Seeds of Coreopsis lanceolata (coreopsis) and Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower) were primed to determine whether improved plug production of these herbaceous perennials would result. Experiments were conducted at two locations: Texas A&M University (TAMU), College Station, Texas; and Buell's Inc., Cibolo, Texas. Location had a significant effect on emergence, with both species having greater emergence percentages at Buell's Inc. than at TAMU. This effect is attributed mainly to watering systems and plug aeration. Priming significantly increased emergence of only E. purpurea grown at TAMU. Seedlings from seeds primed in 50 mM potassium salts for nine days at 15°C (59°F) had more than twice the emergence percentage (47%) of seedlings from nonprimed seeds (21 %). Priming did have a significant effect on the root development of both species. Echinacea purpurea seedlings from primed seeds had a 44 to 51% increase in total root area compared to nonprimed seeds. Coreopsis lanceolata seedlings from primed seeds had up to an 85% increase in root area compared to seedlings from nonprimed seeds. In plug systems, relatively developed root systems may result in positive growth response after transplanting.

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Author notes

Texas Agricultural Experiment Station Journal Article. no. 30471

2Research Assistant, University of Idaho Research and Extension Center, Sand Point, ID 83864.

3Assistant Professor