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Aristida pungens

Why are the seeds of this species difficult? Some species of the Poaceae family can produce a high proportion of empty seeds, which collectors and curators must take account of. The seeds may have physiological dormancy, which can be overcome by exposing them to a pre-chill treatment before they are sown.
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Seed Storage

This species is likely to have Orthodox seeds (based on other species in the same genus) - dry to 15-20% eRH and store at -20ºC, or as cool as possible.

Germination Requirements

The seeds of this species are expected to be Physiologically Dormant (based on other species in same genus).

Chill for 1 week before placing under germination conditions. Sow on agar, germination paper or sand and germinate under an alternating temperature regime of 30/20ºC or 25/15ºC (with an 8/16hr photoperiod). Perform a cut-test on any seeds that have not germinated, to check for empty seeds. All empty seeds are non-viable in germination tests.

Seed Morphology

The occurrence of empty seeds is common in wild-collected accessions of some Poaceae species. Empty seeds may have a normal seed coat but an absent or under-developed embryo, or limited storage tissue.



Accepted nameAristida pungens Desf.

SynonymsStipagrostis pungens (Desf.) De Winter subsp. pungens

Common name: drinn

References and Links

  • Black, M., Bewley, J.D. and Halmer, P. (2006). The Encyclopaedia of Seeds: science, technology and uses. CAB International, UK.
  • Chirco, E. and Turner, T. (1986). Species without AOSA Testing Procedures. The Newsletter of the Association of Official Seed Analysts, Vol 60 (2): pp2-66. 
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (1994). Genebank Standards. FAO/IPGRI, Rome, Italy.
  • AFPD (African Flowering Plants Database) - Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de la Ville de Genève, Switzerland, and South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, RSA: Aristida pungens.
  • Tropicos - Missouri Botanical Garden: Aristida pungens.