Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



Switchgrass, Panicun virgatum L., Indiangrass, Sorghastrum nutans Nash, and big bluestem, Andropogon gerardi Vitman, are tall, erect, native warm-season perennial grasses which in the past few years have received wide acceptance for use in the midsummer pasture establishment throughout the Great Plains. These warm-season grasses are native to the eastern part of the Great Plains and largely make up the tall grass prairie. They are well adapted to hot summer conditions and grow vigorously during July and August when the growth of cool-season grasses is slow or nil. Stand establishment and laboratory seed testing of these grasses are complicated by high levels of seed dormancy which frequently persists a year or more after seed harvest. ·Germination procedures set forth in the Association of Official Seed Analysts' Rules for Testing Seeds-1970 prescribe a two-week prechill of dormant switchgrass, Indiangrass and big bluestem seed. Germination readings obtained when using the above method were low. The low germinating samples can be checked to determine actual viability and potential germination with a triphenyl tetrazolium chloride solution. Tetrazolium tests indicated that many of the seed were capable of a germination and that the switchgrass, Indiangrass, and big bluestem seed were in a temporary state of dormancy. This study was undertaken to see if pre-germination treatment(s) would reduce the seed dormancy of switchgrass, Indiangrass, and big bluestem in order to obtain maximum germination reading in the laboratory and in field plantings.

Library of Congress Subject Headings



Dormancy in plants

South Dakota State University Theses



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University