Germination Ecophysiology of the Mesic Deciduous Forest Herb Polemonium reptans var. reptans (Polemoniaceae)


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3 Scopus citations


Abstract Seeds of Polemonium reptans var. reptans, a perennial herb of mesic deciduous forests in eastern North America, mature in late May‐early June, and a high percentage of them are dormant. Seeds afterripened (came out of dormancy) during summer when kept in a nylon bag under leaves in a nonheated greenhouse or on wet soil in a 30/15°C incubator. The optimum temperature for germination of nondormant seeds was a simulated October (20/10°C) regime. In germination phenology studies in the nonheated greenhouse, 20–30% of the seeds that eventually germinated did so in October, and the remainder germinated the following February and March. Since low (5°C) winter temperatures promote some afterripening (ca. 50%) and do not cause nondormant seeds to re‐enter dormancy, seeds that fail to germinate in autumn may germinate in spring. Thus, the taxon has very little potential to form a persistent seed bank. The large spatulate embryos and ability of seeds to afterripen at high temperatures means that seeds of P. reptans var. reptans have nondeep physiological dormancy, unlike many herbaceous woodland species, which have morphophysiological dormancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-68
Number of pages8
JournalPlant Species Biology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Dec 1992


  • Polemonium reptans
  • mesic woodland herb
  • perennial
  • seed dormancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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