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  • 1 University of Florida, 1545 Fifield Hall, Gainesville, FL 32608

Orange Jasmine (Murraya paniculata L. Jack) and Texas Star [Tecoma stans (L.) Juss.] are two tropical ornamentals which have become popular in the specialty floriculture crop market because of their outstanding flower characteristics. Unfortunately they are difficult to root and little has been published on how to propagate them effectively. Therefore, the objective of our experiment was to determine the optimum physiological age of stem tissue necessary to effectively root 2-node stem cuttings. Forty-five cm shoots of Murraya were harvested on 27 June and 7 Sept. 2005, and divided into 2-node stem cuttings representing the top, middle, and bottom sections of the stem (soft-wood, semi-hardwood, and hardwood, respectively). Cuttings were measured for stem length and diameter, dipped in a 1,500 mg·L–1 solution containing indolebutyric acid (IBA) 1%: napthaleneacetic acid (NAA) 0.5%, and propagated under mist for 10 weeks in a 4 perlite: 1 vermiculite substrate (by volume). Tecoma followed a similar regime but were harvested once on 13 Sept. and evaluated 4 weeks after planting. Both species were evaluated for percent survival and rooting quality on a 1 to 5 scale; 1 = poor, 5 = best. Stem quality differences in Tecoma cuttings were shown, but did not influence rooting performance or percent survival. Murrayacuttings indicated a similar trend suggesting that age of tissue is not an important factor when propagating these species. However, when comparing the two harvest dates, data from Murraya cuttings showed an increase in survival from 79% and 95% and an increase in rooting quality from 2.72 to 4.26 when harvested in June compared to Sept., respectively. Cuttings harvested in Sept. were also shown to be 17% shorter with a 126% larger diameter than those harvested in June. These data suggest a trend toward a seasonal effect when harvesting cuttings of Murraya paniculatain Florida. Further studies should be conducted to verify this trend and to identify the ideal season for propagation.