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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Germination Test Methods
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1 - Main area
2 - Amaranth: D. Brenner, Curator
3 - Maize: M. Millard, Curator
4 - Oilseeds: L. Marek, Curator
5 - Ornamentals: M. Widrlechner, Curator
6 - Vegetables: K. Reitsma, Curator
7 - Seed Testing Papers
8 - General & Historic
Ornamentals: M. Widrlechner, Curator


Ornamentals Curator Group logo

 Click here for information on the seed testing papers we use.
 Contact Curator Jeffrey Carstens.


Actaea

493243

Malope 493959
Agastache 493218 Malva 490498
Alcea 493226 Matricaria  490482
Althea 493226 Monarda 493229
Anthemis 493794 Origanum 490496
Calendula 492151 Physocarpus 491385
Centranthus 493795 Potentilla 493227
Comarum 493796

Prunella

493225

Dasiphora 493228 Rumex 493794
Dracocephalum 490482

Sanvitalia

490484

Duchesnea 493794

Scrophularia

493797

Echinacea 491056

Sibiraea

490493

Glebionis 493228

Simsia

493960

Heteranthemis 493957 Sorbaria 490493
Heteropappus 493793 Spergula 490499
Hyoscymous 491385 Sphaeralcea 493794
Hypericum 493229 Spiraea 490493
Hyssopus 493228 Tanacetum  492545
Lappula 493958 Vaccaria 490497
Lythrum 493794    
Lavatera 490498    



ENO: 493243   Actaea

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

12 hours

20 ºC

ON

12 hours

8 ºC

OFF

Seeds are soaked in 1 mM GA3 overnight. Rinse seeds with tap water. Seeds are placed on top of 3 blotter papers (1 blue, 2 white – in contact with seeds) moistened with tap water in plastic boxes (5" x 5-1/4") and kept at room temperature overnight. Transfer to germinator with temperatures alternating between 20 ºC with light for 12 hours and 8 ºC in darkness for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle. Leave at this regimen for many days. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts as needed.

 

 TOP

ENO: 493218   Agastache

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

12 hours

25 ºC

ON

12 hours

15 ºC

OFF

Seeds are placed on 3 blotter papers (2 blue, 1 white – in contact with seeds) moistened with tap water in plastic boxes (5" x 5-1/4") and kept at room temperature overnight. Transfer to germinator alternating between 25 ºC with light for 12 hours and 15 ºC in darkness for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts occur 8 and 16 days after start of test.

 

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ENO: 493226  Alcea, Althea

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

12 hours

20 ºC

ON

12 hours

20 ºC

OFF

Seeds are placed between blotter papers moistened with tap water in plastic boxes (5" x 5-1/4") with the following arrangement:

(top) 1 blue paper
seeds
1 white paper
(bottom) 1 blue paper

Let sit overnight at room temperature. Transfer to germinator set at constant 20 ºC with light for 12 hours and dark for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts on 5 and 18 days after start of test. Chip remaining seed. Record final count after 5 more days.

 

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ENO: 492151  Calendula

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

12 hours

25 ºC

ON

12 hours

15 ºC

OFF

Seeds are placed on top of 2 blue blotter papers moistened with 0.1% KNO3 in plastic boxes (5" x 5-1/4"); substrate should be on drier side. Let sit overnight at room temperature. Transfer to germinator with temperatures alternating alternating between 25 ºC with light for 12 hours and 15 ºC in darkness for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts occur at 7, 14, and 21 days after start of test.

 

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ENO: 493795  Centranthus

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

12 hours

25 ºC

ON

12 hours

15 ºC

OFF

Seeds are placed on 3 blotter papers (1 blue, 2 white – in contact with seeds) moistened with tap water in plastic boxes (5" x 5-1/4"). Let seeds imbibe overnight at room temperature. Transfer to germinator with temperatures alternating alternating between 25 ºC with light for 12 hours and 15 ºC in darkness for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts occur on 7, 14, and 21 days after start of test.

 

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ENO: 493796  Comarum

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

21 days

4 ºC

---

12 hours

25 ºC

ON

12 hours

15 ºC

OFF

Seeds are placed on top of 3 blue blotter (1 blue, 2 white – in contact with seeds) papers moistened with 0.1% KNO3 solution in plastic boxes (5" x 5-1/4") and kept at room temperature overnight. Prechill at 4 ºC for 21 days. Transfer to germinator with temperatures alternating alternating between 25 ºC with light for 12 hours and 15 ºC in darkness for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts occur on 7, 14, and 21 days after start of test.

 

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ENO: 493228  Dasiphora, Glebionis, Hyssopus

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

7 days

4 ºC

---

12 hours

25 ºC

ON

12 hours

15 ºC

OFF

Seeds are placed on top of 2 blue blotter papers moistened with 0.1% KNO3 solution in plastic boxes (5" x 5-1/4") and kept at room temperature overnight. Prechill at 4 ºC for 7 days. Transfer to germinator with temperatures alternating alternating between 25 ºC with light for 12 hours and 15 ºC in darkness for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts occur on 7, 14, and 21 days after start of germination test.

 

 TOP

ENO: 490482  Dracocephalum, Matricaria

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

12 hours

20 ºC

ON

12 hours

20 ºC

OFF

Seeds are placed on top of 3 blotter papers (1 blue, 1 white, 1 blue – in contact with seeds) moistened with tap water in plastic boxes (5" x 5-1/4") and kept at room temperature overnight. Transfer to germinator set at constant 20 ºC with light for 12 hours and dark for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts occur at 7, 14, and 21 days after start of test.

 

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ENO: 493794  Anthemis, Duchesnea,
Lythrum, Rumex, Sphaeralcea

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

12 hours

30 ºC

ON

12 hours

20 ºC

OFF

Seeds are placed on top of three blotter papers (1 blue, 2 white – in contact with seeds) moistened with tap water in plastic boxes (5" x 5-1/4"). Let seeds imbibe overnight at room temperature. Transfer to germinator with temperatures alternating alternating between 30 ºC with light for 12 hours and 20 ºC in darkness for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts occur at 7, 14, and 21 days after start of test.

 

 TOP

ENO: 491056  Echinacea

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

28 days

4 ºC

---

12 hours

25 ºC

ON

12 hours

25 ºC

OFF

Soak seeds ovenight in 1 mM Ethephon. Transfer to germination boxes: seeds are placed on top of 2 blue blotter papers moistened with tap water. Prechill at 4 ºC for 28 days. Transfer to germinator with temperature set to a constant 25 ºC with light for 12 hours and dark for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts occur at 7, 14, and 21 days after start of germination test.

 

 TOP

ENO: 493957  Heteranthemis

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

12 hours

15 ºC

ON

12 hours

15 ºC

OFF

Seeds are placed on top of 3 blotter papers (1 blue, 1 white, 1 blue – in contact with seeds) moistened with tap water in plastic boxes (5" x 5-1/4") and kept at room temperature overnight. Transfer to germinator set at constant 20 ºC with light for 12 hours and dark for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts occur at 7, 14, and 21 days after start of test.

 

 TOP

ENO: 493793   Heteropappus

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

28 days

4 ºC

---

12 hours

25 ºC

ON

12 hours

15 ºC

OFF

Seeds are placed on top of 3 blotter papers (1 blue, 2 white – in contact with seeds) moistened with tap water in plastic boxes (5" x 5-1/4") and kept at room temperature overnight. Prechill at 4 ºC for 28 days. Transfer to germinator with temperatures alternating alternating between 25 ºC with light for 12 hours and 15 ºC in darkness for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts occur at 7, 14, and 21 days after start of germination test.

 

 TOP

ENO: 491385  Hyoscymous, Physocarpus

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

21 days

4 ºC

---

12 hours

25 ºC

ON

12 hours

15 ºC

OFF

Seeds are placed between blotter papers moistened with 0.1% KNO3 in plastic boxes (5" x 5-1/4") with the following arrangement:

(top) 1 blue paper
seeds
1 white paper
(bottom) 1 blue paper

Let sit overnight at room temperature. Prechill for 21 days. Remove top blotter paper and transfer to germinator with temperatures alternating alternating between 25 ºC with light for 12 hours and 15 ºC in darkness for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts occur at 7, 14, and 21 days after start of germination test.

 

 TOP

ENO: 493229  Hypericum, Monarda

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

12 hours

25 ºC

ON

12 hours

15 ºC

OFF

Seeds are placed on top of 3 blotter papers (1 blue, 1 white, 1 blue – in contact with seeds) moistened with tap water in plastic boxes (5" x 5-1/4") and kept at room temperature overnight. Transfer to germinator with temperatures alternating alternating between 30 ºC with light for 12 hours and 20 ºC in darkness for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts occur at 7, 14, and 21 days after start of test.

 

 TOP

ENO: 493958  Lappula

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

14 days

4 ºC

---

12 hours

15 ºC

ON

12 hours

15 ºC

OFF

Seeds are placed on top of 3 blotter papers (1 blue, 1 white, 1 blue – in contact with seeds) moistened with tap water in plastic boxes (5" x 5-1/4") and kept at room temperature overnight. Prechill at 4 ºC for 14 days. Transfer to germinator with temperature set to a constant 15 ºC with light for 12 hours and dark for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts occur at 7, 14, and 21 days after start of germination test.

 

 TOP

ENO: 490498  Lavatera, Malva

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

Constant

Room Temp

DARK

Seeds are placed between 2 moist blotter papers and allowed to imbibe water overnight. Seeds are then chipped and placed between blotter papers moistened with tap water in the following arrangement:

(top) 1 blue paper
seeds
1 white paper
(bottom) 1 blue paper

These are kept at room temperature in the dark. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 sd for total of 200 seeds. First count occurs in 4 to 8 days after chipping seed. Germination counts occur weekly after that.

 

 TOP

ENO: 493959  Malope

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

12 hours

15 ºC

ON

12 hours

15 ºC

OFF

Seeds are placed between blotter papers moistened with tap water in plastic boxes (5" x 5-1/4") with the following arrangement:

(top) 1 blue paper
seeds
1 white paper
(bottom) 1 blue paper

Let sit overnight at room temperature. Transfer to germinator set at constant 15 ºC with light for 12 hours and dark for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts occur at 7, 14, and 21 days after start of germination test.

 

 TOP

ENO: 490496  Origanum

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

Constant

15 ºC

---

Seeds are placed between blotter papers moistened with tap water in plastic boxes (5" x 5-1/4") with the following arrangement:

(top) 1 blue paper
seeds
1 white paper
(bottom) 1 blue paper

Let sit overnight at room temperature. Transfer to germinator with temperature set to a constant 15 ºC. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts occur at 7, 14, and 21 days after start of germination test.

 

 TOP

ENO: 493227  Potentilla

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

21 days

4 ºC

---

7 days

10 ºC

OFF

12 hours

20 ºC

ON

12 hours

20 ºC

OFF

Seeds are placed on top of 3 blotter papers (1 blue, 1 white, 1 blue – in contact with seeds) moistened with 0.1% KNO3 in plastic boxes (5" x 5-1/4") and kept at room temperature overnight. Prechill at 4 ºC for 21 days. Transfer to germinator with temperature set to a constant 10 ºC and darkness for 7 days. Then transfer to germinator with temperature set for 20 C with light for 12 hours and darkness for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts occur at 7, 14, and 21 days after transfer to 20 ºC germinator.

 

 TOP

ENO: 493225  Prunella

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

12 hours

30 ºC

OFF

12 hours

20 ºC

OFF

Seeds are placed between blotter papers moistened with tap water in the following arrangement:

(top) 1 blue paper
seeds
1 white paper
(bottom) 1 blue paper

Let sit overnight. Transfer to germinator with temperatures alternating between 30 ºC for 12 hours and 20 ºC for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle, no lights. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 sd for total of 200 seeds. Germination counts occur at 7, 14, and 21 days after start of germination test.

 

 TOP

ENO: 490484  Sanvitalia

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

7 days

4 ºC

---

12 hours

25 ºC

ON

12 hours

15 ºC

OFF

Seeds are placed on top of 2 blue blotter papers moistened with tap water in plastic boxes (5" x 5-1/4") and kept at room temperature overnight. Prechill at 4 ºC for 7 days. Transfer to germinator with temperatures alternating alternating between 25 ºC with light for 12 hours and 15 ºC in darkness for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts occur on 7, 14, and 21 days after start of germination test.

 

 TOP

ENO: 493797   Scrophularia

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

21 days

4 ºC

---

12 hours

30 ºC

ON

12 hours

20 ºC

OFF

Seeds are placed on top of 3 blotter papers (1 blue, 2 white – in contact with seeds) moistened with tap water in plastic boxes (5" x 5-1/4") and kept at room temperature overnight. Prechill at 4 ºC for 21 days. Transfer to germinator with temperatures alternating alternating between 30 ºC with light for 12 hours and 20 ºC in darkness for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts occur at 7, 14, and 21 days after start of germination test.

 

 TOP

ENO: 490493   Sibiraea, Sorbaria, Spiraea

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

28 days

4 ºC

---

12 hours

30 ºC

ON

12 hours

20 ºC

OFF

Seeds are placed on top of 3 blotter papers (1 blue, 1 white, 1 blue – in contact with seeds) moistened with 0.1% KNO3 solution in plastic boxes (5" x 5-1/4") and kept at room temperature overnight. Prechill at 4 ºC for 28 days. Transfer to germinator with temperatures alternating alternating between 30 ºC with light for 12 hours and 20 ºC in darkness for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts occur at 7, 14, and 21 days after start of germination test.

 

 TOP

ENO: 493960  Simsia

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

7 days

4 ºC

---

12 hours

30 ºC

ON

12 hours

20 ºC

OFF

Seeds are placed in folded paper towels1 moistened with tap water and placed in plastic tubs. Let sit overnight at room temperature. Prechill at 4 ºC for 7 days. Transfer to germinator with temperatures alternating alternating between 30 ºC with light for 12 hours and 20 ºC in darkness for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts occur at 7, 14, and 21 days after start of germination test.

1Seeds are wrapped in 2 sheets of germination toweling and replicated four times. The four replications are rubber banded together and eight accessions are placed in plastic tubs. Towels are kept moist with tap water during the germination period.

 

 TOP

ENO: 490499  Spergula

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

7 days

4 ºC

---

12 hours

15 ºC

ON

12 hours

15 ºC

OFF

Seeds are placed on top of 2 blue blotter papers moistened with tap water in plastic boxes (5" x 5-1/4") and kept at room temperature overnight. Prechill at 4 ºC for 7 days. Transfer to germinator with temperature set to a constant 15 ºC with light for 12 hours and dark for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts occur at 7, 14, and 21 days after start of germination test.

 

 TOP

ENO: 492545  Tanacetum

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

12 hours

25 ºC

ON

12 hours

15 ºC

OFF

Seeds are placed on top of 2 blue blotter papers moistened with 0.1% KNO3 solution in plastic boxes (5" x 5-1/4") and kept at room temperature overnight. Transfer to germinator with temperatures alternating alternating between 25 ºC with light for 12 hours and 15 ºC in darkness for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts occur on 7, 14, and 21 days after start of germination test.

 

 TOP

ENO: 490497  Vaccaria

Duration

Temperature

Fluorescent Lights

7 days

4 ºC

---

12 hours

15 ºC

ON

12 hours

15 ºC

OFF

Seeds are placed on top of 2 blue blotter papers moistened with with 0.1% KNO3 solution in plastic boxes (5" x 5-1/4") and kept at room temperature overnight. Prechill at 4 ºC for 7 days. Transfer to germinator with temperature set to a constant 15 ºC with light for 12 hours and dark for 12 hours per 24 hour cycle. Replication and sample size: 4 reps of 50 seed each for a total of 200 seeds. Germination counts occur at 7, 14, and 21 days after start of germination test.

 

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Last Modified: 3/8/2012
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