The influence of environmental factors on germination and emergence of horseweed was examined in growth chamber experiments. Germination was highest (61%) under 24/20 C day/night temperature under light. Horseweed seed germination was observed under both light (13 h photoperiod) and complete darkness (24 h), but germination under continuous darkness was only 0 to 15% compared with 0 to 61% under light. All other experiments were conducted under 24/20 C and 13-h light conditions. Germination was 19 to 36% over a pH range from 4 to 10, with a trend toward higher germination under neutral-to-alkaline conditions. Horseweed germination was > 20% at < 40 mM NaCl concentration and lowest (4%) at 160 mM NaCl. These data suggest that even at high soil salinity conditions, horseweed can germinate. Germination of horseweed decreased from 25% to 2% as osmotic potential increased from 0 (distilled water) to −0.8 MPa, indicating that germination can still occur under moderate water stress conditions. Horseweed seedling emergence was at its maximum on the soil surface, and no seedlings emerged from seeds placed at a depth of 0.5 cm or higher.
Nomenclature: Horseweed, Conyza canadensis (L.) Cronq. ERICA.