Seed and embryo germination in Ardisia crenata.
Ardisia crenata is an evergreen shrub with attractive bright red berries. Although this species is usually propagated by seed, the seeds take a long time to germinate with conventional sowing methods. We investigated the germination capacity of seeds and embryos collected in different months and the effects of seed storage conditions, germination temperature, water permeability of the seed coat, and the endosperm on seed germination. Seeds and embryos collected in late September or later showed good germination rates. Seeds germinated more rapidly after longer periods of storage at low temperature (approximately 5°C), and those stored in dry conditions showed lower emergence frequency than those stored in wet conditions. Seeds germinated at 15-30°C, but not at 5-10°C. Removal of the seed coat enhanced water uptake and seed germination. Seeds with various proportions of the removed seed coat were sown on a medium supplemented with sucrose. The germination frequency increased as the size of the remaining endosperm decreased. However, the opposite results were obtained when seeds were sown on a medium without sucrose. We concluded that the optimal temperature of 25°C is the most critical factor for seed germination in A. crenata.