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Viability of Seeds Up to 211 Years Old Extracted from Adobe Brick Buildings of California and Northern Mexico

Timothy P. Spira and Lisa K. Wagner
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 70, No. 2 (Feb., 1983), pp. 303-307
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2443276
Page Count: 5
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Viability of Seeds Up to 211 Years Old Extracted from Adobe Brick Buildings of California and Northern Mexico
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Abstract

Seeds recovered from adobe walls of historic buildings in California and Northern Mexico were assayed for viability and germinability. Seven of the approximately 40 species tested had one or more viable seeds. These were (age of seeds in parentheses) Medicago polymorpha (200), Malva parviflora (200, 195, 183), Hordeum leporinum (200), Trifolium sp (193), Melilotus indicus (183), Chenopodium murale (183), and C. album (143). Additionally, 41-yr-old seeds of Lotus corniculatus collected from living plants were found to be viable. Seeds of Medicago polymorpha and Lotus corniculatus germinated and produced normal seedlings. The importance of seed longevity in weedy species is briefly discussed.

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