Seed germination experiment
David L. Robinson
dlrobi02 at HOMER.LOUISVILLE.EDU
Sat Jul 13 17:33:11 EST 1996
Try dandelion seed. Its plentiful in the spring and fall months, easy
to gather, and cheap! Since dandelion is an apomictic plant the seed
from one inflorescence should be highly homogenous. One seed head can
yield 100-200 seed. Dandelion seed germinates immediately after reaching
maturity...it has no after-ripening requirements. I have kept seed in a
ziplock bag in a refrigerator for 2 years that still had extremely high
germination. Germination is very rapid.
As for comparison, why not harvest other weedy plant species? Weed seed
is very abundant this time of year, and are generally very easy to
germinate and they grow fast....afterall, that is why they are weeds.
Considering that more than 65% of the agricultural chemicals used in the
U.S. are herbicides these species are worth studying too!
On 10 Jul 1996, Richard L. Boyce wrote:
> I've been asked by a colleague for ideas for a seed germination experiment
> for middle-school students (7th through 10th grades). He would like to
> demonstrate that different species have different pH preferences for
> germination. So some seeds would germinate best in acid conditions, while
> others would germinate best in alkaline pHs. Ideally, the seeds would be
> readily available and would germinate fast; the latter condition is very
> important. The seeds should also not require a great deal of preparation,
> like stratification, etc. I was stumped--anyone out there on the web have
> any ideas?
> Richard L. Boyce
> Department of Biological Sciences
> University of Denver
> Denver, CO 80208 USA
> 303-871-3471 (fax)
> rboyce at du.edu
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