Ms. Jeanie Taylor researched pollinators, breeding system and seed germination requirements for the endangered Washington State showy stickseed (Hackelia venusta).
In the laboratory, Ms. Taylor hand pollinated potted plants and germinated the resulting seeds, and also germinated wild-collected seeds from her field site. At the field site she observed and collected three species of pollinators. In order to test the effect of cross pollination and self pollination, she compared seed set from flowers which had pollinators excluded with seed set from open pollinated flowers.
Since self pollination and cross pollination have different effects on gene flow in a population and affect the survival of seedlings, this information will help land managers make decisions about methods of reintroduction or habitat improvements to help the population expand and stay healthy.
Using Hackelia diffusa var. arida as a surrogate species, Ms. Taylor developed a protocol for germinating H. venusta seeds. Ms. Taylor used her protocol and Rare Care’s new incubators to test germination percentages for H. venusta. She found that seeds were dormant, and that a certain period of cold, moist stratification was needed to induce germination.