The nursery industry depends on public gardens to supply propagation material for newly introduced plant species grown from seed. Most seed obtained by public gardens is received in small quantities and must be handled efficiently to assure at least minimal germination. A seed germination protocol is proposed which leads the propagator through a series of steps including a systematic search of the literature, a comparison of species about which little or nothing is known to related species with known propagation methods, a study of the climatic conditions present in the seeds' native area, a study of ecological factors that may affect germination, and finally to the propagation process itself. Examples are provided which illustrate how the protocol is used.
2Director and Greenhouse Supervisor, respectively.