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Chris Ramcharan

Three sources of water—WAPA, potable water produced by the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority, cistern or rain water collected in below-house concrete tanks and bottled water were evaluated with and without addition of Flora Life (FL) preservative under greenhouse conditions for keeping cut Anthurium blooms. Significant differences in water source effects were recorded with untreated WAPA water having the longest vase life (VL) (29 days) followed by cistern and bottled water (23 days). Collectively, blooms in untreated water had a VL life of 24 days in contrast to 21 for FL-treated water. Untreated cistern and bottled water produced similar VL days, but the addition of FL significantly lowered the VL of cut flowers in bottled water. The apparent suitability of WAPA water for preserving cut Anthurium is significant since it is the least desirable for drinking and cooking in the VI and is less expensive than bottled water, but more so than cistern water.

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Chris Ramcharan and Paul Hepperly

Twelve cvs. of Papaya were evaluated for yield and tolerance to drought, high soil pH and disease incidence under a non-pesticide low-input system. Superior yields were obtained from Barbados Solo (BDX 584-1) - 67.1 Kg/tree (tr) and 987 g/fruit (fr), Guanica (GU 2-1) - 60.7 Kg/tr and 888 g/fr, PR 6-65 × Cariflora (CF) - 46.6 Kg/tr and 700 g/fr, and CF - 48.5 Kg/tr and 607 g/fr. Most cvs. survived 19 months with peak yields at 15 months. Pencil top was major disease and only the Palau cv. exhibited St. Croix decline symptoms. Vigorous cvs. included GU 2-1, CF, PR 6-65 × CF and Criolla (CR) several plants of which are fruiting 26 months after planting. Chlorophyll data indicated that CF and CR cvs. had best tolerance to high pH conditions. Cvs. with large pulp size included GU 2-1 (3.7 cm) and SRS × CF (4.2). Brix analyses indicated sweetest fruits were from CF (14.2), SRS × CF (13.4), GU 2-1 (13.7) and PR 6-65 × CF (12.9).