Evaluation of Trachelium Cultivars as Cut Flowers

in HortTechnology
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  • 1 University of Florida, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, 5007 60th Street East, Bradenton, FL 34203.
  • | 2 Southwest College of Forestry, Kunming, China.

Trachelium caeruleum has been grown in the United States as a cut flower for about a decade. Only two cultivars, `White Umbrella' and `Purple Umbrella', were readily available for commercial use before 1997, but nine new cultivars became available in the last few years. Comparative performance trials have been lacking for these cultivars in the United States. This trial evaluated 11 cultivars of trachelium for cut flower production performance (vegetative and flowering characteristics) and postharvest longevity. The evaluation was in the spring of 1999 at Bradenton, Fla. (27.4 N, 82.5 W; AHS Heat Zone 10; USDA Cold Hardiness Zone 9b). Plant height for all cultivars except `White Umbrella' was above 30 inches (76 cm), a height required for acceptance as a high quality cut flower. `Summer Lake' had the smallest inflorescence diameter of 3.9 inches (10.0 cm) and `Lake Powell' the largest at 6.1 inches (15.4 cm). `White Umbrella' (160 days from seed to flower) was the earliest to flower and `Lake Powell' (169 days) the last to flower. Vase life was as short as 7 days for `Summer Lake' to as long as 11 days for `White Umbrella'. `Lake Powell' (white color group), `Summer Blue Wonder' (blue color group), and `Lake Superior' (purple color group) had the highest overall rankings.

Contributor Notes

To whom requests for reprints should be addressed; e-mail brenth@nersp.nerdc.ufl.edu.