A method to significantly improve the germination and development of plantlets of Aplectrum hyemale was developed. Seeds of this terrestrial orchid were collected in a natural stand, surface disinfected and grown in vitro on a gellified growth medium in absence of symbiotic fungi. Seeds were sowed whole or after excision of the seed coat. Embryos that were removed from the seed coat showed a significant increase in germination and survival percentages compared to whole seeds. Embryos grew to form a ramified protocorm, irrespective of seed treatment, followed by plantlet formation. Plantlets were successfully acclimatized and transferred to soil conditions. Asymbiotic in vitro culture is therefore shown as a potential tool to produce viable plantlets for use in natural site restoration.
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