This study aims to evaluate the effects of seed pre-treatments on the germination of Echinops giganteus. The pre-treatments used were partial manual removal of the pappus (T1), total removal of the pappus (T2), roasting for 2 min (T3), roasting for 4 min (T4), roasting for 6 min (T5), soaking in water for 6 h (T6), soaking for 12 h (T7), soaking for 24 h (T8) and the control (T0). The experiment was laid out in a completely randomized design with three replicate and 60 seeds per pre-treatment in March 2016 at IRAD Bambui. Germination was monitored daily for a period of one month and data on latent period, germination percentage and germination speed was collected. Early growth parameters such as shoot height (H), collar diameter (CD) and number of leaves (NL) were measured after every two weeks from the 11th to the 17th week while root length (RL) was measured at 17th week. Germination commenced 5 days after sowing for pre-treatments T1, T2, T6, T7 and T8, respectively while seeds from the control pre-treatment (T0), T3, T4 and T5 germinated 8 days after sowing. Germination was delayed and scanty in pre-treatments T4 and T5. Cumulative germination percentage and germination rate were highest in pre-treatment T1 followed by T2 and T6 while T4 and T5 were the least. Height and collar diameter of seedlings was highest in pre-treatments T6, T7, T2 and T1 respectively. Influence of pre-treatments on number of leaves and root length of seedling was not significant. Germination of E. giganteus seeds can be done based on the information given in this study.
Key words: Echinops giganteus, seed germination, pre-treatments, early growth.
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