320 Lupinus albus ssp. graecus L., A Native Plant with Potential for Floricultural Use

in HortScience

Lupinus albus ssp. graecus, L. Fabaceae (Boiss. and Spruner) Franco and P.Silva, is being studied at the TEI of Heraklion since 1998 as a new plant with potential use in floriculture and ornamental horticulture. The plant has been recorded botanically; however, little is known about its physiology and genetic profile. Lupinus albus ssp. is a herbaceous annual plant 10 to 20 cm tall, growing at roadsides, field margins, vineyards, and olive groves up to 700 m altitude. The leaves are 5 to 11 cm wide, palmate shaped in alternate orientation, with five to nine leaflets 10 to 18 mm wide, all arising from the same point. The flowers are borne in terminal or lateral spike-like racemes 10 to 20 cm long. Florets are 15 mm long, dark blue occasionally with a white patch, stamens forming a tube. Pods are 60 to 70 mm long,with four to six black-spotted seeds. In the present work, seed germination studies were conducted combining chilling pretreatments with physical scarification (scratching). Mature seeds chilled at 5 °C for 6 weeks germinated readily (83%) when scarified with sand paper. Furthermore, we tested the effects of several plant growth regulators (chlorocholine chloride, paclobutrazol, maleic hydrazide and Ethrel 48) on young plants of Lupinus in order to obtain compact pot plants with more flowering racemes. Paclobutrazol at 5 and 10 mg/L achieved the best retardation effect, but did not affect flowering. In another trial with different potting media,the commercial potting soil proved the most suitable for growing lupins satisfactorily. It is concluded that Lupinus albus spp. graecus L. need further investigation in order to establish the best cultural conditions for its growth and development. Furthermore, due to its high genetic variability, selection and genetic improvement is required for optimal results.

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