Germination temperature and the effect of storage time on the seed viability of Zephyra elegans (Tecophilaeaceae)

Carlos de la Cuadra, Alexis K. Vidal, PATRICIA MERCEDES PEÑALOZA ASPE, Leví Mansur, CARLOS ALBERTO HUENCHULEO PEDREROS

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Zephyra elegans is a geophyte endemic to Chile that has horticultural value as a cut flower. Its natural habitat is a coastal desert climate with abundant cloud cover, little and variable precipitation, and mean monthly temperatures between 10 and 20 °C. It is hypothesized that the temperature requirements for germination of Z. elegans seeds are similar to those of Zephyra compacta, which shares the same habitat. As it is a species from a desert climate, it can be expected that its seeds remain viable during long periods of storage. The seeds used in this study were harvested in different years from plants grown from cultivated corms of Z. elegans. The germination test temperatures were 10, 15, 20, and 25 °C, and the dry storage times at room temperature (20 ± 5 °C) were 4, 16, 28, and 40 months. The temperature requirements for germination of Z. elegans seeds are similar to those of Z. compacta, which has been studied earlier, i.e., the temperature range for achieving high germination percentages is 10 to 20 °C, whereas 25 °C can be considered supraoptimal. After-ripening of the seeds occurred during dry storage, as shown by increased germination when tested at a supraoptimal temperature. The seeds had high viability after 40 months of dry storage at room temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)887-890
Number of pages4
JournalHortScience
Volume53
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018

Keywords

  • After-ripening
  • Atacama Desert
  • Geophyte
  • Seed dormancy
  • Seed germination
  • Seed storage

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