Germination rates of black cohosh (ActaearacemosaL.)
populations in western Maryland
Mitra Karimian1, Sunshine L. Brosi2, Tommy Berry, Steven Darrow, Nathan Beeman, Elizabeth Deasy, Lauren Fetzer, Austin Persons, Brittany Weeks, Carson Somerlatt, Christopher Massimino
Ethnobotany Program, Frostburg State University, Frostburg, Maryland, USA
- The Appalachian Dulcimer is a stringed instrument in the zither family
- As a folk instrument, the Appalachian dulcimer has prevailed in the Southern Appalachian mountains since the days of the pioneers (Jeffrey 1958)
- The intent of this research is to provide data which will be beneficial to growers of black cohosh.
- Various seed treatments and subsequent data regarding ideal growing conditions for germination and seedling growth will be useful to growers of this valuable plant.
- Developing scientifically rigorous cultivation guidelines with high germinations rates will encourage its cultivation by growers of other medicinal herbs and specialty crops.
- Techniques used in this study may be applied to other herbs with low germination rates.
- Field Data Collection:
- 70 populations identified, marked using a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit and flagging
- Associated community structure documented including vegetation plots, sapling plots, overstory plots, and soil samples
- Lab analyses completed on soils to determine texture, % soil moisture, and mineral composition, including Ca, N, P, Mg, K, and other minerals.
- Seed Stratification:
- Stratification procedure consists of exposure to a warm-cold-warm temperature cycle
- 20°C (6 weeks) 5°C (8 weeks) 10°C (until sowing)
- Additional seeds from populations given bleach treatments of 1-10% in addition to the normal stratification procedure
- Germinating first year seeds will be used for future experiments
- Over 65,000 seeds were collected
- Most collected from areas experiencing edge effects
- Number of fruiting plants at all sites was not related to the proportion of flowering plants observed during the summer
- Weevils were present feeding on seeds collected from Savage River State Forest
- Fungal infections of unconfirmed origin were observed on leaves and flower stalks at this site
- Seeds were not collected from any apparently infected plants.
- Variations were observed among taxa in regard to the size and number of seeds collected
- Average seed weight per taxon ranges from 0.51 mg to 3.87 mg with a mean of 2.10 mg and standard deviation of 0.68 mg
- Under experimental conditions, germination rates may range from 10% to 80% (Popp et al. 2002).
Lyke, J. 2001. Summary of the conservation status of Cimicifugassp.
(Cimicifugarubifolia, C. americana, C. racemosa). National
Popp M, Schenk R, Abel G. 2003. Cultivation of Cimicifugaracemosa
(L.) Nuttal and quality of CR extract BNO 1055. Maturitas. 44
Suppl. 1 pp. S1-S7.
Predny ML, De Angelis P, Chamberlain JL. 2006. Black cohosh (Actaea
racemosa): an annotated bibliography. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS–
97. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest
Service, Southern Research Station. 99 p.
The study area includes four sites in the westernmost counties of Maryland.
Seeds of each taxa were cleaned, weighed, and separated according to buoyancy and/or size before undergoing seed stratification.
This investigation seeks to:
Identify associations between flowering plants and soil and light environment
Determine germination rates in wild-harvested populations and open-pollinated taxa
Ascertain links between germination rates and seed size, seed weight, seed buoyancy, and seeds per taxon
Evaluate bioactive compounds that occur in rhizomes of parent plants in order to determine relationships between concentrations of triterpene glycosides in each taxa and forest cover type, understory plant assemblages, soil type, seeds produced, seed weight, and germination rate
Note the approximately normal distribution of seed weights.