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Amy M. Fay, Steven M. Still, and Mark A. Bennett

Germination trials of three seedlots were conducted over a temperature gradient for 14 days to determine the optimal germination temperature for the Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida Ait.). The optimal germination temperature for R. fulgida seeds was 30 ± 1C. All three seedlots began germination (radicle emergence) on the second day at 30.2C. By day four, all seedlots sur-passed 50% germination, with three seedlots germinating 53%, 52%, and 73%. Mean germination percentages were higher between 28.3 and 32.6C than at temperatures above or below this range. Significantly higher germination percentages and enhanced germination rates attained at the elevated temperatures may save time, cut production costs, and decrease exposure to detrimental pre-emergent pathogenic fungi.