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 performing delicate surgery to enable the embryo to grow.
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This species has Orthodox seeds - dry to 15-20% eRH and store at -20ºC, or as cool as possible.
Germinate on agar, germination paper or sand, under an alternating temperature regime of 40/20ºC (with a 12/12hr 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.
The seeds of this species may be Physiologically Dormant (based on other species in the same genus). If germination is low, try making a slit in the seed coat over the embyo, before placing under germination conditions.
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 name: Eragrostis pallens Hack. ex Schinz
Synonyms: Eragrostis dura Stapf
References and Links
- Black, M., Bewley, J.D. and Halmer, P. (2006). The Encyclopaedia of Seeds: science, technology and uses. CAB International, UK.
- 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: Eragrostis pallens.
- PROTAbase (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) - Wageningen, Netherlands: Eragrostis pallens.
- SID (Seed Information Database) - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK: Eragrostis pallens.
- Tropicos - Missouri Botanical Garden, USA: Eragrostis pallens.