Seed dormancy and germination in Rhexia mariana var. interior (Melastomataceae) and eco-evolutionary implications

Carol C. Baskin, Jerry M. Baskin, Edward W. Chester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Ninety-seven percent of the Rhexia mariana L. seeds collected in Tennessee were physiologically dormant at maturity in autumn, and they became nondormant during stratification. Light was required for germination, and seeds germinated to higher percentages on filter paper than on sand. Seeds buried in soil in October 1992 and 1994 and exposed to natural seasonal temperatures were exhumed and tested for germination at monthly or bimonthly intervals for 30 and 32 months, respectively. Seeds gained the ability to germinate to ≥80% at 30:15 and 35:20°C during the first winter of burial and also at 25:15°C during the second winter, but they did not re-enter dormancy. In contrast, seeds incubated at 20:10°C exhibited an annual cycle of moderate to high germination percentages in winter-spring and low germination percentages in summer-autumn. Thus, germination can occur at habitat temperatures in Tennessee from April to September. This is the first report of physiological dormancy in seeds of the Melastomataceae in the temperate region. Like members of many plant families in temperate eastern North America, seeds of R. mariana (i) show a decrease in the minimum temperature for germination as they come out of dormancy and (ii) exhibit some seasonal variation in the temperature range for germination. Thus, these dormancy or germination characteristics appear to be adaptations of species to the climatic conditions in temperate eastern North America.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488-493
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Botany
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999


  • Buried seeds
  • Dormancy cycles
  • Melastomataceae
  • Rhexia
  • Seed dormancy
  • Seed germination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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