The influence of acid scarification on the responsiveness of curly dock (Rumex crispus L. ♯ RUMCR) seeds to physical and chemical factors was studied. Scarification made the seeds responsive to GA4+7 (a mixture of gibberellin A4 + A7) and markedly improved the responsiveness to light, moist-chilling, and a 1-h 40-C temperature shift. Scarification reduced the mechanical restraint of the seedcoat by 0.4 to 0.8 MPa. Removal of the entire pericarp induced 69% germination in the dark. Moist-chilling treatment of seeds reduced the soaking period needed for maximum response to the high-temperature shift from 24 to 6 h. The embryo growth potential generated by moist-chilling was less in magnitude than that by the reduction in seed coat restraint by scarification. Induction of secondary dormancy was prevented to a marked degree in scarified (chilled or unchilled) seeds during polyethylene glycol-6000 (PEG) treatment in light or in the presence of GA4+7 while intact seeds rapidly became secondarily dormant in light. The ability of scarified seeds to remain germinable or nondormant for a longer period than the intact seed in low water potential imbibing medium may be due to a net reduction (by 0.4 to 0.8 MPa) in the impact on the embryo of germination-preventing forces (low water potential plus mechanical restraint of the seed coat).