Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: January 1, 2007
Publication Date: February 29, 2008
Citation: Makus, D.J. 2008. Seed germination methods and establishment of saw-palmetto, Serenoa repens, in South Texas. In: Leskovar, D.I., editor. IV International Symposium on Seed, Transplant and Stand Establishment of Horticultural Crops; Translating Seed and Seedling Physiology into Technology. Acta Horticulturae. Pub. 782. p. 381-384. Technical Abstract: Saw-pametto, Serenoa repens, a native of Florida rangelands, and used medicinally in prostate formulations, was evaluated as an alternative crop for South Texas (USA). Fresh seeds, obtained from the USDA Plant Introduction Station, Miami, Florida on Oct.28, 1999, were sown directly into artificial media after using the following pre-germination protocols: (1) Fruit ‘as is’, (2) seed with mesocarp removed, (3) cleaned seed imbibed in water for 24 h, (4) procedure 2 + acid scarification, then imbibed in water for an additional 24 h, (5) procedure 2 + mechanical abrasion, then imbibed for an additional 24 h, (6) 2 + GA4,7 (100 ug /L), then additional 24 h water imbibition, and (7) a combination of procedures 2 + 4 + 5. After12 weeks, treatments 3 through 7 were, statistically, but not kinetically, similar (50-61 % germination), but higher than simply removing the mesocarp (20 %) or planting the unprocessed seed (8 %). Seedlings were grown in a greenhouse until 14 March 2001, pooled, then field planted into a Fine, mixed, hyperthermic Vertic Calciustolls and a Course-loamy, mixed, hyperthermic Aridic Haplustalfs soil (USDA). Single 36 m rows were planted at 0.9 m within row spacings, trickle irrigated, and supplied with fertilizer each year. First flowering was observed in 2003. The 2005 yield per plant and 2006 mid-year plant heights were 229 and 1007 g and 1.4 and 1.7 m, respectively, for plants grown in the two respective soils (means different at P < 0.01).