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Erik S. Runkle, Royal D. Heins, Arthur C. Cameron, and William H. Carlson

`Snowcap' Shasta daisy [Leucanthemum ×superbum Bergmans ex. J. Ingram (syn: Chrysanthemum ×superbum, C. maximum)] was grown under various photoperiods and temperatures to determine their effects on flowering. In the first experiment, plants were held for 0 or 15 weeks at 5 °C and then were grown at 20 °C under the following photoperiods: 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, or 24 hours of continuous light or 9 hours with a 4-hour night interruption (NI) in the middle of the dark period. Without cold treatment, no plants flowered under photoperiods ≤14 hours and 65% to 95% flowered under longer photoperiods or NI. After 15 weeks at 5 °C, all plants flowered under all photoperiods and developed three to four or 10 to 11 inflorescences under photoperiods ≤14 or ≥16 hours, respectively. To determine the duration of cold treatment required for flowering under short photoperiods, a second experiment was conducted in which plants were treated for 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, or 15 weeks at 5 °C, and then grown at 20 °C under 9-hour days without or with a 4-hour NI. Under 9-hour photoperiods, 0%, 80%, or 100% of plants flowered after 0, 3, or ≥6 weeks at 5 °C, and time to flower decreased from 103 to 57 days as the time at 5 °C increased from 3 to 12 weeks. Plants that were under NI and received ≥3 weeks of cold flowered in 45 to 55 days. For complete and rapid flowering with a high flower count, we recommend cold-treating `Snowcap' for at least 6 weeks, then providing photoperiods ≥16 hours or a 4-hour NI during forcing.

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Emily A. Clough, Arthur C. Cameron, Royal D. Heins, and William H. Carlson

Influences of vernalization duration, photoperiod, forcing temperature, and plant growth regulators (PGRs) on growth and development of Oenothera fruticosa L. `Youngii-lapsley' (`Youngii-lapsley' sundrops) were determined. Young plants were vernalized at 5 °C for 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, or 15 weeks under a 9-hour photoperiod and subsequently forced in a 20 °C greenhouse under a 16-hour photoperiod. Only one plant in 2 years flowered without vernalization, while all plants flowered after receiving a vernalization treatment, regardless of its duration. Thus, O. fruticosa had a nearly obligate vernalization requirement. Time to visible bud and flower decreased by ≈1 week as vernalization duration increased from 3 to 15 weeks. All plants flowered under 10-, 12-, 13-, 14-, 16-, or 24-hour photoperiods or a 4-hour night interruption (NI) in a 20 °C greenhouse following 15-weeks vernalization at 5 °C. Time to flower decreased by ≈2 weeks, flower number decreased, and plant height increased as photoperiod increased from 10 to 16 hours. Days to flower, number of new nodes, and flower number under 24 hour and NI were similar to that of plants grown under a 16-hour photoperiod. In a separate study, plants were vernalized for 15 weeks and then forced under a 16-h photoperiod at 15.2, 18.2, 20.6, 23.8, 26.8, or 29.8 °C (average daily temperatures). Plants flowered 35 days faster at 29.8 °C but were 18 cm shorter than those grown at 15.2 °C. In addition, plants grown at 29.8 °C produced only one-sixth the number of flowers (with diameters that were 3.0 cm smaller) than plants grown at 15.2 °C. Days to visible bud and flowering were converted to rates, and base temperature (Tb) and thermal time to flowering (degree-days) were calculated as 4.4 °C and 606 °days, respectively. Effects of foliar applications of ancymidol (100 mg·L-1), chlormequat (1500 mg·L-1), paclobutrazol (30 mg·L-1), daminozide (5000 mg·L-1), and uniconazole (15 mg·L-1) were determined on plants vernalized for 19 weeks and then forced at 20 °C under a 16-h photoperiod. Three spray applications of uniconazole reduced plant height at first flower by 31% compared with that of nontreated controls. All other PGRs did not affect plant growth. Chemical names used: α-cyclopropyl-α-(4-methoxyphenyl)-5-pyrimidinemethanol (ancymidol); (2-chloroethyl) trimethylammonium chloride (chlormequat); butanedioic acid mono-(2,2-dimethyl hydrazide) (daminozide); (2R,3R+2S,3S)-1-(4-chlorophenyl-4,4-dimethyl-2-[1,2,4-triazol-1-yl]) (paclobutrazol); (E)-(S)-1-(4-chlorophenyl)-4,4-dimethyl-2-(1,2,4-triazol-1-yl)-pent-1-ene-3-ol (uniconazole).

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Erik S. Runkle, Royal D. Heins, Arthur C. Cameron, and William H. Carlson

Intermediate-day plants (IDP) flower most rapidly and completely under intermediate photoperiods (e.g., 12 to 14 h of light), but few species have been identified and their flowering responses are not well understood. A variety of experiments was conducted to determine how light controls flowering and stem extension of Echinacea purpurea `Bravado' and `Magnus'. Both cultivars flowered most completely (79%) and rapidly and at the youngest physiological age under intermediate photoperiods of 13 to 15 h. Few (14%) plants flowered under 10- or 24-h photoperiods, indicating E. purpurea is a qualitative IDP. Plants were also induced to flower when 15-h dark periods were interrupted with as few as 7.5 min of low-intensity lighting (night interruption, NI). Flowering was progressively earlier as the NI increased to 1 h, but was delayed when the NI was extended to 4 h. Stem length increased by 230% as the photoperiod or NI duration increased, until plants received a saturating duration (at 14 h or 1 h, respectively). At macroscopic visible bud, transferring plants from long days to short days reduced stem extension by up to 30%. Flowering was inhibited when the entire photoperiod was deficient in blue or red light and was promoted in a far-red deficient environment, suggesting that phytochrome and cryptochrome control flowering of E. purpurea. Because of our results, we propose the flowering behavior of IDP such as E. purpurea is composed of two mechanisms: a dark-dependent response in which flowering is promoted by a short night, and a light-dependent response in which flowering is inhibited by a long day.

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Genhua Niu, Royal D. Heins, Arthur C. Cameron, and William H. Carlson

Flower size generally decreases as temperature increases. The objective of this research was to investigate during development when flowers of Campanula carpatica Jacq. `Blue Clips' and `Birch Hybrid' are sensitive to temperature by conducting two temperature-transfer experiments. In the first experiment, plants were grown initially at 20 °C and then transferred at visible bud to 14, 17, 20, 23, or 26 °C until flower. In the second experiment, plants were transferred from 14 to 26 °C or from 26 to 14 °C at 1, 3, or 5 weeks (`Blue Clips') or at 1, 2, or 3 weeks (`Birch Hybrid') after flower induction. Temperature before visible bud had little effect on final flower size for both species. For example, flower diameter of `Blue Clips' was similar among plants grown at constant 14 °C or grown at 20 °C initially and then transferred at visible bud to 14 or 17 °C. Similarly, flower diameter of plants grown at constant 26 °C was similar to those grown at 20 °C initially and then transferred at visible bud to 26 °C. Flower diameter in these species is correlated with the temperature after VB in the 14 to 26 °C and decreases linearly as the temperature after VB increases.

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Genhua Niu, Royal D. Heins, Arthur C. Cameron, and William H. Carlson

Campanula carpatica Jacq. `Blue Clips' plants were grown in a greenhouse under ambient (400 μmol·mol-1) and enriched (600 μmol·mol-1) CO2 concentrations, three daily light integrals (DLI; 4.2, 10.8, and 15.8 mol/m per day), and nine combinations of day and night temperatures created by moving plants every 12 h among three temperatures (15, 20, and 25 °C). Time to flower decreased as plant average daily temperature (ADT) increased. Flower diameter decreased linearly as ADT increased in the 15 to 25 °C range and was not related to the difference between day and night temperatures (DIF). Increasing DLI from 4.2 to 10.8 mol/m per day also increased flower diameter by 3 to 4 mm regardless of temperature, but no difference was observed between 10.8 and 15.8 mol/m per day. Carbon dioxide enrichment increased flower diameter by 2 to 3 mm. Number of flower buds and dry mass at high and medium DLI decreased as plant ADT increased. Plant height increased as DIF increased from ñ6 to 12 °C. Number of flower buds and dry mass were correlated closely with the ratio of DLI to daily thermal time using a base temperature of 0 °C.

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Genhua Niu, Royal D. Heins, Arthur C. Cameron, and William H. Carlson

Pansy [Viola ×wittrockiana Gams. `Delta Yellow Blotch' (Yellow) and `Delta Primrose Blotch' (Primrose)] plants were grown in a greenhouse under two CO2 concentrations [ambient (≈400 μmol·mol-1) and enriched (≈600 μmol·mol-1)], three daily light integrals (DLI; 4.1, 10.6, and 15.6 mol·m-2·d-1), and nine combinations of day and night temperatures created by moving plants every 12 h among three temperatures (15, 20, and 25 °C). Time to flower decreased and rate of flower development increased as plant average daily temperature (ADT) increased at all DLIs for Yellow or at high and medium DLIs for Primrose. Increasing the DLI from 4.1 to 10.6 mol·m-2·d-1 also decreased time to flower by 4 and 12 days for Yellow and Primrose, respectively. Both cultivars' flower size and Yellow's dry weight [(DW); shoot, flower bud, and total] decreased linearly as plant ADT increased at high and medium DLIs, regardless of how temperature was delivered during day and night. DW in Yellow increased 50% to 100% when DLI increased from 4.1 to 10.6 mol·m-2·d-1 under both CO2 concentrations. Flower size in Yellow and Primrose increased 25% under both CO2 conditions as DLI increased from 4.1 to 10.6 mol·m-2·d-1, but there was no increase between 10.6 and 15.6 mol·m-2·d-1, regardless of CO2 concentration. Plant height and flower peduncle length in Yellow increased linearly as the difference between day and night temperatures (DIF) increased; the increase was larger under lower than higher DLIs. The ratio of leaf length to width (LL/LW) and petiole length in Yellow increased as DIF increased at medium and low DLIs. Carbon dioxide enrichment increased flower size by 4% to 10% and DW by 10% to 30% except for that of the shoot at medium DLI, but did not affect flower developmental rate or morphology. DW of vegetative and reproductive parts of the plant was correlated closely with photothermal ratio, a parameter that describes the combined effect of temperature and light.

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Catherine M. Whitman, Royal D. Heins, Arthur C. Cameron, and William H. Carlson

The effectiveness of cool-white fluorescent, high-pressure sodium, incandescent, and metal halide lamps for inducing flowering through daylength extensions in Campanula carpatica Jacq. `Blue Clips', Coreopsis grandiflora Hogg ex Sweet `Early Sunrise', and Coreopsis verticillata L. `Moonbeam' was compared. Lighting was delivered as a 7-hour day extension with photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) ranging from 0.05 to 2.0 μmol·m-2·s-1 following a 9-hour natural daylength. Threshold irradiance values for flowering ranged from <0.05 to 0.4 μmol·m-2·s-1, depending on species. Saturation irradiance values for Campanula carpatica `Blue Clips' and C. grandiflora `Early Sunrise' were between 0.2 ± 0.2 and 0.7 ± 0.5 μmol·m-2·s-1, and did not differ between lamps. An irradiance of 1.0 μmol·m-2·s-1 from any lamp was adequate for flowering in Coreopsis verticillata `Moonbeam'. Time to flower at irradiances above the saturation points did not differ significantly between lamp types for all species tested. Campanula carpatica `Blue Clips' and Coreopsis grandiflora `Early Sunrise' plants had significantly longer stems under incandescent lamps than in any other treatment. Coreopsis verticillata `Moonbeam' plants grown under cool-white fluorescent lamps had stems ≈10% longer than those grown under high-pressure sodium or incandescent lamps.

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Mark V. Yelanich, James E. Faust, Royal D. Heins, and John A Biernbaum

The measurement of evaporation and transpiration from container-grown crops is labor intensive and expensive if measurements are made by periodic weighing of the plants with electronic scales. Thin-beam load cells (LCL-816G, Omega Engineering) measured with a datalogger provides a method of making continuous mass measurements over time. Four load cells were tested to determine the feasibility for use in greenhouse studies. The sensors were calibrated to an electronic scale at a range of air temperatures. The electrical signal (μV) was a linear function of mass from 0 to 816 g. The change in mass per change in electrical signal (i.e. the slope) was the same for all four load cells (1.26 g ·μV-1), however the absolute electrical signal (the intercept) was unique for each sensor (-246 to + 101 g). The effect of temperature on sensor output was unique for each sensor in terms of both the magnitude and direction of change. A two-point calibration of mass performed at a range of temperatures is required to properly use thin-beam load cells to continuously measure evapotranspiration of container-grown crops.

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Catherine M. Whitman, Royal D. Heins, Arthur C. Cameron, and William H. Carlson

The influence of cold treatments and photoperiod on flowering of 8- to 11-node and 18- to 23-node Lavandula angustifolia Mill. `Munstead' plants from 128-cell (10-mL cell volume; P1) and 50-cell (85-mL cell volume; P2) trays, respectively, was determined. Plants were stored at 5 °C for 0, 5, 10, or 15 weeks, then forced under a 9-h photoperiod (SD), or under a 4-h night-interruption (NI) (2200 to 0200 hr) photoperiod at 20 °C. Percentage of plants flowering, time to flower, and plant appearance were evaluated. Increasing duration of cold treatment was associated with an increase in flowering percentage in plants from both cell sizes. More plants flowered under NI than SD except in P2 cooled for 15 weeks, where all plants flowered. Average time to visible bud (VB) and to opening of the first flower (FLW) generally decreased with increasing duration of cold treatment. Inflorescence count in P2 plants increased with increasing duration of cold treatment. To determine the relationship between forcing temperature and time to flower in L. angustifolia `Munstead', three sizes of plants were exposed to 5 °C for 13 weeks and then forced under a 4-h NI (2200 to 0200 hr) at 15, 18, 21, 24, or 27 °C. Plants generally flowered more quickly at higher temperatures, time to FLW decreasing from 77, 71, and 60 days at ≈15.6 °C to 46, 40, and 36 days at ≈26 °C for P1, P2, and 5.5-cm (190-mL pot volume) (P3) plants, respectively. Generally, P1 plants flowered 5 to 10 days later than P2, and P2 flowered 5 to 10 days later than P3.

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Erik S. Runkle, Royal D. Heins, Arthur C. Cameron, and William H. Carlson

Six obligate long-day species of herbaceous perennials were grown under six night-interruption treatments to determine their relative effectiveness at inducing flowering. Photoperiods were 9 hours natural days with night interruptions provided by incandescent lamps during the middle of the dark period for the following durations: 0.5, 1, 2, or 4 hours; 6 minutes on, 54 minutes off for 4 hours (10% cyclic lighting); or 6 minutes on, 24 minutes off for 4 hours (20% cyclic lighting). Response to night interruptions varied by species, but five of the six species flowered most rapidly and uniformly under 4-hour night interruption. Few or no Campanula carpatica `Blue Clips', Rudbeckia fulgida `Goldsturm', or Hibiscus ×hybrida `Disco Belle Mixed' plants flowered with 1 hour or less of continuous night-break lighting. All Coreopsis ×grandiflora `Early Sunrise' flowered, but flowering was hastened as the duration of night interruption increased. Echinacea purpurea `Bravado' flowered similarly across all treatments. In general, the effectiveness of the night-interruption treatments at inducing flowering was 4 hours > 2 hours > 20% cyclic > 1 hour > 10% cyclic > 0.5 hour.