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Acta botánica mexicana

versão On-line ISSN 2448-7589versão impressa ISSN 0187-7151


CUSTODIO-RODRIGUEZ, José P.; VARGAS-SIMON, Georgina  e  CONTRERAS-SANCHEZ, Wilfrido M.. Germination, initial growth and morphology of Castilla elastica (Moraceae) in Tabasco, Mexico. Act. Bot. Mex [online]. 2022, n.129, e1857.  Epub 02-Maio-2022. ISSN 2448-7589.

Background and Aims:

Castilla elastica is a Mesoamerican native species associated with different Prehispanic cultures that used their latex for ceremonial purposes. It is considered an emblematic tree, useful in agroforestry systems. This work aimed to evaluate the germination, initial growth and morphology of C. elastica.


Seeds from 30 trees were collected and planted in polyethylene trays. The start of the germination was determined by the sprouting of the epicotyls. The percentage of germination was quantified, and three periods of evaluation were established, every 45 days. Stem length (Lt) and basal stem diameter (Db) were evaluated. Absolute (RGA) and relative (RGR) growth rates were also obtained. Additionally, simple regression tests were made, and a regression was calculated associating RGA from Lt against some climatic variables. Growth evaluation of the plants lasted 205 days.

Key results:

Germination was obtained in 100%, the process initiated at 12 days. At 205 days, plants reached an average (±1 SD) Lt and Db of 36.5 cm (±5.27) and 8.2 mm (±0.55), respectively. The three evaluation periods showed significant statistical differences. According to regression models, C. elastica grows 0.188 cm day-1 for each millimeter of increase in Db.


The use of recently harvested seeds guarantees 100% germination. Different stages of development of the seedling depending on the time (205 days) were obtained. The RGR decreased after the first evaluation, being attributable to the solar radiation. This work demonstrated the feasibility of producing C. elastica plants, reaching the minimal required quality standards in terms of its average Lt and Db.

Palavras-chave : eophylls; growth rates; phenology; seedlings; seeds; solar radiation.

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