The following book references are linked to Amazon.com because I believe they do good job presenting reviews and information about their and other sellers books. However, it is also kind to support your local hard working, struggling to survive private book seller. If these books are not in stock I am certain they would be happy to find them for you. They may even have some other great book suggestions.
My favorite book! Well, on seeds that is. New to working with native seeds? This book provides an engaging and informative entry and overview. The title of the book is self explanatory covering these topics in 12 chapters over 196 pages with a helpful glossary, appendix, and index. The book starts out with a nice section on What is a seed?. If you do not have a good understanding of seed morphology and biology this first chapter gets you going on a solid foundation. The guidelines, tips, tricks, and germination references are based on the Young's own hard won personal experience and from data painstakingly culled from the existing literature at the time of publishing. The Youngs put a heap a lot of work in this treasure of a book and it shows. Not many drawings or photographs just the seedy facts Mam. Now only available through private book sellers so it must be out of print. Maybe for the right price I will sell you mine....just kidding. No way.
Seeds of Woody Plants in North America. Young & Young, 1992 Dioscorides Press, Portland, Oregon USA My second favorite seed book.... Hortman's Amazon review (6 December, 2011) is an accurate and excellent description of this book so I quote it here with appreciation. "This is an updated version of the USDA Woody Plant Seed Manual and is for professional propagators or serious laypersons. It is not a book regarding seed identification although if you have a knowledge of plant identification and seed morphology it is quite useful in that regard. Its main benefits are its information on pregermination requirements, morphology of germinating seeds, and collection and storage requirements. Several genera have been added and the bibliography has been updated with new research publications. A must for a serious propagator."
I actually found the seed dissection images and drawings extremely helpful. Knowledge of the structure and morphology of seeds is critical to understanding seed germination. I had a sturdy large format hardback edition. If available get this one.
Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography, and Evolution of Dormancy and Germination. Carol C. & Jerry M. Baskin, 1998 Academic Press, "Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography, and Evolution of Dormancy and Germination differs from all other books on seed germination. It is an all-encompassing volume that provides a working hypothesis of the ecological and environmental conditions under which various kinds of seed dormancy have developed. It also presents information on the seed germination of more than 3500 species of trees, shrubs, vines and herbaceous species, making this a valuable reference for anyone studying germination."
Germination in non-cultivated plants is often tricky business and for a great many species, just placing them at 70 degrees F in a comfy moist environment just doesn't cut it. For anyone wanting to delve deep into the science of seed ecology and dormancy this is quite a tome of knowledge the Baskins have produced. An informative and fascinating read. Excellent 5 star reviews on the Amazon site.
"This Seed Processing Manual has been developed from the methods documented and the seed images recorded over a ten-year period by the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden Seed Conservation Program. Information on seeds and the processing techniques described in this manual are limited to plant species native to California and northern Baja California, Mexico, but the general techniques will be applicable to other physiologically or taxonomically related species. The species included in this manual were initially selected based on what species were processed and on what information we had accumulated over the first ten years since the project was initiated. Later we added species that we felt were particularly challenging to process and clean, those whose seed or fruits were difficult to identify, and those species that would add to the diversity of seed and fruit types represented in this manual. Today there is a growing number of governmental agencies, small commercial businesses, and not-for-profit resource, environmental, and community service organizations that have the need to collect, clean, and process relatively small seed collections from local native plant populations. High quality, local-source germplasm collections are a valuable resource for restoration, conservation, and stewardship of our natural biological communities."
"Having clean, healthy, sound seed allows for greater longevity in storage, more predictable propagation results, and more reliable data from germination trials. Hollow, broken, parasitized, or underdeveloped, inferior seeds are generally removed in the cleaning process. Separating seed from foral chaff and any surrounding fruit pulp aids in the drying process and helps control storage molds and fungal pathogens. Clean seed lots allow for better inventory control and management of the collections. " Enough said.
Unfortunately this book is out of print and currently only available as a digital download.