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Influences of pre-sowing seed treatments on germination of the cancer bush (Sutherlandia frutescens), a reputed medicinal plant in arid environments

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Cancer bush (Sutherlandia frutescens L.) is a medicinally important perennial legume native to southern Africa. S. frutescens seeds exhibit dormancy like many other legumes. Experiments using physical, mechanical and chemical pre-sowing treatments were conducted to determine the germination response of this species. Among various treatments, soaking the intact seeds for 30 min in concentrated H2SO4 resulted in a high final germination percentage of 97.5% in day 14 of culture. However, seed dormancy was completely broken by mechanical scarification in which 100% germination was obtained in day 2 of culture. The results indicated that S. frutescens seeds possess exogenous dormancy due to the hard seed coat which is the main inhibitor of germination.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2008

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  • Seed Science and Technology (SST) is one of the leading international journals featuring original papers and review articles on seed quality and physiology as related to seed production, harvest, processing, sampling, storage, distribution and testing. This widely recognised journal is designed to meet the needs of researchers, advisers and all those involved in the improvement and technical control of seed quality.
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