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Lijuan Wang, Nian-Oine Shi, Murray E. Duysen, and Chiwon W. Lee

Cleistogamy in Salpiglossis sinuatu L. involves a sequence of events, including arrested corolla development, precocious pollen germination inside anther, pollen tube penetration of the pistil, and eventual self fertilization, that takes place. within a tightly closed flower bud. A single dominant gene (C) controls cleistogamy in this plant. During early blooming period, cleistogamous (CC, Cc) plants produce both chasmogamous (open) and cleistogamous (closed) flowers. Enzymes in various tissues of both cleistogamous and chasmogamous buds were detected by isozyme banding patterns in starch gel electrophoresis. The onset of cleistogamy may be signalled in the calyx and corolla tissues in the early stage of flower development. The levels of specific enzymes (PGM, PGI, G-6PD, PGD, MPI) involved in gluconeogenesis, pentose phosphate shunt and glycolysis in both calyx and corolla tissues of the cleistogamous buds were greatly reduced. These enzymes were present in the pistil and anthers of cleistogamous buds and in all floral parts of the chasmogamous buds.

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T.G. Beckman, W.R. Okie, and S.C. Meyers

Rootstock influence on bloom date and fruit maturation of `Redhaven' peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] was studied over a 3-year period. Rootstock included seedlings (Lovell, Halford, Bailey, and Siberian C) and cuttings (GF677, GF655.2, Damas 1869, and `Redhaven'). Bloom dates of the various combinations differed in all 3 years, with a range of 3.6, 9.1, and 7.3 days in 1988, 1989, and 1990, respectively. Fruit development period differed each year with a range of 3.9, 5.8, and 4.4 days in 1988, 1989, and 1990, respectively. `Weighted-average harvest date also differed with a range of 3.6,2.9, and 5.6 days in 1988, 1989, and 1990, respectively. `Redhaven'/Lovell was the latest blooming and maturing combination in all 3 years of the study.

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Bridget K. Behe and Dennis J. Wolnick

We determined the influence of demographic characteristics and floral knowledge (measured as product experience) on the type of floral product purchased. A sample of 401 Pennsylvania residents was divided into fresh flower and flowering plant consumer segments. Results of discriminant analyses showed the two segments were moderately distinct. Purchasers of fresh flowers were younger and more likely employed outside the home than those who purchased flowering plants, but the latter had more blooming plants in their homes than did consumers of fresh flowers. Consumers of flowering plants and of fresh flowers did not differ in their level of floral knowledge or demographic characteristics. Minor differences were found between the two segments that were not substantial enough to justify distinct marketing strategies.

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Shujun YU

The author investigated, recorded, observed and analyzed the major wildflowers in Mount Huangshan---the natural and cultural heritages listed by the ESC0 of UN for the first time. On the basis of their desirable characteristics, more than 300 wild ornamental species are divided into 8 categories -–-historical old trees, rare and endangered species, evergreen ornamentals, blooming trees and shrubs, plants with colored foliage and fruit in fall, vines, herbaceous ornamentals and ground covers, and ornamental ferns. Mount Huangshan is one of the richest regions of native ornamentals in Eastern China and the most famous natural beauty in Pan-China. There are about 1500 wild landscape plants in and around it. Finally the paper puts forth some proposals and methods for introduction and utilization of wild ornamental plants. That is, investigation, classification,acclimatization and cultivation of them, and building a sort-out botanical garden for the germplasmic preservation and the flourishing landscape tourism.

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Hirotoshi Tsuda, Hisato Kunitake, Mai Yamasaki, Haruki Komatsu, and Katsunori Yoshioka

With crosses between colchicine-induced tetraploid shashanbo (Vaccinium bracteatum section Bracteata) and tetraploid highbush blueberry ‘Spartan’ (Vaccinium corymbosum section Cyanococcus), intersectional hybrids were produced. The hybridity of these plants was confirmed based on DNA markers and morphological characteristics. The morphological characteristics, blooming date, and ripening period of the hybrids were intermediate between those of the parents. Ploidy analyses by flow cytometry and chromosome counting revealed that these hybrids were tetraploid. Four hybrids set fruit in the field and these two hybrids showed high pollen stainability. It was noteworthy that fruit of two hybrids had high soluble solids concentration compared with ‘Spartan’ and the fruit pulp of the hybrids was tinged with red as shashanbo. These hybrids could be useful in breeding new cultivars with high sugar content, abundant phytochemicals, extensive environmental adaptability as well as late flowering and fruit maturity.

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Yin-Tung Wang

Blooming Phalaenopsis orchids have become a popular pot plant in recent years. Plants start producing spikes after experiencing cool air in early fall, bloom in early spring, and become limited in supply after April when market demand is strong. Deferring spiking and flowering by maintaining the greenhouse air constantly above 28°C is cost prohibitive. Previous research has discovered that plants must be given light while being exposed to cool air to induce spiking. In Fall 1994, 2-year old Phalaenopsis TAM Butterfly plants were exposed to repeated cycles of 1 day in darkness and another day in light (1D/1L), 4D/3L, 7D/7L, or 0D/7L (continuous lighted control) between 15 Sept. and 16 Dec. Each plant was removed from the treatment once it had started spiking. The control plants bloomed on 20 Jan. 1995, whereas the 4D/3L plants did not reach anthesis until April 17, nearly three months later. Flowering of the 1D/1L and 7D/7L plants was also deferred until early April. The treatments had no adverse effect on flower count or size. In 1995, 3-year old plants were exposed to 0D/7L (control), 2D/5L, 3D/4L, 4D/3L, or 5D/2L from 15 Sept. to 22 Jan. 1996. The control plants spiked on 17 Oct. and bloomed on 8 Feb. 1996 when spikes had just emerged from plants in the 5D/2L treatment. The 5D/2L plants are expected to bloom in late May or early June. The other treatments were not as effective as that in 1994 and resulted in blooming only 2–3 weeks after the untreated control. The results of this research will help producers to stagger or precisely program the time of flowering to meet the market demand.

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Sylvie Jenni, Katrine A. Stewart, Gaétan Bourgeois, and Daniel C. Cloutier

A simple method to predict time from anthesis of perfect flowers to fruit maturity (full slip) and yield is presented here for muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) grown in a northern climate. Developmental time for individual muskmelons from anthesis to full slip could be predicted from several heat unit formulas, depending on the temperature data set used. When temperature at 7.5 cm above soil level was used, the heat unit formula resulting in the lowest coefficient of variation (cv=6.9%) accumulated daily average temperatures with a base temperature of 11 °C and an upper threshold of 25 °C. With temperatures recorded at a meteorological station located 2 km from the experimental field, the method showing the lowest cv (8.9%) accumulated daily maximum temperatures with a base temperature of 15 °C. This latter method was improved by including a 60-degree-day lag for second cycle fruit. The proportion of fruit volume at full slip of 22 fruit from the first cycle could be described by a common Richards function (R 2=0.99). Although 65% of the plants produced two fruit cycles, fruit from the first cycle represented 72% of total yield in terms of number and mass. The blooming period of productive flowers lasted 34 days, each cycle overlapping and covering an equal period of 19 days. Counting the number of developing fruit >4 cm after 225 degree days from the start of anthesis (when 90% of the plants have at least one blooming perfect flower) could rapidly estimate the number of fruit that will reach maturity.

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Terri Woods Starman and James E. Faust

The objective was to provide options for hanging basket production schedules by varying the number of plants per pot (one to four) and the number of manual pinches per basket (zero to two). Several species were evaluated in Spring 1995 and heat tolerance was assessed throughout the summer. Plugs (82 plugs per flat) were transplanted into 25-cm hanging baskets in a 22/18°C (venting/night temperature set points) glasshouse. Bacopa speciosa `Snowflake', Brachycome iberidifolia `Crystal Falls', Helichrysum bracteatum `Golden Beauty', Scaevola aemula `New Blue Wonder', and Streptocarpella hybrid `Concord Blue' produced quality baskets with three or more plugs per basket and no pinch. Pentas lanceolata `Starburst' and Lysimachia procumbens (Golden Globes) produced quality baskets with fewer than three plants per basket if plants received at least one pinch, however length of growing time was increased. Pentas lanceolata `Starburst', Scaevola aemula `New Blue Wonder', and Streptocarpella hybrid `Concord Blue' proved to be heat tolerant, blooming throughout the summer. Bacopa speciosa `Snowflake', Brachycome iberidifolia `Crystal Falls', and Lysimachia procumbens (Golden Globes) were not heat tolerant, i.e., ceased developing flowers in June and resumed flowering in September. Bidens ferulifolium did not produce an acceptable quality hanging basket under any experimental treatments.

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Mario R. Morales and James E. Simon

`African Beauty', a new ornamental camphor basil cultivar, was developed through three cycles of selfing and selection from USDA accession PI 500942, originally collected in Zambia, Africa. `African Beauty' was field-evaluated and compared with PI 500942 (the original population), PI 500954 (another accession from Zambia), a camphor cultivar from Companion Plants, and three other related lines in 1997 and 1998. Most commercial camphor basils are tall (50 to 60 cm), late-flowering, and unattractive. Our goal was to develop a new cultivar that had a short stature (≈40 cm), an early flowering, and an attractive appearance. The outcome was `African Beauty', which has the following characteristics: plant height: 30 to 35 cm, plant spread: 50 to 55 cm, leaf length: 6.3 to 6.7 cm, days to flower: 76 days, inflorescence length: 25 cm, essential oil yield: 3 mL/100 g dw. The essential oil of `African Beauty' is also highly aromatic, with 72% camphor, 12% camphene, and 9% limonene. The plant is a fast-growing, semicompact aromatic plant that produces small leaves and large quantities of long and slender inflorescences that, when fully developed, curve at the tip like the tail of a cat. Blooming usually lasts from 20 to 25 days, when the plant looks most beautiful. `African Beauty' is an attractive ornamental that would be excellent as a garden border plant, or as an indoor potted plant.

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Paul Lyrene

The best time to harvest fresh blueberries in Florida is 1 April to 15 May. Weather during this period is normally favorable for harvest: low rainfall, low humidity, warm, sunny days, and cool nights, and supplies of fresh blueberries from other producing areas are low. To ripen high-quality blueberries in April, the plants must flower in February and must have a full canopy of leaves to support the developing crop in March and April. Observations of thousands of blueberry seedlings and selections over the past 25 years in Florida have indicated that blooming and leafing time are affected by the chilling requirement and heat requirement of the variety and also by environmental factors. Factors that increase plant vigor (high soil fertility, ample moisture, and young plants) cause the plants to flower earlier in the spring. Flower buds that do not open by 15 Mar. in north Florida frequently abort. The timing and extent of this physiological bud abortion varies with cultivar. Some southern highbush cultivars leaf before they flower. Others flower before they leaf. The ideal blueberry variety for north Florida would have a very low chill requirement, a high heat requirement to prevent January flowering, and a short flowering-to-ripening interval.