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Open access

Kaitlin A. Hopkins, Michael A. Arnold, Charles R. Hall, H. Brent Pemberton, and Marco A. Palma

Variation in floral characteristics and growth habits within the native range of the North American wildflower Ratibida columnifera (Nutt.) Wooton & Standl. suggests potential for breeding and selection efforts to develop improved cultivars for commercial and residential landscapes. Experiments in seed propagation were performed to enable perpetuation of unique germplasms. Overnight hydration, storage condition variations, stratification and scarification, and seed maturation effects were assessed to determine impacts on viability and percent germination. Overnight hydration had no impact on percent germination. Germplasm had a significant effect on germination for all remaining experiments. Seed maintained viability at the same rate through 18 months, when slight reductions were noted. Cold storage at 3 °C had no effect on viability or percent germination of dry seed compared with storage at 23 °C. All three germplasms exhibited increased percent germination with some stratification period, and declined significantly in percent germination with all acid scarification treatments. Experiments indicated that most germplasms benefit from between 30 to 60 days of cold, moist stratification. There was a significant interaction effect among germplasms, location on the inflorescences, and maturity stages for R. columnifera. Data suggest that seed should be harvested as close as possible to when natural dispersal would occur for optimum germination. The degree of improvement in viability and percent germination associated with harvesting at various developmental stages, seed pretreatments, and storage conditions suggests that to achieve germination success, pretreatments should be used for propagation of seed from mature inflorescences and that variation can be expected within different genotypes of this species.

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Youping Sun, Genhua Niu, Christina Perez, H. Brent Pemberton, and James Altland

Marigolds (Tagetes sp.) are ornamental plants with fine-textured, dark green foliage, and yellow, orange, or bicolored flowers. The relative salt tolerance of eight marigolds [‘Discovery Orange’, ‘Discovery Yellow’, ‘Taishan Gold’, ‘Taishan Orange’, and ‘Taishan Yellow’ african marigold (Tagetes erecta); ‘Hot Pak Gold’, ‘Hot Pak Orange’, and ‘Hot Pak Yellow’ french marigold (Tagetes patula)] was evaluated in a greenhouse experiment. Plants were irrigated weekly with nutrient solution at an electrical conductivity (EC) of 1.2 dS·m−1 (control) or saline solutions at an EC of 3.0 or 6.0 dS·m−1 (EC 3 or EC 6). Marigold plants began to show foliar salt damage (leaf burn and necrosis) at 6 weeks after the initiation of treatment. At harvest (9 weeks after the initiation of treatment), ‘Discovery Orange’, ‘Discovery Yellow’, ‘Taishan Gold’, and ‘Taishan Yellow’ plants exhibited severe foliar salt damage with visual scores less than 2 (on a scale of 0 to 5, with 0 = dead and 5 = excellent with no foliar salt damage) in EC 6. In the same treatment, ‘Hot Pak Gold’ and ‘Taishan Orange’ plants all died and only one of nine ‘Hot Pak Orange’ and ‘Hot Pak Yellow’ plants survived. In EC 3, all cultivars had slight or minimal foliar salt damage with visual scores ≈4 with the exception of Taishan Gold and Taishan Orange plants that showed moderate foliar damage with a visual score of 2.3 and 2.1, respectively. Treatment EC 3 reduced the flower number of ‘Discovery Orange’, ‘Discovery Yellow’, ‘Hot Pak Gold’, and ‘Hot Pak Yellow’ by 52%, 28%, 50%, and 30%, respectively, whereas EC 6 decreased the flower number of ‘Discovery Orange’ and ‘Discovery Yellow’ by 48% and 52%, respectively. In addition, both EC 3 and EC 6 did not reduce total dry weight (DW) of any cultivars, except Hot Pak Yellow and Taishan Yellow. In conclusion, all marigold cultivars are moderately sensitive to salt. ‘Discovery Orange’, ‘Taishan Yellow’, ‘Discovery Yellow’, and ‘Taishan Gold’ were more tolerant than ‘Hot Pak Gold’, ‘Hot Pak Orange’, ‘Hot Pak Yellow’, and ‘Taishan Orange’.

Open access

Royal D. Heins, H. Brent Pemberton, and Harold F. Wilkins

Abstract

Lily plants were exposed to natural daylight (ND), 50% ND (50% saran), ND plus 16 hours of incandescent (Inc) or ND plus 16 hours of high pressure sodium discharge (HID) lamp light at both University of Minnesota and Michigan State University. Light intensity had no significant horticultural effect on plant development rate that could not be readily explained by temperature. The Inc or HID light source hastened flowering by 5 to 8 days over the ND plants when given from emergence to flower. However, the rate of development from visible bud to flower was not influenced by light intensity. Plant heights were increased by all light treatments when compared to the ND plants. These increases appeared due to photoperiod for the HID treated plants, photoperiod and light quality for the Inc treated plants, and light quantity for the 50% saran-treated plants. The number of flower buds initiated was not affected by light treatment but Inc lighting increased flower bud abortion. Final plant height was highly correlated with height at visible bud; final height being about double the height at visible bud when plants were grown continuously under ND, HID, or 50% saran.

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Mary H. Meyer, Pamela J. Bennett, Barbara Fair, James E. Klett, Kimberly Moore, H. Brent Pemberton, Leonard Perry, Jane Rozum, Alan Shay, and Matthew D. Taylor

Landscape plant evaluations were conducted in eight states: Colorado, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Vermont for 17 switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and five little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) cultivars. Additional locations in Florida (Fort Lauderdale, Fort Pierce, Quincy, and Wimauma), Nebraska (Lincoln), and Lubbock and San Marcos completed 1 or 2 years of the trials. Plants were established in 2012 and data were collected for 3 years, 2013–15. Sites were asked to compile annual data on plant height, width, flowering time, fall color, pests, foliage color determined by the Royal Horticultural Society’s color chart, plant form, flowering date, floral impact, self-seeding, winter injury, landscape impact, and mortality. Texas A&M Agricultural Research and Extension Center (Overton), Florida (all four locations), and Vermont had the highest mortality rate. Southern Florida locations lost 50% of their plants by the end of 2014. Wide variation was reported for landscape impact, individual cultivar height, and width from different regions of the United States. Three of the 17 switchgrass cultivars, Cloud 9, Northwind, and Thundercloud, had a rating of 4.0 or higher averaged over six or more locations for plant form, floral, and landscape impact. ‘Shenandoah’ and ‘Warrior’ switchgrass had a rating of 4.0 or higher averaged over six or more locations for plant form and landscape impact, but not floral impact. Only one of the five little bluestem cultivars, Blue Heaven® rated 4.0 or higher, for plant form and landscape impact when averaged over six or more locations. This range of variability in landscape plant performance demonstrates the importance of local plant evaluations.

Open access

Erfan K. Vafaie, H. Brent Pemberton, Mengmeng Gu, David Kerns, Micky D. Eubanks, and Kevin M. Heinz

In this study, we surveyed the initial whitefly (Aleyrodidae) populations on rooted poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) cuttings at two commercial greenhouse facilities in both 2017 and 2018 to determine the initial whitefly population at the beginning of poinsettia production and surveyed finished poinsettias at multiple retailers in Tyler, TX, over 2 years to determine whitefly densities considered acceptable by retailers. The initial whitefly population (mean ± se) for all poinsettias was 0.02 ± 0.02 (2017) and 0.33 ± 0.13 (2018) nymphs per plant for grower facility A and 0.05 ± 0.05 (2017) and 0.02 ± 0.01 (2018) nymphs per plant for grower facility B. Of the total 2417 rooted poinsettia cuttings inspected at both locations over 2 years, 29 cuttings had whitefly nymphs (1.2%), 18 had pupae (0.7%), and 23 had exuviae (1.0%). On finished poinsettias sampled at retailers, 4.38 to 40.38 immatures (nymphs + pupae) per plant were found within 60 seconds for any given retailer over the 2 years. We found poinsettias with as many as 220 immatures and 32 adults on a single plant at retailers. This study is the first to quantify densities of whiteflies at retail stores over multiple years.