632 GA4/7 and Light Level Affect Flowering and Plant Height of New Cultivars and Genetic Lines of Aquilegia ×hybrida Sims

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  • 1Plant Science Department, Rutgers University, 59 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901; 2Rutgers Cooperative Extension, 152 Ohio Avenue, Clementon, NJ 08021

Aquilegia cultivars `Songbird Bluebird', `Songbird Robin', `Dove Improved', `Colorado Violet/White' and five cultivars from new experimental genetic lines (`Red and White', `Rose and White #1', `Rose and White #2', `Scarlet and Yellow' and `White') will flower without vernalization, but little is known of their response to light or plant growth regulators. Plants were started from seed on 5 Jan. 1999 and grown in either natural light or 33% shade, and treated with gibberellins (GA4/7) at the seven-leaf stage. Flowering time, number of flowers/plant, and plant height were evaluated through 31 May 1999. All five cultivars from the new genetic lines bloomed during the study. `White', grown in shade and treated with GA4/7, bloomed 2 weeks earlier (115 days) than untreated plants grown in natural light (130 days). `Songbird Robin', treated with GA4/7, bloomed in 146 days, and was the only other cultivar to bloom. Flower numbers were greater in natural light than in 33% shade. GA4/7 increased flowering for four of five cultivars, in the new genetic lines, grown in natural light. In shade, GA4/7 increased flowering for three of five cultivars. Height response to GA4/7 was significant in both natural light and 33% shade. Four of the five cultivars in the new genetic lines were taller when treated. All five of these cultivars were taller when grown in natural light verses 33% shade. `White' and both `Rose and White' cultivars were consistently taller, bloomed earlier and were more floriferous when treated with GA4/7.

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