Skip to main content

Coffee senna (Cassia occidentalis) germination and emergence is affected by environmental factors and seeding depth

  • Jason K. Norsworthy and Marcos J. Oliveira (a1)

Laboratory and greenhouse experiments were conducted to determine the effect of light, temperature, moisture stress, solution pH, and burial depth on coffee senna germination and emergence. Seeds germinated equally with or without light, and pretreatment with red or far-red light did not affect germination. Optimum temperature for germination was 25 C, and a high germination percentage (> 70%) occurred from 12.5 to 30 C. The low temperature threshold for germination was between 10 and 12.5 C, whereas the upper threshold was near 45 C. Coffee senna germination in response to moisture stress and solution pH differed at 15 and 30 C. At −0.4 MPa, no germination occurred at 15 C, whereas 15% germination occurred at 30 C. Optimum germination was at pH 6, but further increases in pH had a more negative effect on germination at 15 C than at 30 C. Coffee senna germination ranged from 9 to 12% at pH 3, but was 0% at pH 10, which indicates that coffee senna germination was more tolerant of acidic than basic solutions. Depth-mediated emergence inhibition was sigmoidal, with greatest emergence on the soil surface. Emergence from 2- to 10-cm depths reached 95% of the total emergence 1 to 3 d earlier in a sandy loam than in a sand soil. Mean emergence depth was 1.7 cm in the sand and 2.4 cm in the sandy loam soil. Knowledge gained from this research will be instrumental in developing a better understanding of the requirements for coffee senna germination and emergence, allowing further development and improvement of integrated weed management strategies specific to this troublesome weed.

Corresponding author
Corresponding author. Department of Entomology, Soils, and Plant Sciences, Clemson University, 277 Poole Agricultural Center, Clemson, SC 29634;
Hide All
Battaglia, M. 1997. Seed germination model for Eucalyptus delegatensis provenances germinating under conditions of variable temperature and water potential. Aust. J. Plant Physiol 27:6979.
Benvenuti, S. 1995. Soil light penetration and dormancy of jimsonweed (Datura stramonium) seeds. Weed Sci 43:389393.
Benvenuti, S. and Macchia, M. 1997. Light environment, phytochrome and seed germination of Datura stramonium L. seeds. Environ. Exp. Bot 38:6171.
Benvenuti, S., Macchia, M., and Miele, S. 2001. Quantitative analysis of emergence of seedlings from buried weed seeds with increasing soil depth. Weed Sci 49:528535.
Berkat, O. and Briske, D. D. 1982. Water potential evaluation of three germination substrates utilizing polyethylene glycol 20,000. Agron. J 74:518521.
Bradford, K. J. 1990. A water relations analysis of seed germination rates. Plant Physiol 94:840849.
Burke, I. C., Thomas, W. E., Spears, J. F., and Wilcut, J. W. 2003. Influence of environmental factors on broadleaf signalgrass (Brachiaria platyphylla) germination. Weed Sci 51:683689.
Burleson, A. W., Wilcut, J. W., Askew, S. D., and Bailey, W. A. 1998. Influence of moisture stress and temperature on sicklepod germination. Proc. South. Weed Sci. Soc 51:254255.
Delachiave, M. E. A. and de Pinho, S. Z. 2003. Germination of Senna occidentalis Link: seed at different osmotic potential levels. Braz. Arch. Biol. Technol 46:163166.
Hadas, A. 1977. A suggested method for testing seed vigor under water stress in simulated arid conditions. Seed Sci. Technol 5:519525.
Higgins, J. M., Walker, R. H., and Whitwell, T. 1986. Coffee senna (Cassia occidentalis) competition with cotton (Gossypium hirsutum). Weed Sci 34:5256.
Hohl, M. and Peter, S. 1991. Water relations of growing maize coleoptiles. Comparison between mannitol and polyethylene glycol 6000 as external osmotica for adjusting turgor pressure. Plant Physiol 95:716722.
[ISTA] International Seed Testing Association. 1985. International rules for seed testing 1985. Seed Sci. Technol 13:327483.
Keddy, P. A. and Ellis, T. H. 1985. Seedling recruitment of 11 wetland plant species along a water level gradient: shared or distinct responses? Can. J. Bot 63:18761879.
Lafond, G. P. and Baker, R. J. 1986. Effects of genotype and seed size on speed of emergence and seedling vigor in nine spring wheat cultivars. Crop Sci 26:341346.
Michel, B. E. 1983. Evaluation of the water potentials of solutions of polyethylene glycol 8000 both in the absence and presence of other solutes. Plant Physiol 72:6670.
Noronha, A., Andersson, L., and Milberg, P. 1997. Rate of change in dormancy level and light requirement in weed seeds during stratification. Ann. Bot 80:795801.
Rajapakse, N. C., Margaret, J. M., and Kelly, J. W. 1993. End of day far-red light reverses height reduction of chrysanthemum induced by CuSO4 spectral filters. Sci. Hortic 53:249259.
[SAS] Statistical Analysis Systems. 2000. SAS User's Guide. Version 8. Cary, NC: Statistical Analysis Systems Institute.
Silvertown, J. 1980. Leaf-canopy–induced seed dormancy in a grassland flora. New Phytol 85:109118.
Taylorson, R. B. and Borthwick, H. A. 1969. Light filtration by foliar canopies: significance for light-controlled weed seed germination. Weed Sci 17:4851.
Teem, D. H., Hoverland, C. S., and Buchanan, G. A. 1980. Sicklepod (Cassia obtusifolia) and coffee senna (Cassia occidentalis): geographic distribution, germination, and emergence. Weed Sci 28:6871.
Webster, T. M. 2001. Weed survey—southern states: broadleaf crops subsection. Proc. South. Weed Sci. Soc 54:244259.
Webster, T. M. and MacDonald, G. E. 2001. A survey of weeds in various crops in Georgia. Weed Technol 15:771790.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Weed Science
  • ISSN: 0043-1745
  • EISSN: 1550-2759
  • URL: /core/journals/weed-science
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed