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Warner Orozco-Obando* and Hazel Y. Wetzstein

Recently, the release of Hydrangea cultivars with the capacity to produce a second flush of blooms has created a great expectation in the ornamental industry. However, the lack of fundamental information on flower development of big leaf Hydrangea does not allow a descriptive explanation of why re-blooming capacity occurs. The objectives of this study were to characterize the timing and location of flower initiation and development in several H. macrophylla cultivars throughout an annual cycle. Four cultivars were evaluated: 2 exhibiting re-flowering capacity (Penny Mac-PM and Endless Summer-ES) and 2 without (Madame Emile Mouillere-MEM and Nikko Blue-NB). Plants were managed under outdoor nursery conditions and harvested at each of four different time periods. These periods represented key developmental stages: 1) Pre-induction: late summer, after completion of shoot expansion; 2) Post-induction: late fall, following short day and cold temperature exposure; 3) Dormancy: winter, post leaf abscission; and 4) Post-dormancy: early spring, just prior to bud break. At each sampling time, bud location (terminal or lateral) and stem origin (basal, lateral, terminal, or secondary) were established. All buds >;2 mm were dissected under a stereomicroscope and the degree of floral induction was determined. Floral primordial were initiated not only in the terminal buds but also within axillary buds. The degree of induction and development varied according to the stem origin, bud location and cultivar. Cultivars with re-blooming capacity had floral primordial initiated within buds at the first sampling period prior to receiving inductive conditions. This suggests they may have minimal or no photoperiodic/temp requirements for flowering.

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Wayne Brown, Theo J. Blom, George C.L. Chu, Wei Tang Liu, and Lisa Skog

The sensitivity of easter lilies (Lilium longiflorum) to either ethylene or methane (products of incomplete burning in gas-fired unit heaters) was tested during rooting [3 weeks at 18 °C (65 °F)], vernalization [6 weeks at 6 °C (43 °F)] and subsequent greenhouse forcing (15 weeks at 18 °C). Starting at planting, easter lilies were exposed for one of seven consecutive 3-week periods (short-term), or for 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, or 21 weeks starting at planting (long-term) to either ethylene or methane at an average concentration of 2.4 and 2.5 μL·L-1(ppm), respectively. Short- or long-term exposure to ethylene during rooting and vernalization had no effect on the number of buds, leaves, or plant height but increased the number of days to flower. Short-term exposure within 6 weeks after vernalization reduced the number of buds by 1 bud/plant compared to the control (no ethylene exposure). However, extensive bud abortion occurred when plants were exposed to ethylene during the flower development phase. Long-term exposure to ethylene from planting until after the flower initiation period resulted in only two to three buds being initiated, while continued long-term exposure until flowering caused all flower buds to abort. Short-term exposure to methane at any time had no effect on leaf yellowing, bud number, bud abortion, or height and had only a marginal effect on production time. Long-term exposure to methane from planting until the end of vernalization increased both the number of buds, leaves and height without affecting forcing time, leaf yellowing or bud abortion.

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Genhua Niu, Royal Heins, and Will Carlson

Late-season height control of poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is difficult since most chemical growth retardants adversely reduce bract size when applied after first bract color. Paclobutrazol (Bonzi) controls stem elongation late in poinsettia crop development but can excessively reduce bract size if improperly applied. Two experiments were conducted to quantify how paclobutrazol application influenced height and bract area of `Freedom' poinsettia. In the first experiment, paclobutrazol was applied at 1 mg·L-1 (ppm) in 118-mL (4.0-fl oz) volumes per pot [(a.i.) 0.12 mg/pot (28,350 mg = 1.0 oz)] as a drench to a new group of plants weekly from the initiation of short days until 1 week before anthesis. Maximum reduction in height and bract area was obtained when paclobutrazol was applied immediately after short days, and the response to paclobutrazol decreased as application time was increasingly delayed toward anthesis. In the second experiment, paclobutrazol was applied weekly after first bract color as either a drench or subapplication at various concentrations. Plant height and bract area were reduced by 23% when 2 mg·L-1 [(a.i.) 0.24 mg/pot) paclobutrazol was applied through subapplication at first color. The effects of paclobutrazol on height and bract area reduction decreased as application time was progressively delayed. Concentrations lower than 1 mg·L-1 had no significant effect on height or bract area reduction, regardless of application time or method. Generally, the reduction in height and bract area was larger when paclobutrazol was applied through subapplication. The combined results from both experiments indicate that paclobutrazol drench applications after flower initiation concomitantly reduce plant height (internode extension) and bract area. Therefore, drench applications should be delayed as long as possible to limit reduction in bract size.

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Neil O. Anderson and Peter D. Ascher

Commercial garden and greenhouse chrysanthemums [Dendranthema ×grandiflora (Ramat.) Kitam. (syn. Chrysanthemum xmorifolium Ramat.)] are facultative short-day plants for flower bud initiation, obligate short-day plants for flower bud development, and are categorized into short-day response groups. Flower initiation can be delayed by high night temperatures. Recent research has identified true day-neutral genotypes. The purpose of this investigation was to test environments for selecting genotypes that are both day-neutral and heat-delay insensitive. One greenhouse and 18 garden genotypes were selected. A series of environments were used to select for day-neutral genotypes and then differentiate between these genotypes for heat delay insensitivity: short days, long days/red light, long days/far red light and high temperatures, and natural day lengths under field conditions. Day-neutral selections from these environments were then grown in a fifth environment of long days/continuous far red and red light with high temperature. Data were collected on the number of days to first and third flower, long day leaf number, stem length, number of strap-shaped leaves subtending the terminal flower, internode lengths, number of nodes with axillary branching, and flower bud development of the first to the sixth flowers. Genotypes required 3 to 8 weeks for complete flower bud initiation/development. Flowering responses in the first four environments were highly significant for both the first and third flowers. Genotypes ranged from obligate short-day to day-neutral for the first six flowers. Three day-neutral genotypes were selected that differed significantly for all traits in the fifth environment; flower bud development with the first six flowers occurred with only one genotype, 83-267-3. Broad sense heritability estimates ranged from h2 = 0.75 for number of nodes with axillary branching, h2 = 0.79 for long day leaf number and number of strap-shaped leaves, to h2 = 0.91 for stem length. An ideotype for day-neutral and heat-delay-insensitive garden chrysanthemums was developed for use in breeding programs.

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Erik S. Runkle and Royal D. Heins

Plastics that selectively reduce the transmission of far-red light (FR, 700 to 800 nm) reduce extension growth of many floricultural crops. However, FR-deficient (FRd) environments delay flowering in some long-day plants (LDPs), including `Crystal Bowl Yellow' pansy (Viola ×wittrockiana Gams). Our objective was to determine if FR light could be added to an otherwise FRd environment to facilitate flowering with minimal extension growth. In one experiment, plants were grown under a 16-hour FRd photoperiod, and FR-rich light was added during portions of the day or night. For comparison, plants were also grown with a 9-hour photoperiod [short-day (SD) control] or under a neutral (N) filter with a 16-hour photoperiod (long day control). Flowering was promoted most (i.e., percent of plants that flowered increased and time to flower decreased) when FR-rich light was added during the entire 16-hour photoperiod, during the last 4 hours of the photoperiod, or during the first or second 4 hours after the end of the photoperiod. In a separate experiment, pansy was grown under an FRd or N filter with a 9-hour photoperiod plus 0, 0.5, 1, 2, or 4 hours of night interruption (NI) lighting that delivered a red (R, 600 to 700 nm) to FR ratio of 0.56 (low), 1.28 (moderate), or 7.29 (high). Under the N filter, the minimum NI duration that increased percent flowering was 2 hours with a moderate or low R:FR and 4 hours with a high R:FR. Under the FRd filter, 2 or 4 hours of NI lighting with a moderate or low R:FR, respectively, was required to increase percent flowering, but a 4-hour NI with a high R:FR failed to promote flowering. Pansy appears to be day-neutral with respect to flower initiation and a quantitative LDP with respect to flower development. The promotion of reproductive development was related linearly to the promotion of extension growth. Therefore, it appears that in LDPs such as pansy, light duration and quality concomitantly promote extension growth and flowering, and cannot readily be separated with lighting strategies.

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Carol J. Lovatt

To protect groundwater from potential nitrate pollution, `Hass' avocado (Persea americana Mill.) growers in California divide the total annual soil-applied nitrogen (N) fertilizer (N at 56 to 168 kg·ha-1) into small applications made during the period from late January to early November. However, no research had been conducted to test the efficacy of this fertilization practice, and there was concern that the amount of N in the individual applications may be too little to meet the demand of the tree at some stages of its phenology. The research presented herein addressed the question of whether yield of `Hass' avocado could be increased by doubling the amount of N currently applied during specific stages of tree phenology. The control in this experiment was the practice of annually applying N as NH4NO3 at 168 kg·ha-1 (168 trees/ha) in six small doses of N at 28 kg·ha-1 in January, February, April, June, July, and November. From these six application times, five were selected on the basis of tree phenology and additional N as NH4NO3 at 28 kg·ha-1 was applied at each time for total annual N of 196 kg·ha-1. Two phenological stages were identified for which N application at 56 kg·ha-1 in a single application (double dose of N) significantly increased the 4-year cumulative yield (kilograms fruit per tree) 30% and 39%, respectively, compared to control trees (P ≤ 0.01). In each case, more than 70% of the net increase in yield was commercially valuable large size fruit (178 to 325 g/fruit). The two phenological stages were when shoot apical buds have four or more secondary axis inflorescence meristems present (mid-November); and during anthesis to early fruit set and initiation of the vegetative shoot flush at the apex of indeterminate floral shoots (about mid-April). When the double dose of N was applied at either of these two stages, the kilograms and number of large size fruit averaged across the 4 years of the study was significantly greater than the control trees (P ≤ 0.01). Averaged across the 4 years of the study, only the November treatment increased yield compared to the control trees (P ≤ 0.05). Application of the double dose of N at flower initiation (January), during early-stage gynoecium development (February), or during June drop had no significant effect on average or cumulative yield or fruit size compared to control trees. Application of the double dose of N in April significantly reduced the severity of alternate bearing (P ≤ 0.05). Yield was not significantly correlated with leaf N concentration. Time and rate of N application are factors that can be optimized to increase yield, fruit size, and annual cropping of `Hass' avocado. When the amounts of N applied were equal (196 kg·ha-1), time of application was the more important factor.

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Justine E. Vanden Heuvel

. Phenology, vegetative development, and flower initiation through berry maturation are all covered in detail. The subsection on secondary metabolites provides a strong, clear discussion on phenolic compounds, which are often a source of confusion for students

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Jianyu Chen, Keith A. Funnell, and Ed R. Morgan

excess of 88% of the variation within the current experiment. Flowering occurred in all plants even with ADLI during Phase 1 as low as 4 mol·m −2 ·d −1 , suggesting that if there is a minimum ADLI requirement for flower initiation of ‘LPLS4’, it is less

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Eleanor W. Hoffman, Dirk U. Bellstedt, and Gerard Jacobs

. compacta R. Br. × P. sussannae Phill.) and ‘Carnival’ ( Nieuwoudt, 2006 ). Gerber et al. (2001b) showed that flower initiation in ‘Carnival’ coincided with the early phases of spring flush elongation. In a number of perennial woody plants, spring

Open access

Rui Wang, Masatake Eguchi, Yuqing Gui, and Yasunaga Iwasaki

represents the time from flower initiation to full bloom (FB). Trend lines were added to express the variation of FB. The FB distribution was significantly narrowed by the light treatment. In Mouikko, the range of FB values was 36–39 d under full light