Seasonal Flowering of Heliconia ×rauliniana

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  • 1 Univ. of Hawaii, Tropical Plant & Soil Sciences, Honolulu, HI 96822

As part of a research study on growth and flower production of 20 commercial heliconia cultivars, plants were established at the Waimanalo Research Farm (Oahu) of the Univ. of Hawaii in July 1999. This report focuses on Heliconia ×rauliniana. Five plants in 7.6 L pots were planted at spacings of 2.5 M in row, with between row spacings of 3 M. Beginning a month later, newly emerged shoots were tagged every four weeks. At flowering, the shoots were harvested and leaf counts made. The information derived from the data include time frame from shoot emergence to flower, rate of shoot production, percentage of shoots from each tag date that flowered and the periodicity of flowering in a two year period. The range of times from shoot emergence to harvest was 208 to 450 days. In the first 12 months following planting, the average cumulative new shoot production since planting was 77 shoots per plant, while more than 58 inflorescences per plant were produced from the tagged stems for a 75% productivity rating. H. X rauliniana evidenced periodic flowering behavior, with peak flowering in the April to June period, that suggested it is a short-day plant for flower initiation.

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