Factors affecting germination of great bindweed (Calystegia silvatica) seeds
Great bindweed (Calystegia silvatica) invades riparian plantings in New Zealand but little is known about the factors influencing seed germination of this species, the number of seeds produced per flower or whether seed banks build up in the soil below infested sites. Dormancy-breaking treatments involving scarification and/or pre-chilling of seeds were evaluated. The effect of temperature on germination was also studied. The presence of viable seeds in capsules on vines and in the soil beneath established stands was quantified. Great bindweed seeds needed scarification but not a period of cold temperature to germinate. Germination occurred from 5oC to 25oC but germination was greater and more rapid at higher temperatures. Seed capsules contained an average of only 2.3 seeds, and the soil beneath plants had, on average, only 21.9 seeds/m2. Seeds were large with one thousand seeds weighing 43.4 g. Once the hard seed coat is broken, seeds will germinate readily at warmer times of the year, but seed production is not prolific so seeds might not be that important for spread of the species.