Annals of Botany

Post-shedding seed development in Galanthus and Narcissus

Post-shedding seed development in Galanthus and Narcissus
Post-shedding seed development in Galanthus and Narcissus

Seeds of the moist temperate woodland species Galanthus nivalis and Narcissus pseudonarcissus, which disperse during spring or early summer, germinate poorly in laboratory tests. Newton et al. study seed characteristics and find a distinct typology of seed development matching their ecological niche, whereby seeds are dispersed close to the end of seed filling without substantial developmental arrest or significant maturation drying. Seeds are comparatively immature with limited desiccation tolerance at shedding, with substantial embryo elongation occurring slowly post-shedding, consistent with the idea that seed development continues naturally on woodland floors or in soil seed banks under the tree canopy after seed dispersal.