Episode 43: Seed Dormancy and the Silver Dollar Plant


Anna is back to tell you about seed dormancy. Why don’t seeds sprout as soon as they fall from their parent plant? In many cases, it’s simply too early. In cold climates, the fragile seedlings wouldn’t have a chance of surviving the winter. Instead, they rest until certain conditions are met.

The seeds of alderleaf mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus) won’t germinate until after they have been exposed to a period of cold, wet conditions.

Casey introduces us to the silver dollar plant (Lunaria annua), a plant in the mustard family with flat, round, translucent seed pods called silicles. This plant is also called money plant. Speaking of money, Idaho Botanical Garden has a grant named after this plant – The Lunaria Grant – which helps other organizations fund their plant-themed education projects.

silver dollar plant (Lunaria annua)


This episode aired on Radio Boise in December 2018 and featured music by Toy Zoo.

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