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Population, Temperature, and Substrate Influences on Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) Seed Germination

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 June 2017

Janis M. Farmer
Standard Oil of Ohio, 4440 Warrensville Center Rd., Cleveland, OH 44128
Steven C. Price
Standard Oil of Ohio, 4440 Warrensville Center Rd., Cleveland, OH 44128
C. Ritchie Bell
Dep. Biol., Univ. North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27514


Seed from 21 common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca L. # ASCSY) populations from six states were germinated on six substrates (filter paper, sand, peat, clay, and mixtures) under three temperature regimes. The variation in germination response between populations and experimental conditions was analyzed. The greatest percent germination (59% average over all substrates) was obtained with an alternating 20 C (16 h), 30 C (8 h) temperature regime. At a constant temperature of 30 C, germination was lower (32% average) and much more variable among seeds from different populations. At 25 C, average percent germination dropped to 1.2% over all substrates. Germination appeared to be strongly correlated with seed source (population), temperature, and substrate type, and poorly correlated with seed size. No association was found between geographical origin and germination response.

Weed Biology and Ecology
Copyright © 1986 by the Weed Science Society of America 

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