Goatsrue is an introduced perennial plant which has proven to have great invasive potential, leading to its classification as a noxious weed in many states and at the federal level. Very little research has been done on its basic biology. Physical dormancy of mature goatsrue seed was tested through scarification with sulfuric acid for up to 60 min resulting in 100% germination. Comparison of dormancy for 26-yr-old and 6-mo-old goatsrue seed indicated that aged seeds had reduced dormancy levels compared to newly harvested seeds. Maximum germination was similar among the 6-mo old and 26-yr-old seed lots, suggesting no loss of viability had occurred in seed stored dry for 26 yr. Goatsrue seedling emergence was inversely related to burial depth, and decreased as burial depth increased. Emergence of seed buried at 0.5 to 3.0 cm soil depth was 93 to 87%, respectively, and no emergence occurred from 12 and 14 cm. When the soil seed bank of five goatsrue-infested areas was sampled, the largest density of seeds found was 74,609 seeds m−2 while the lowest was 14,832 seeds m−2. Viability and dormancy of seeds recovered from the soil seed bank survey ranged from 91 to 100% and 80 to 93%, respectively. Management, which reduces the soil seed bank and controls emerging seedlings, is as essential as control of mature goatsrue plants in order to avoid seedling establishment and reinvasion of a location.
Nomenclature: Goatsrue, Galega officinalis L