Length Research Paper Effects of pre-chilling and temperature on seed germination of Corchorus olitorius L. (Tiliaceae) (Jew’s Mallow), a wild leafy vegetable

  • M Nkomo
  • L Kambizi
Keywords: Corchorus olitorius, germination, temperature, pre-chilling, wild vegetable.


The wild leafy vegetable, Corchorus olitorius L, has a potential for development as a crop. Self propagation of this species is by seed. In an attempt to improve the length of time of its availability, the
effects of pre-chilling and temperature on germination of its seeds were investigated. Although it had a seed viability of 90.1% (using the tetrazolium technique), seed subjected to a temperature of 25oC for
both pre-chilled and unchilled seeds showed no germination. Seeds subjected to a temperature of 35oC did germinate with a maximum of 88% germination from seeds that had been pre-chilled for 3 ½ days
compared to those which were unchilled, pre-chilled for a day or pre-chilled for 7 days. Pre-chilling followed by exposure to a temperature higher than 30oC encourages germination of C. olitorius seeds. Nursery establishment under such conditions may improve its length of availability.

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eISSN: 1684-5315