Dormancy of safflower seeds: effect of storage and cold stratification

Abstract: Safflower seeds exhibit dormancy soon after dispersion from the mother plant, making it impossible to sow newly harvested seeds. Thus, the aim of the present study was to evaluate breaking the dormancy of safflower seeds during storage associated with the use of different periods of cold stratification. Seeds with a moisture content of 7.2% were stored for 0, 60, 120, 180, and 240 days, and for each storage period, they were stratified for 0 (control), 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 days at 10 °C in the dark. After stratification, seeds were subjected to the germination test and evaluated for percentage of root protrusion, germination speed index, and percentages of first count and final count of normal seedlings. Safflower seeds gradually overcome dormancy during storage for 240 days in a non-controlled environment. Storage associated with periods of cold stratification for 5 to 7 days lead to an increase in germination and are effective in breaking the physiological dormancy of safflower seeds.