Posted: 31/10/2013 at 12:35
The question is, why should any seed be hard to germinate? After all the plant is trying to preserve its genes and producing a seed which will not grow is counter-productive. surely?
The difficulty lies with us, not the seed. Lots of reason why that might be though. Non-viable seed is the most frequent. Some plants just cannot produce a viable seed under condtions in Britain. I have one plant which only produces seed which will grow only after a very very hot Summer. Lack of suitable pollinators is another.
Some seeds have a very short life span, Hepatica, Anemone, Salix and such like.
Others need sowing conditions which are hard to provide. For example they need the germination inhibitors removed by the passage of the seed through an animals digestive system.
There are lots of other factors which some into play too.