Erythronium germination experiments

Diane Whitehead
Fri, 19 Jan 2007 11:29:18 PST
I have just discovered a very interesting abstract of germination  
tests done in Japan on Erythronium japonicum.  It is easy to read - I  
didn't have to use my botanical dictionary.

They tested keeping the seeds at various temperatures before  
attempting germination, and then germinating them at various  
temperatures and with various amounts of light.

They didn't just toss the seeds out if they didn't germinate.   
Instead, they sliced them open to see what was happening.  They  
found, as one example, that the embryo grew to double its original  
size at a certain high temperature, but didn't grow enough to germinate.

In the wild, the seeds are shed in the summer but don't germinate  
then because they have immature embryos.  The embryos elongate in the  
fall when temperatures are moderate, and finish germination by the  
arrival of freezing temperatures in November.  They are under  
snowcover until spring, and that is when they emerge.

I wonder if anyone has done similarly detailed experiments with our  
North American species?

Diane Whitehead
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
maritime zone 8, cool Mediterranean climate
mild rainy winters, mild dry summers

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