Garcinia kola is used as chew-stick for dental care in West Africa. The species is nearly commercially extinct in nature, and its propagation is hampered by seed germination problems. The current study investigated seed germination responses of Garcinia kola at different maturity stage. The experiments were conducted at the Central Laboratory of Biotechnology of the Centre National de Recherche Agronomique (CNRA) located at Adiopodoumé (North Abidjan - Côte d’Ivoire) while the fruit samples were collected from Yapo a protected forest area with very humid equatorial climate. The experimental design was factorial design with two factors. Seeds processed from green fruits of 6 weeks old did not germinate, whilst those of 10 weeks old fruits, at the intermediate stage, germinated at the rate of 46%. Seeds from orange-coloured mature fruits had a germination rate of 54 to 62%. The adventitious roots of intermediate maturity seeds protruded at the same time as mature ones after 9 weeks of sowing and normal germination, with first shoot growth occurring simultaneously after 12 weeks in the two (intermediate maturity and full maturity) stage of fruits. Desiccation tests after 4 weeks revealed similar trends of weight decrease and moisture content in the two kinds of seed. Seeds from partly intermediate mature fruits showed germinating characteristics comparable to mature fruits. These indicate that the seeds from this stage could be used to germinate Garcinia kola Heckel, for conservation, post harvesting and commercial purposes.
Key words: Garcinia kola, planting material, germination, seeds, fruits, Côte d’Ivoire.
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