Seed germination of calendula in response to temperature

Carrie A. Eberle, Frank Forcella, Russ Gesch, Dean Peterson, James Eklund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Calendula (Calendula officinalis L.) seeds contain high concentrations of calendic acid (C18:3) which can be used as tung and linseed oil substitutes. Calendula is adapted to temperate climate, but field studies in western Minnesota indicated that stand establishment was susceptible to high soil temperatures immediately after planting in spring. Consequently, understanding the temperature conditions that govern germination of calendula is necessary to incorporate the crop into crop rotations of the Upper Midwest, U.S. Temperature gradient bar and heat-shock experiments were used to characterize calendula (cv. 'Carola') sensitivity before and during germination. Seed germinated between 2 and 32. °C with the optimum germination temperature at 16-17. °C. Heat shock temperatures (35-40. °C) of less than 50. h duration reduced germination (at 16. °C) below 50%. At 45. °C, 100% seed lethality was induced within 24. h of heat treatment. Accordingly, calendula seed should be sown in the field only if forecasted soil conditions are expected to be below 30. °C during seed germination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-204
Number of pages6
JournalIndustrial Crops and Products
StatePublished - Jan 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Elise Porcher for her contributions in collecting data for the gradient bar germination trials and Jesse Eklund for his preliminary germination studies in response to heat shock. This work was supported through the USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) award 2012-67009-20272 .


  • Calendula officinalis L. 'Carola'
  • Cardinal temperature
  • Germination
  • Seed
  • Thermal death


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