As of July 2022, Southeastern Grasslands Initiative had collected 1 accession of Desmodium ochroleucum from populations in Tennessee.
As of July 2022, Southeastern Grasslands Initiative holds 5 maternal lines from 1 accession (wild provenance only) totaling 11 seeds.
A germination test using 5 seeds from bulk collection (2 brown and 3 green) revealed that all seeds had developed physical dormancy, as they did not imbibe water without scarification. Seeds were first scarified on the opposite side of the hilum. After scarification by making a small incision in the seed coat and incubating the seeds for a week in a temperature cycle of 20 °C daytime and 10 °C nighttime temperatures and 12 hours of light per day no seeds had germinated. Seeds were then scarified again near the radicle and placed back in the same chamber, but still showed no sign of germination. All five seeds have since been moved into a warmer growth chamber, with 30 °C temperatures during the day and 20°C temperatures at night. If warmer temperatures do not promote growth, then it is possible that these seeds require cold stratification or are non-viable.
Missouri Botanical Garden collected seed in September 2018 from one occurrence in Perry County, Tennessee. Most plants present in the population were reproductive and had either dispersed or aborted fruits already or had some fruits on the stalks that were likely slightly immature, being green to light brown. Two individuals were seen with withered flowers still present. Common plants in the woodlands and surrounding the road included Quercus meuhlenbergii, Juniperus virgniana, Acer saccharum, Ostrya virginiana, Desmodium rotundifolium, Lespedeza cuneata, and Brickellia eupatrioides.
In all, Missouri Botanic Garden collected from 19 maternal lines (not counting bulk collection), yielding 259 seeds from 16 plants (273 seeds including bulk collection from a few of the largest seed producers) from the Perry County Population in September 2018. Three plants had no seeds that could be recovered, because the seed was either aborted or had been predated by weevils. In total, there were 139 recoverable seeds, of which 75 were brown seeds and 67 were at least somewhat green. Weevil damage was prevalent among seeds, with all but three plants exhibiting signs of predation.
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