Seeds of tree lucerne, otherwise known as tagasaste (Chamaecytisus palmensis). Use for germination experiments involving breaking dormancy by three different methods of scarification. Or, just grow the plants!
Tree lucerne is an introduced, small, fast growing, evergreen tree reaching 6 metres. It fixes nitrogen in the soil and is a valued 'tree for bees', producing white pea-like flowers from late autumn right through to spring. Kererū (New Zealand pigeons, wood pigeons) love to feed on its new foliage too. It is a valued fodder tree as the leaves and flowers are very palatable to stock, and because it is hardy and fast-growing, it is a good primary coloniser giving initial shelter for gardens and fields.
The seeds need scarification to break their dormancy, and the guide sheet tells you how to do this. Great for investigating ways of breaking the dormancy of seeds, since when successful, they respond quickly (usually 1–2 days) by swelling to over twice their size as a precursor to germination. (See picture showing swollen seeds that are beginning to germinate, versus smaller dormant seeds). Examples of fair test investigations are also given in the guide.
Pack contains: 100 tree lucerne seeds and guide sheet.
Curriculum levels: Living World L3-8, NCEA Level 2 Biology: AS 2.3 Adaptations of plants to their way of life.
Living World: Life processes — Recognise that all living things have certain requirements so they can stay alive.
High school biology: Seed structure, germination, breaking dormancy, scarification.