Laboratory and greenhouse experiments were conducted to determine the effect of light, temperature, moisture stress, solution pH, and burial depth on coffee senna germination and emergence. Seeds germinated equally with or without light, and pretreatment with red or far-red light did not affect germination. Optimum temperature for germination was 25 C, and a high germination percentage (> 70%) occurred from 12.5 to 30 C. The low temperature threshold for germination was between 10 and 12.5 C, whereas the upper threshold was near 45 C. Coffee senna germination in response to moisture stress and solution pH differed at 15 and 30 C. At −0.4 MPa, no germination occurred at 15 C, whereas 15% germination occurred at 30 C. Optimum germination was at pH 6, but further increases in pH had a more negative effect on germination at 15 C than at 30 C. Coffee senna germination ranged from 9 to 12% at pH 3, but was 0% at pH 10, which indicates that coffee senna germination was more tolerant of acidic than basic solutions. Depth-mediated emergence inhibition was sigmoidal, with greatest emergence on the soil surface. Emergence from 2- to 10-cm depths reached 95% of the total emergence 1 to 3 d earlier in a sandy loam than in a sand soil. Mean emergence depth was 1.7 cm in the sand and 2.4 cm in the sandy loam soil. Knowledge gained from this research will be instrumental in developing a better understanding of the requirements for coffee senna germination and emergence, allowing further development and improvement of integrated weed management strategies specific to this troublesome weed.
Nomenclature: Coffee senna, Cassia occidentalis L. CASOC.