Why are the seeds of this species difficult? Seeds harvested in the wild may have physical dormancy, which can be overcome by scarifying the seed coat to allow water uptake and encourage germination.
Lens culinaris (Image: S. Wood, RBG Kew)
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 at 20ºC.
Seeds from cultivated varieties of this species do not display dormancy. However seeds harvested from plants growing in the wild may be Physically Dormant (based on other species in the same genus). It may be necessary to chip the seed coat with a scalpel before placing under germination conditions, in order to overcome dormancy.
Lens culinaris section
(Image: S. Wood, RBG Kew)
The pods (1.3 cm) are oblong, broad and compressed, with a smooth surface, containing 1-2 seeds. The seeds are bi-convex, small and lens-shaped, with a minute hilum.
At maturity, the seeds are grey to light red, speckled with black.
Accepted name: Lens culinaris Medik.
Synonyms: Lens esculenta Moench.; Ervum lens L.
Common name: lentil
References and Links
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (1994). Genebank Standards. FAO/IPGRI, Rome, Italy.
- International Seed Testing Association (2010). International Rules for Seed Testing: edition 2010. ISTA, Bassersdorf, Switzerland.
- Purseglove, J.W. (1968). Tropical Crops: dicotyledons. Longman Group Ltd., UK.
- Rao, N.K., Hanson, J., Dulloo, M.E., Ghosh, K., Nowell, D. and Larinde, M. (2006). Manual of seed handling in genebanks. Handbooks for Genebanks No. 8. Bioversity International, 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: Lens culinaris.
- PROTAbase (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) - Wageningen, Netherlands: Lens culinaris.
- SID (Seed Information Database) - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK: Lens culinaris.
- Tropicos - Missouri Botanical Garden, USA: Lens culinaris.