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Factors influencing seed germination of Coleonema album – an aromatic and medicinal plant

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Coleonema album (Rutaceae) is restricted to the mountains and coastal region of the Western Cape Province of South Africa. The plant has good economic potential due to its aromatic and medicinal properties and the leaves, which contain essential oils, are used for repelling insects. Exploitation for commercial purposes and propagation through seed remains the best option to grow and perhaps conserve this species. However, scientific information on its seed biology and germination is inadequate. This study highlights the effects of temperature, temperature shifts, light, pH, sodium chloride (NaCl) and ammonium nitrate (NH4 NO3) on seed germination of C. album. At 20, 25, 30, 35 and 30/15°C, no seeds germinated, but at 15°C they germinated under both alternating light (16-hour photoperiod; 45%) and constant dark (47.5%). When seeds were shifted from 20, 25, 30, 35 and 30/15°C, to 15°C after 90 days, germination improved significantly in both constant darkness and alternating light conditions. Buffer of pH 6 and 10-2 M of NaCl and NH4 NO3 significantly (P < 0.05) increased germination in constant dark conditions at 15°C. Findings of this study will assist growers to propagate C. album plants.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2013

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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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