Seed morphological characteristics were examined on germination and early growth of Vitellaria paradoxa. Seeds were sourced from Eruwa, Saki and New-Bussa in the Derived, Southern Guinea and Northern Guinea Savanna ecological zones of Nigeria respectively and classified into three sizes: large (length ≥45.00 mm); medium (length 40.00 – 45.00 mm) and small (length ≤40.0 mm). The seeds were sown, germination was monitored and recorded. Twelve weeks old seedlings were pricked into polythene pots filled with top soil arranged in 3×3 factorial experiment fitted in Completely Randomised Design (CRD) with three replicates. The seedlings were assessed for plant height (cm), stem diameter (mm), leaf production, and leaf area (cm2) on monthly basis for six consecutive months. The data collected were subjected to Analysis of Variance and the means were separated with Least Significant Difference (LSD) at 5% level of significance. Results indicated that both seed sizes and sources affected germination performance. Highest mean seed germination (84.4%) was observed from large-sized seed from Saki while medium and small seed sizes from New-Bussa had 80.4% and 84.1% mean seed germination respectively. Seed source and size had significant influence (p≤0.05) on early seedling growth of V. paradoxa. However, small-sized seeds gave optimum performance for mean stem diameter, leaf production and leaf area with 4.69 mm; 3.85 and 48.7 cm2, respectively while large seed size had the highest mean height (6.72 cm). Seedlings growth is highly linked to seeds sizes; larger seeds had higher germinability and growth rate than the smaller seeds.
Key Words: Vitellaria paradoxa, Morphology, Seed source, Seed size