Dormancy-breaking and germination requirements of seeds of the Hawaiian endemic Dianella sandwicensis (Xanthorrhoeaceae)

Dustin Wolkis, Carol C. Baskin, Jerry M. Baskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


One problem with including some wild plant species in restoration projects is that seeds are dormant and fail to germinate. Thus, information on the dormancy-breaking and germination requirements facilitates propagation of species, such as the Hawaiian endemic Dianella sandwicensis Hook. & Arn., for conservation. In seeds of this species the embryo is shorter than the endosperm, and seeds sown in early summer in Hawai'i did not germinate until autumn. Thus, we hypothesised that seeds have morphophysiological dormancy (MPD) and that germination is promoted by low (autumn) temperatures. Studies on embryo growth and the temperature requirements for dormancy-break and germination were conducted on seeds of D. sandwicensis collected on three Hawaiian Islands. Prior to germination the embryo length:seed length ratio increased 16.3 to 17.6% thus, seeds have MPD. Since both embryo growth and germination occurred at 25/15°C, seeds have a simple level of MPD. Seeds germinated to 90-100% at both 20/10 and 25/15°C, but germination was faster at 20/10°C. However, seeds incubated for 12 weeks at 25/15°C then moved to 20/10°C reached 100% germination as rapidly as seeds kept at 20/10°C. Our results show that exposure of seeds to relatively cool autumn (20/10°C) conditions facilitates propagation of this species from seeds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-217
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Journal of Botany
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 CSIRO.


  • Dianella
  • Embryo growth
  • Morphophysiological seed dormancy
  • Tropical montane (Hawaii)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science


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