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Seed biology of rush skeletonweed in sagebrush steppe

Posted date: June 06, 2012
Publication Year: 
Authors: Liao, Julia D.; Monsen, Stephen B.; Anderson, Val Jo; Shaw, Nancy L.
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: Journal of Range Management. 53(5): 544-549.


Rush skeletonweed (Chondrilla juncea L.) is an invasive, herbaceous, long-lived perennial species of Eurasian or Mediterranean origin now occurring in many locations throughout the world. In the United States, it occupies over 2.5 million ha of rangeland in the Pacific Northwest and California. Despite the ecological and economic significance of this species, little is known of the ecology and life history characteristics of North American populations. The purpose of this study was to examine seed germination characteristics of 2 populations of rush skeletonweed in Idaho. Seeds from rush skeletonweed plants in southwestern Idaho were collected during the 1994 and 1995 growing seasons. Mature seeds were harvested on 6 dates between early July and early October 1994, and on 5 dates between early July and late September 1995. Fresh seeds from each harvest period were measured to determine seed weight, total germination, rate of germination, and viability (tetrazolium staining [TZ]) of non-germinating seeds. An aliquot of seeds collected in 1994 was also stored for 1 year to examine the effects of seed storage on germination. In southwestern Idaho, rush skeletonweed produces seeds continuously from mid-July through October. Seeds were capable of immediate germination without scarification or wet prechilling. Total germination generally ranged from 60 to 100% throughout the entire seed production period. Germination was also rapid, reaching 50% of total germination in less than 12 days.


Liao, Julia D.; Monsen, Stephen B.; Anderson, Val Jo; Shaw, Nancy L. 2000. Seed biology of rush skeletonweed in sagebrush steppe. Journal of Range Management. 53(5): 544-549.