Sodium Chloride Resistance in Selected Cultivars of Hedera helix

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  • 1 Department of Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture, Room 20 Plant Science Building, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

Two experiments were conducted to determine the relative resistance of 33 selected cultivars of English ivy (Hedera helix L.) to soil- and shoot-applied NaCl. In the soil-applied NaCl experiment, ramets of the 33 cultivars were irrigated with a fertilizer + 0.25-N NaCl solution for 55 days. `Harrison', `Hibernica', `Thorndale', Wilson', and Woerner' exhibited the least amount of visible shoot damage. Dry weights of all cultivars were much lower in the salt treatment. In the shoot-applied NaCl experiment, plants were sprayed daily with a 0.25-n NaCl solution for 48 days. The young leaves and stems of all cultivars were severely injured by the salt spray, while the mature leaves and stems and the dormant buds were only slightly injured. Reduction in dry weight varied between cultivars. Two subsequent experiments focused on resistance to soil-applied NaCl. Ramets of the NaCl-resistant `Harrison', `Hibernica', and `Thorndale', and the NaCl-sensitive `Baltica', `Cathedral Wall', and Wingertsberg' were irrigated with a fertilizer + 0.25-N NaCl solution for 48 days. Whole-plant Cl content for all six cultivars was in the range of 30,000 ppm. Ramets of `Thorndale' and `Cathedral Wall' were irrigated with a fertilizer + 0.25-N NaCl solution for 30 days with replicate plants harvested at S-day intervals. `Cathedral Wall' accumulated more Cl at a faster rate than `Thorndale'. Mean whole-plant Cl concentration peaked at 97,000 ppm for `Cathedral Wall' and 40,000 ppm for `Thorndale'. Salt resistance may be partly based on slower uptake of Cl.

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