We investigated the germination requirements of the species Stachys germanica L subsp. bithynica (Boiss.) Bhattacharjee (Lamiaceae). We studied the effects of scarification, short-time moist chilling (+4 degrees C) for 15 and 30 days, and various doses of gibberellic acid (GA(3); 0, 100, 150 and 250 ppm), Kinetin (KIN; 50 ppm) and a combination of 250 ppm GA(3) and 50 ppm KIN. The hormone and moist chilling treatments were carried out under both continuous darkness (20 degrees C) and photoperiodic (20/10 degrees C; 12/12h, respectively) conditions. Seeds failed to germinate in response to short-time moist chilling treatments with distilled water under both continuous darkness and photoperiodic conditions. Seeds were found to have dormancy. Treatments with GA(3) or a combination of GA(3) and KIN were successful at breaking seed dormancy. A maximum of 37% of the seeds germinated after GA(3) application in all series. When only KIN was applied at a 50 ppm concentration, germination (12%) was found only with moist chilling for 30 days under continuous darkness. The highest germination rates were found in seeds treated with combination of 250 ppm GA(3) and 50 ppm KIN. In the combination treatments, while the moist chilling treatments for 15 days resulted in 68 and 73% germination, respectively, these rates were up to 95% in the moist chilling treatments for 30 days under continuous darkness and photoperiodic conditions. Mean germination time (MGT) in GA(3) and KIN combinations was lower than in other treatments. Scarification with 80% sulphuric acid did not promote germination. The characteristics of physiological dormancy of S. germanica ssp. bithynica seeds are consistent with conditions of existence in the in alpine habitat of this species. (C) 2011 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.