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Seed germination of calendula in response to temperature

Carrie A. Eberle, Frank Forcella, Russ Gesch, Dean Peterson, James Eklund
Industrial crops and products 2014 v.52 pp. 199-204
Calendula officinalis, crop rotation, heat stress, heat treatment, plant response, planting, seed germination, seeds, soil temperature, spring, temperate zones, temperature profiles, Minnesota
Calendula (Calendula officinalis L.) seeds contain high concentrations of calendic acid (C18:3) which can be used as tung and linseed oil substitutes. Calendula is adapted to temperate climate, but field studies in western Minnesota indicated that stand establishment was susceptible to high soil temperatures immediately after planting in spring. Consequently, understanding the temperature conditions that govern germination of calendula is necessary to incorporate the crop into crop rotations of the Upper Midwest, U.S. Temperature gradient bar and heat-shock experiments were used to characterize calendula (cv. ‘Carola’) sensitivity before and during germination. Seed germinated between 2 and 32°C with the optimum germination temperature at 16–17°C. Heat shock temperatures (35–40°C) of less than 50h duration reduced germination (at 16°C) below 50%. At 45°C, 100% seed lethality was induced within 24h of heat treatment. Accordingly, calendula seed should be sown in the field only if forecasted soil conditions are expected to be below 30°C during seed germination.