The seed dormancy and seed germination requirements described in these pages represent a brief summary of our current understanding of seed biology. The pages were written between October 2008 and January 2009. Research continues both at the TSCC and worldwide and further insight into this area is certain.

In addition to the TSCC Germination Database, we have attempted to deliver some current understanding of dormancy mechanisms and conditons that permit or restrict germination, in order to help you germinate seeds at home and elsewhere.


We would like to acknowledge the huge amount of help provided by the volunteers of the seed bank in the processing of collections and conducting of germination tests at the TSCC. Without their time and efforts much of what has been achieved would not have been possible.

Many thanks to you all.

Seed Conservation & Germination Pages

The conservation pages were written by Dr Gemma Hoyle and James Wood with the assistance of Lorraine Perrins (RTBG Nursery) and Micah Visoiu (DPIW).

We also acknowledge the help and feedback we’ve received in the development of the TSCC Germniation Database. Particularly Kirstine Manger and other staff at Kew’s Seed Conservation Department in the UK, and Leahwyn Seed and Amelia Martyn at the Mount Annan Botanic Gardens seedbank.

Gemma Hoyle has a PhD in Australian seed conservation biology.

Gemma Hoyle has a PhD in Australian seed conservation biology.

Before coming to Australia, Gemma Hoyle spent 2.5 years working for RBG Kew’s Seed Conservation Department (known internationally as the Millennium Seed Bank Project) in the UK, where she uncovered dormancy alleviating treatments and germination requirements for seeds from all over the world. Gemma was recently awarded a PhD from the University of Queensland for her work in Australian Seed Conservation Biology. In particular, her research has broadened the understanding of the ecological significance of physiological dormancy and germination requirements of Australia’s native forbs for increased use and more effective conservation. Currently based in Canberra, Gemma is looking forward to applying her expertise to the research and conservation of Australian alpine seeds.

James Wood. Tasmanian Seed Bank Co-ordinator.

James Wood in the Nursery


James Wood is the Co-ordinator of the Tasmanian Seed Conservation Centre and has worked in and around seedbanking for 17 years. He took on his current post in December 2005 after working at RBG, Kew’s Seed Conservation Department for 7 years. Prior to that he held a horticultural support post for the Kew seedbank for 6 years. His first experience of seed science was as a student when he spent his industrial placement year working in research at the Kew seedbank.

Running and overseeing seedbank germination tests for about 11 years, James has a broad background and interest in the difficulties of wild species germination. He also has an interest in the effective recording and analysis of this data.

If you would like to contact either Gemma or James on the content of these pages or for other matters please use our feedback form.