Ecological aspects of seed dormancy-break and germination in Heteranthera limosa (Pontederiaceae), a summer annual weed of rice fields

C. C. Baskin, J. M. Baskin, E. W. Chester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Heteranthera limosa seeds were buried in flooded and in non-flooded soil and exposed to natural seasonal temperature changes in Lexington, Kentucky, USA. Seeds exhumed after various periods of burial ranging from 2 to 36 months were tested for germination under both flooded and non-flooded conditions. Seeds were dormant at maturity in September and became non-dormant during winter. Seeds buried in non-flooded soil during winter germinated to higher percentages and over a wider range of temperatures when tested under flooded conditions (in light) during spring and summer, than did those buried in flooded soil during winter. Thus, the water regime associated with rice culture (non-flooded in winter and flooded in summer) is optimal for dormancy-break and germination of H. limosa seeds. A portion of the buried seeds exhibited an annual dormancy/non-dormancy cycle, whereas others had a conditional dormancy/non-dormancy cycle. Regardless of the type of cycle, seeds buried in non-flooded soil retained the ability to germinate in light at high temperatures under flooded conditions throughout the summer. Thus, seeds potentially can germinate at any time during the growing season, whenever rice fields are flooded. Flooding fields during winter and/or sowing rice relatively early in the growing season may help in establishing rice before seeds of H. limosa germinate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-107
Number of pages5
JournalWeed Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003


  • Dormancy break
  • Flooding
  • Heteranthera
  • Rice
  • Seed dormancy
  • Seed germination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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