Growth and Macronutrient Accumulation of Chasmanthium latifolium (Michx.) Yates and Hakonechloa macra Makino 'Aureola' in Response to Temperature

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  • 1 Department of Plant Science, U-67, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-4067

Optimum growing temperatures were determined for Hakonechloa macra Makino 'Aureola' and Chasmanthium latifolium (Michx.) Yates, two shade-tolerant ornamental grasses found naturally in regions differing in temperature conditions. Plants were grown in four growth chambers at average daily temperatures of 13, 19, 25, and 31 °C for 12 weeks. After the treatment period, plants were destructively harvested to quantify growth and shoot tissue concentrations of N, P, K, Ca, and Mg. Optimal growth occurred at an average daily temperature of 25 °C for both grasses, but Hakonechloa was better able to tolerate lower temperatures. Hakonechloa died at 31 °C, while Chasmanthium growth was only slightly reduced at this temperature. Nutrient concentrations in shoot tissue for both species increased with increasing temperatures up to the temperature supporting optimal growth. At 13 and 19 °C, the concentrations of most nutrients were higher for Hakonechloa than for Chasmanthium, possibly reflecting the greater growth (higher nutrient demand) of Hakonechloa at lower temperatures. When compared on a per plant basis at each grasses' optimum temperature for growth, Chasmanthium has a much greater demand for nutrients than Hakonechloa, reflecting the greater growth potential of Chasmanthium.

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