Arnebia benthamii is under intensive utilization because of its wide use as medicinal and aromatic plant resource. Self-propagation of this species is by both seed and vegetative propagation. In an effort to improve and promote the cultivation of this over-exploited medicinal herb, the effect of temperature and light on the germination of seeds was investigated with various presowing treatments of water and GA3. Germination was found to be temperature and light dependent. Though the seed viability was 82% as determined by tetrazolium staining, maximum germination of 100% was obtained only when the seed was soaked in 100 ppm GA3 solution for 24 h and incubated for germination at 25oC constant temperatures in 12 h light conditions. Barring this treatment all other presowing treatments, incubation temperatures and photoperiod treatments showed less germination. Mean germination time (MGT) was lowest at 25oC both in light and continuous dark conditions. The present study indicates that constant 20oC temperature incubation and light have a positive relationship with seed germination of the species even under no pretreatments. All the treatments at 25oC and presoaking in 100 ppm GA3 and incubation at 15 and 25oC seems to be effective treatments and could be easily adopted by the potential farmers for economic cultivation of this species.
Key words: Arnebia benthamii, seed germination, pre-soaking treatments, Himalaya, medicinal, aromatic plants.
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