Species of the genus Erythrina are frequently used as ornamental plants and in projects to restore degraded areas. Also, extracts from its shoots and stems are popularly used as a herbal medicine with validated activity on the central nervous system. The objective of this study was to evaluate E. mulungu and E. velutina seed germination and seedling development potential aiming commercial scale production of those species. Seeds stored for one or twelve months at 10°C ± 2°C were sown in sand, soil or Plantmax? substrates and evaluated for germination and seedling development. Subsequently, seedlings sprouted in Plantmax? were transferred to polyethylene bags and kept in greenhouse, under direct sunlight for plant development (plant height, stem diameter and root length pivoting) evaluations. Four-month-old plantlets were transplanted to the field and after a period of one year the collar diameter and shoot height (of each plant were measured. Seed germination rates of both species grown in soil and in Plantmax? were significantly high (over 80%). Storing seeds for 1 month did not inhibit germination. However, seeds stored for twelve months had germination reduced by more than a quarter. The development of plants in greenhouse and in the field was satisfactory, indicating the viability of producing E. mulungu and E. velutina on a commercial scale, in order to meet the expanding market demand for herbal medicines.
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