Home ยป Seed dormancy and germination vary within and between species of milkweeds

Seed dormancy and germination vary within and between species of milkweeds

Showy milkweed is an important resource for monarch butterflies and other pollinators, such as this Western Tiger Swallowtail. Photo by T.N. Kaye.

Declines in pollinator populations and monarch butterflies require restoration of habitats with the plants and floral resources that support them. Monarch butterflies in particular lay their eggs exclusively on milkweed species, which their caterpillars require as a food source. Restoring populations of milkweeds can involve planting plugs grown from seed, but recommendations for breaking dormancy and germinating milkweed seeds often disagree. In a recent study published in AoB PLANTS, Kaye et al. tested the hypothesis that seed germination and dormancy vary within and among species of milkweed, and found substantial differences across species, and even between populations of the same milkweeds.


AoB PLANTS is an open-access, online journal that publishes peer-reviewed articles on all aspects of environmental and evolutionary biology. Published by Oxford University Press, AoB PLANTS provides a fast-track pathway for publishing high-quality research, where papers are available online to anyone, anywhere free of charge. Reasons to publish in AoB PLANTS include double-blind peer review of manuscripts, rapid processing time and low open-access charges.

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