Seed viability and effect of scarification with sulphuric acid on germination of Enterolobium contortisiliquum (Fabaceae) seeds.
Enterolobium contortisiliquum (Vell) Morong., a large leguminous tree from South America, produces dormant seeds with low germination capacity. Laboratory experiments were conducted to evaluate seed viability of E. contortisiliquum and to test the effect of different times of seed scarification in concentrated sulphuric acid (30, 60, 90, 120 minutes) on germination capacity. The results show that 98% of the seeds (n=120) were viable. Germination of control seeds reached 2%. All pretreatments with sulphuric acid broke seed dormancy earlier and increased germination percentage and rate significantly as compared with control seeds. Scarification for 90 minutes promoted the highest germination percentage (94%). Our findings will be particularly useful to the requirements of a rapid mass production of seedlings of E. contortisiliquum.