Characteristics of seed size and its relationship to germination in American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.)
SQ Xu, H Zhang, ZF Hou and YP Wang
The aims of this work were to investigate the variation of seed size related parameters and their relationship as well as whether seed size impact on germination in American ginseng. A total of 8596 American ginseng seeds from eight different regions were included in this study. There was a normal distribution for the frequency of seed weight, length, width and thickness. A great portion of seeds (more than 90%) varied within 2 mm for dimension parameters. Significant positive liner relationship was observed between seed weight and width, length and weight, and width and length. Seed size significantly affected kernel area, plumpness, split percentage and germination. Seed split and germination percentage is more depended on plumpness but not seed size. Medium seeds had the highest germination percentage, followed by large and small seeds with no significant difference between them. Both extremely large and small seed performed poorly for germination, and extremely large seeds exhibited higher germination percentage than extremely small seeds. The results of the study do not agree with the commonly accepted conception that the larger the better for ginseng seeds.