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Ellison Abstract- 1998 Gotsch and Ellison

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Gotsch, S. G. & A. M. Ellison. 1998. Seed germination of the northern pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea. Northeastern Naturalist 5(2): 175-182.


We present data on dormancy-breaking requirements and germination rates of the northern pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea var. terrae- novae de la Pylaie. Upon dispersal from the parent plant, embryos are only partially developed. Seeds require a prolonged stratification period for after- ripening and maturation of the embryo but scarification prior to stratification is not required for germination. Exposure to light stimulates germination. Eighty-five percent of seeds stratified for 6 weeks germinated when placed into ambient sunlight, as compared with only 53% of seeds stratified for 4 weeks and then placed in the light. Fewer than 10% of seeds germinated when placed in darkness following stratification. Germination rate in the light was more rapid among seeds stratified for 6 weeks than those stratified for 4 weeks. These data suggest that S. purpurea seeds are dispersed in a state of morphological dormancy.

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