[SOS-PCA] Advice on storage of Sphaeralcea coccinea

Miller, Annette Annette.Miller at ARS.USDA.GOV
Tue Aug 23 13:07:14 CDT 2016

Hi Gayle,
I suggest you store your Sphaeralcea in paper bags in the refrigerator until you send them to Bend.

Sphaeralcea seeds can have true hard-seededness (absolute resistance to imbibition) and often do need scarification prior to germination, however you should not do this until you are ready to plant the seeds.   Please do not do this before they are sent to Bend.  Not only will you immediately reduce viability, you will reduce longevity of seeds that are not killed outright.

Scarification of Sphaeralcea is very difficult to do without doing lethal damage.  The smaller they are, the worse this is.   If you experiment with this, I suggest using a microscope to see what kind of abrasions or chips you are making.   You might also want to cut some open to understand how the embryo is oriented within the seed.   If you have to clip to induce imbibition, do so on the cotyledon end as far away from the radicle as possible.
Some have used hot water scarification, but this is only minimally effective.   Acid scarification is also not recommended because you risk over scarifying (thus killing the seeds) or underscarifying.
I hope this helps.

Annette Miller
USDA/ARS National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation
(formerly National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation)
1111 South Mason St.
Fort Collins, CO 80521-4500
phone: 970-492-7552
email: Annette.Miller at ars.usda.gov<mailto:Annette.Miller at ars.usda.gov>

From: SOS [mailto:sos-bounces at lists.plantconservation.org] On Behalf Of Tyree, Gayle
Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2016 8:38 AM
To: SOS at lists.plantconservation.org
Subject: [SOS-PCA] Advice on storage of Sphaeralcea coccinea

Hello all,

One of our collection species this year was Sphaeralcea coccinea. This species is in high demand by the reclamation staff at our field office, so we ended up collecting seed additional to the 20,000 for our official collection. The seed has been in dry storage at our office for a month while we wait for funding to send it to the facility at Bend. However, I want to make sure that we are storing the seed properly, so that we do not compromise its viability.

The seed was collected in mid-July of this year and has since been stored in paper bags at room temperature (~70 degrees Fahrenheit). To anyone's knowledge, does this species require any kind of stratification, cold storage, or scarification to maximize germination success?

Thank you!

Gayle Tyree
Rawlins BLM SOS Intern

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