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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Dry Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum L. plants containing mature seeds in their capsules were harvested in summer 1972 and stored. Seeds separated from the capsules were tested for germination over more than two decades. In each capsule there are three groups of about 10 seeds each: terminal, central, and basal seeds. These are dispersed after different periods of wetting and also display differing germinability, even after 22 years of storage. The terminal seeds germinate to the highest and the basals to the lowest level at 10 to 30 °C. Germination of all three groups of seeds in the dark was higher than in light. After wetting at 30 °C, in the dark, the basal seeds germinated to the highest percentage. Even after 57 days of wetting, depending on the seed position in the capsule and environmental factors during wetting, seeds germinated in the range from 14 to 64%. Together with environmental influences during the time of wetting, the long-living seeds with long-term position effects on the low percentage of germination of the M. nodiflorum seed population are discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research and Department of Life Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev


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