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Name: Dennis
Status: other
Grade: other
Location: CA
Country: USA
Date: Fall 2012


Question:
Since it is Halloween I got a pumpkin. I opened it up and to my surprise laying beside the 50 or so seed i found one that was sprouting. Weird huh? So i was wondering how rare is it that would happen?



Replies:
Not too rare at all. I've seen it plenty of times. Happens with other fruit seeds too, particularly oranges and grapefruit.

Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D., M.Ed. Department of Physics and Astronomy University of Wyoming


Hello Dennis,

Weird, yes! What you discovered, precocious seed germination (or sprouting), can happen with a number of plants. Normally seeds made by a plant are dormant and require some treatment such as cold temperatures, light or several months of storage before they can sprout. Just like livestock, cats or dogs that have the “wildness” bred out of them, vegetable and crop plants have dormancy bred out of them, so it is possible that pumpkins, corn, tomatoes and additional vegetables and grains can germinate before seeds are put into the ground. Removing dormancy from vegetable seeds helps farmers because they can plant seeds at any time and know that they will sprout.

Jim Tokuhisa, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Horticulture Department Virginia Tech


Dennis

That would be really rare!

Sincere regards, Mike Stewart



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