Seed morphology and allelopathy of invasive Praxelis clematidea.
Praxelis [Praxelis clematidea (Griseb.) R.M. King & H. Rob.] is an invasive species that infests many agricultural systems globally, such as orchards, rubber plantations, and other economic crops. The purpose of this research was to study seed morphology, germination factors, and allelopathy of aboveground parts of P. clematidea. P. clematidea seeds are small, light, and possess pappi that allow them to be dispersed easily by wind or animals. Among four P. clematidea populations collected from different provinces in Thailand, the size of P. clematidea seeds ranged from 2.6 to 3.2 mm in length, 0.6 to 0.7 mm in width, and were 0.4 mm in thickness. The weight of P. clematidea seeds ranged from 0.13 to 0.21 mg. P. clematidea had about 44 to 48 seeds per head. Seeds germinated over a temperature range of 20 to 30°C while high (45°C) and low (10°C) temperatures reduced germination. Maximum germination occurred when seeds were planted on the soil surface. No seedlings germinated when seeds were planted at a depth more than 1 cm. P. clematidea extracts from aerial plant parts at concentrations of 25 and 50% inhibited seedling growth of hairy beggarticks (Bidens pilosa L.). Basic knowledge of the seed biology of P. clematidea and allelochemicals can help in understanding the invasiveness and in developing management strategies for this weed.