A model was developed to quantify the response of Easter lily (`Nellie White') flower bud elongation to average air temperature. Plants were grown in greenhouses set at 15, 18, 21, 24, or 27C after they had reached the visible bud stage. An exponential model fit the data with an R2 of 0.996. The number of days until open flowering could be predicted using the model because buds consistently opened when they were 16 cm long. The model was validated against data sets of plants grown under constant and varying greenhouse temperatures at three locations, and it was more accurate and mathematically simpler than a previous bud elongation model. Bud length can be used by lily growers to predict the average temperature required to achieve a target flowering date, or the flowering date at a given average temperature. The model can be implemented in a computer decision-support system or in a tool termed a bud development meter.
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