Morphological dormancy in seeds of the autumn-germinating shrub lonicera caerulea var. Emphyllocalyx (caprifoliaceae)

Shyam S. Phartyal, Tetsuya Kondo, Yoichiro Hoshino, Carol C. Baskin, Jerry M. Baskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


To better understand the germination ecophysiology of the genus Lonicera, the dormancy class, temperature requirements for embryo growth and radicle emergence and phenology of seedling emergence were determined for Lonicera caerulea var. emphyllocalyx. At maturity, seeds have an underdeveloped embryo (approximately 28% of the length of full-grown embryos). Embryos in fresh seeds grew to full length at 15, 20, 20/10 and 25/15°C within 3 weeks, but failed to grow at ≤ 10°C and at 30°C. Radicles emerged from 86-100% of freshly matured seeds in light at 15, 20, 20/10 and 25/15°C within 28 days, but failed to emerge at 10°C. Radicles emerged equally well in a 12 h photoperiod and in continuous darkness at 25/15°C. Rapid embryo growth and germination over a range of conditions indicate that seeds of this taxon have morphological dormancy (MD); this is the first report of MD in a species of Lonicera. Seeds are dispersed in summer, at which time high temperatures promote embryo growth. Embryos grow to the critical length for germination in approximately 1 month; the peak of seedling emergence occurs in early autumn. Radicles emerged within 2 months from 98% of seeds buried at soil depths of 2 cm and 10 cm in the field in August in Sapporo, Japan; thus, seeds have no potential to form a persistent soil seed bank. However, seeds sown too late in autumn for embryos to grow remained viable and germinated the following summer when temperatures were high enough to promote embryo growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-26
Number of pages7
JournalPlant Species Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Caprifoliaceae
  • Haskap
  • Lonicera caerulea
  • Morphological dormancy
  • Soil seed bank

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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