Poor germination and inadequate silvicultural information are important factors militating against regeneration of Casuarina equisetifolia L. This study investigated effects of different sowing media on its germination and early growth. Fifty viable seeds were sown into each germination tray filled with four sowing media (Topsoil, sawdust, clay soil and river sand as treatment A, B, C and D respectively). Twelve germinants were randomly selected per sowing media and transplanted into polythene pots for early growth assessment. The growth parameters were measured for 16 weeks. Data on germination percentage and early growth parameters were subjected to Analysis of variance (ANOVA). There were no significant difference (P>0.05) among treatments on germination percentages. Treatment B had highest germination percentage 75±3.30% while treatment A and D had 56±2.85% and 25±2.63% respectively. The least was treatment C (19±2.55%). There was significant difference (P<0.05) among treatments on seedling height and collar diameter, but there was no significant difference (P>0.05) on leaf production of C. equisetifolia. The highest mean height was recorded in treatment A (14.64±0.24). Treatments B, C, D had 13.33±0.35, 12.50±0.60 and 12.35±0.59 respectively. The highest collar diameter was recorded for treatment A (2.49±0.12). Treatments B, D, and C had 2.41±0.05, 1.96±0.01 and 1.84±0.01 respectively. The study has shown that the germination percentage of C. equisetifolia improved significantly with sowing media especially sawdust and topsoil. The use of saw dust and topsoil as sowing media for small and large scale propagation of the species is recommended.
Key Words: Seed germination, Casuarina equisetifolia, Sowing media, Early growth