Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) Rhizome Regeneration in Pine Bark, Soil and Sand Substrates

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  • 1 Univ. of Tennessee, Plant Sciences, Knoxville, TN 37996-4561
  • | 2 Univ. of Tennessee, Plant Sciences
  • | 3 Univ. of Tennessee, Plant Sciences

Mugwort, or false chrysanthemum (Artemisia vulgaris L) is a well-adapted invasive plant that presents increasing management challenges to agricultural producers, Green Industry professionals and homeowners across portions of the eastern U.S. The ability of mugwort to regenerate from cut rhizome sections has not been adequately quantified for substrates that are typical of landscapes and nursery fields, container nurseries, and propagation beds. Cut rhizome sections were analyzed by rhizome color, length, and the presence or absence of a leaf scale. Media substrates included pine bark, sand, and soil. Rhizomes darken with time and color did not account for differences in growth among treatments. When grown in pine bark, sand, and soil substrates during 45-d trials, 85%, 78%, and 69% of 2 cm-long rhizome sections produced both roots and shoots. These results contrast with previous research. When rhizome fragments 0.5 cm long did not include a leaf scale, slightly fewer than 31% produced both roots and shoots in soil. Fewer rhizomes survived in soil, but root and shoot fresh masses of soil-grown rhizomes were greater than rhizomes that were regenerated in pine bark and sand. When rhizome sections had a leaf scale, survival, fresh masses of roots and shoots, shoot height, leaf number and root lengths were greater, regardless of substrate type. Root initials emerged in the internode between leaf scales and also adjacent to leaf scales. Shoot emergence preceded root emergence from rhizome sections. Growers, landscape managers and homeowners should scout regularly and initiate aggressive controls when mugwort populations are found.

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