadratic functions best described how time of stratification influenced germination value and germination percentage of common buckthorn, whereas these measures of carolina buckthorn were best represented by exponential (value) or linear (percentage) functions. Stratification for 112 days maximized germination value and percentage for carolina buckthorn within the 56-day germination period, but shorter stratifications were sufficient to optimize germination of common buckthorn. While the overall mean germination of carolina buckthorn was 40%, results varied by provenance and ranged from 25% (Missouri) to 56% (Oklahoma). Mean germination of common buckthorn over times of stratification was 71%, and the overall mean daily germination of common buckthorn, 1.3, was 86% greater than that of carolina buckthorn, 0.7. We conclude that seeds of carolina buckthorn are more resistant to germination than seeds of common buckthorn. Our results suggest that plant propagators should cold-stratify seeds of carolina buckthorn for up to 112 days, and suggest that carolina buckthorn has a lower potential to be invasive than does common buckthorn.

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Jyotsna Sharma* and William R. Graves

Rhamnus alnifolia and Rhamnus lanceolata are shrubs of modest size with lustrous foliage. We evaluated seed germination of both species and propagated R. alnifolia by using softwood cuttings collected in early June. For R. alnifolia, cold stratification for up to 90 d resulted in 48% germination and a germination value of 1.9, whereas only 7% germination occurred among seeds stratified for 120 d. Seeds of R. alnifolia did not germinate if they were untreated or if scarified and stratified. Rhamnus lanceolata required 120 d of stratification to germinate, but percentages were low (≤ 5). Survival of germinants of both species was 90 to 100% regardless of prior seed treatment. Seedlings grew uniformly and had a mean leaf count of 11 and a mean height of 20 cm after 102 d. Application of 3000 and 8000 mg/L indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) in talc led to 85% rooting of R. alnifolia, whereas rooting was ≤ 15% after use of solutions with those IBA concentrations. While 75% of untreated cuttings rooted, fewer roots formed without IBA. More roots developed in 100% vermiculite than in 1 vermiculite: 1 perlite (by volume), which also diminished the number and apparent health of leaves on cuttings during the rooting period. We conclude that talc-based IBA and vermiculite should be used to root softwood cuttings of R. alnifolia, and that both species can be propagated from stratified seeds. Rhamnus lanceolata is more recalcitrant than is R. alnifolia and merits further study to optimize germination success.

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Michael S. Dosmann

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.