Margret Ziba, Chimuleke Munthali
Edward Missanjo, Seed Biology of Erythrophleum Suaveolens (Guill. and Perr.) Brenan: A Threatened Medicinal Plant(2017)SDRP Journal of Plant Science 2(1):53-58
Background: Erythrophleum suaveolens (Guill. & Perr.) Brenan is a highly threatened medicinal plant. The plant population is at a blink of extinction due to high exploitation for medicinal uses along with seed dormancy. Therefore, there is an urgent need to conserve this medicinal plant both in situ and ex situ. This study was conducted to understand the seed biology of this important species so as to work the conservation strategy.
Methods: An experiment was conducted at a green house. Seeds were subjected to ten presowing seed treatments methods, namely, immersion in hot water (100oC) for 12 hours, 24 hours, and 36 hours, immersion in cold water at room temperature for 24 hours, immersion in concentrated sulfuric acid (0.3M H2SO4) for 1 minute, 5 minutes and 10 minutes, scarification by mechanically nicking using scalpel, scarification by mechanically nicking using scalpel followed by immersion in cold water at room temperature for 24 hours, and a control where seeds were sown without any treatment.
Results: The results showed that seeds of E. suaveolens exhibits long dormancy and demands pre-treatment. Scarified seeds through nicking attained a germination of 93%, a high germination rate of 9.8 seeds per day and a high germination speed index (GSI) of 11.4.
Conclusion: It is recommended to use scarification by nicking as a pretreatment method on E. suaveolens seeds in order to enhance germination percentage, rate and speed for conservation of the species.
Key words: Erythrophleum suaveolens, Dormancy, Medicinal plant; Seed biology; Threatened plant
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