Growth Responses of Heptacodium miconioides to Various Photoperiods and Day/Night Temperatures

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609

Photoperiod treatments of 10, 12, 14, and 16 hours and a field control were used to determine the photoperiodic response of Heptacodium miconioides Rehd. The F values for vegetative growth responses under various photoperiods exhibited a highly significant linear effect. Leaf count, area, and weight, shoot length, and stem weight were lower for plants exposed to the 10- or 12-hour photoperiod than those of plants grown under the 14- or 16-hour photoperiod or in the field. Plants under the 10- or 12-hour photoperiod became dormant after 5 weeks of treatment. The growth responses for the 10- and 12-hour photoperiods were similar. There also were no differences in growth responses of plants from the 14- and 16-hour photoperiods or from the field. A favorable photoperiod for growth of Heptacodium must exceed 12 hours; thus, it can be classified as a long-day plant in reference to vegetative growth. Leaf tissues under the 10- and 12-hour photoperiods were significantly thicker than those under the 14- and 16-hour periods or under field conditions due to longer cells of the palisade mesophyll layer. Plants grown in the field and under the 14- or 16-hour photoperiods were the only ones that initiated inflorescences. With days at 30C, leaf and stem dimensions were larger than those at 22C. Nights at 18C resulted in a larger leaf area, leaf weight, and stem weight than at 26C. There was a significant effect on total leaf thickness due to day × night temperature interaction.

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