Some seeds have a very long viability period, and the oldest documented germinating seed was nearly 2000 years old based on radiocarbon dating.True dormancy or innate dormancy is caused by conditions within the seed that prevent germination under normally ideal conditions.Often seed dormancy is divided into two major categories based on what part of the seed produces dormancy: exogenous and endogenous.It’s the kind of product that beauty editors would call ‘cult’ — that is, so expensive real people can’t afford it.It’s the kind of product I would never buy at home because it’s too pricey, but here I snap up the highly rated anti-ageing serum (£45 in the UK, £27 here, a saving of £18), the hand cream (£4 at home, £1.40 here) and a mystery liquid called ‘Eau de Beaute’.Seed dormancy Seed dormancy is a condition of plant seeds that prevents germinating under optimal environmental conditions.Living, non dormant seeds germinate when soil temperatures and moisture conditions are suited for cellular processes and division; dormant seeds do not.Marianne boards the Eurostar (left) before heading to the nearest pharmacy upon her arrival in Paris.
I began by grabbing Eurostar’s cheapest ticket — if you can travel on a weekday and book more than a month in advance, you have a good chance of getting there £69 return — and there’s no extra charge for baggage (you need an extra case to wheel your beauty haul home).
As I look down the glorious view of the Champs Elysees, I try to channel the spirit of Catherine Deneuve or Isabella Rossellini and cultivate the attitude that, to quote the advertising campaign, ‘I’m worth it’.
One important function of most seeds is delayed germination, which allows time for dispersal and prevents germination of all the seeds at same time.
The staggering of germination safeguards some seeds and seedlings from suffering damage or death from short periods of bad weather or from transient herbivores; it also allows some seeds to germinate when competition from other plants for light and water might be less intense.
Another form of delayed seed germination is seed quiescence, which is different than true seed dormancy and occurs when a seed fails to germinate because the external environmental conditions are too dry or warm or cold for germination.
Many species of plants have seeds that delay germination for many months or years, and some seeds can remain in the soil seed bank for more than 50 years before germination.