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Title:Seed and vegetative propagation methods for the rare Florida native species Chionanthus pygmaeus (pygmy fringetree)
Author(s):Eads, Amanda L.
Advisor(s):Stewart, J. Ryan
Department / Program:Crop Sciences
Discipline:Crop Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
seed germination
vegetative propagation
Indole-3-butyric Acid (IBA)
common fringetree
Chinese fringetree
pygmy fringetree
seed dormancy
Abstract:Chionanthus pygmaeus Small (pygmy fringetree) (Oleaceae) is an endemic and rare Florida species, which has an attractive, small habit giving it great potential for use in managed landscapes. Members of the genus Chionanthus are difficult to propagate via cuttings and possess complex seed dormancies that are not well understood. Conservation of pygmy fringetree and its potential for commercial propagation for use in managed landscapes is contingent on a better understanding of its complex seed dormancy and enhancement of its propagation. I conducted two experiments to assess sexual and asexual propagation methods for pygmy fringetree. The first experiment was conducted to determine what factors are involved in overcoming seed dormancy. Various scarification treatments, which mimicked conditions seeds are exposed to in the wild, were investigated to determine their effects on germination of 20-year-old seeds originally collected from the species’ native range. Treatments included endocarp removal, sulfuric acid, boiling-water, and smoke-water treatments. Prior to treatment initiation, seed viability was estimated to be 12%. Treated seeds went through two cold- and two warm-stratification periods of 4°C and 25°C, respectively, in a dark growth chamber. After 180 days, none of the treatments induced early germination. Seeds were then tested for viability, which was 11%. Seed dormancy of the species is apparently complex, allowing some of the seeds to retain some degree of viability, but without dormancy requirements satisfied. The second experiment was conducted to assess if pygmy fringetree could be successfully propagated via hardwood or root cuttings if the appropriate combination of environmental conditions and hormones were applied. Hardwood and root cuttings were treated with either 1000 ppm IBA talc, 8000 ppm IBA talc, or inert talc. All cuttings were placed on a mist bench in a greenhouse for 9 weeks. Hardwood cuttings were supplemented with bottom heat at 24 °C. No treatments were successful in inducing adventitious root formation. I conclude that pygmy fringetree seeds possess complex dormancy that was not able to be overcome by the treatments utilized. However, this result is confounded by the age of the seeds used in the experiment. I also conclude that vegetative propagation of pygmy fringetree is highly dependent on the time of year cuttings are harvested. Further research of both seed and asexual propagation methods need to be explored before pygmy fringetree can be propagated on a commercial scale.
Issue Date:2010-05-19
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 Amanda L. Eads
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-05-19
Date Deposited:May 2010

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