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  • Author or Editor: Arthur C. Cameron x
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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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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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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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Oenothera fruticosa L.`Youngii-Lapsley' and Stokesia laevis L'Hér. `Klaus Jelitto' are two hardy herbaceous perennials with great potential as pot crops. The vernalization and photoperiod requirements were examined for each species. Plants were cooled for 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, or 15 weeks at 5 °C with a 9-h photoperiod. After cold treatment, plants were forced in greenhouses at 20 °C under a 16-h photoperiod using high-pressure sodium lamps. The photoperiod requirement was determined by forcing plants at 20 °C with and without a 15-week cold treatment at 5 °C under 10-, 12-, 13-, 14-, 16-, 24-h and 4-h night interruption using incandescent lamps. Plants of Oenothera fruticosa `Youngii-Lapsley' cooled for 0 weeks did not flower. All plants cooled for 3 weeks flowered and time to flower decreased from 53 to 43 days as duration of cold increased from 3 to 15 weeks. `Youngii-Lapsley' flowered under every photoperiod, but time to flower and number of flowers decreased from 54 to 40 days as photoperiod increased from 10 to 24 h. Percentage flowering of Stokesia laevis `Klaus Jelitto' increased from 50 to 100, and time to flower decreased from 112 to 74 days as duration of cold increased from 0 to 6 weeks. Without a cold treatment, plants of `Klaus Jelitto' flowered only under daylengths of 12, 13, and 14 h. After cold treatment, plants flowered under every photoperiod except 24 h, and time to flower decreased from 122 to 65 days as photoperiod increased from 10 to 16 h. Additional aspects of flowering and the effect of different forcing temperatures will be discussed.

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The influence of cold treatments on flowering in Campanula carpatica Jacq. `Blue Clips' was determined. Plants with 10 to 12 nodes (P1) and 12 to 16 nodes (P2), in 128-cell (10-mL cell volume) and 50-cell (85-mL cell volume) trays, respectively, were stored at 5 °C for 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, or 14 weeks under a 9-hour photoperiod. They then were transplanted and forced in a 20 °C greenhouse under a 9-hour photoperiod with a 4-hour night interruption (NI) (2200 to 0200 hr). Time to visible bud and to flowering in P1 decreased slightly as the duration of cold treatment increased. Flowering was hastened by ≈10 days after 14 weeks at 5 °C. Cold treatments had no significant effect on time to visible bud or flower in P2. The number of flower buds on P1 did not change significantly in response to cold treatments, while flower bud count on P2 increased by up to 60% as duration of cold treatments increased. Final height at flowering of both ages decreased 10% to 20% with increasing duration of cold exposure. To determine the relationship between forcing temperature and time to flower, three plant sizes were forced under a 9-hour photoperiod with a 4-hour NI (2200 to 0200 hr) at 15, 18, 21, 24, or 27 °C. Plants flowered more quickly at higher temperatures, but the number and diameter of flowers were reduced. Days to visible bud and flowering were converted to rates, and base temperature (Tb) and thermal time to flowering (degree-days) were calculated. Average Tb for forcing to visible bud stage was 2.1 °C; for forcing to flower, 0.0 °C. Calculated degree-days to visible bud were 455; to flower, 909.

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Four herbaceous perennial species, Delphinium grandiflorum `Blue Mirror', Hibiscus xhybrida `Disco Belle Mix', Salvia xsuperba `Blue Queen', and Veronica longifolia `Sunny Border Blue' were forced in a glass greenhouse at 15, 18, 21, 24, or 27°C under long days. Before being forced, all tested species except H. xhybrida were exposed to 5°C for 12 weeks. Increasing forcing temperature generally promoted visible bud and flowering. However, visible bud and flowering of D. grandiflorum `Blue Mirror' and flowering of V. longifolia `Sunny Border Blue' were delayed at 27°C. Although the tested species tended to have more flower buds, bigger flowers, and greater height at lower forcing temperatures, the effect of forcing temperature on those characteristics was species-dependent. Temperatures as low as 15°C decreased bud number and flower size of H. xhybrida `Disco Belle Mix'. The base temperature (Tb) and cumulative thermal time (CTT) necessary to complete the indicated developmental stage were calculated from a linear regression: 1/f = a + bT. Based this equation, days to flowering (or visible bud) at certain temperatures or the temperature required for flowering within a certain number of days can be predicted.

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Scheduling crops to flower on specific dates requires a knowledge of the relationship between temperature and time to flower. Our objective was to quantify the effect of temperature on time to flower and plant appearance of four herbaceous perennials. Field-grown, bare-root Coreopsis grandiflora (Hogg ex Sweet.) `Sunray', Gaillardia ×grandiflora (Van Houtte) `Goblin', and Rudbeckia fulgida (Ait.) `Goldsturm', and tissue culture—propagated Leucanthemum ×superbum (Bergman ex J. Ingram) `Snowcap' plants were exposed to 5 °C for 10 weeks and then grown in greenhouse sections set at 15, 18, 21, 24, or 27 °C under 4-hour night-interruption lighting until plants reached anthesis. Days to visible bud (VB), days to anthesis (FLW), and days from VB to FLW decreased as temperature increased. The rate of progress toward FLW increased linearly with temperature, and base temperatures and degree-days of each developmental stage were calculated. For Coreopsis, Leucanthemum, and Rudbeckia, flower size, flower-bud number, and plant height decreased as temperature increased from 15 to 26 °C.

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Six long-day species of herbaceous perennials were grown under six night-interruption (NI) photoperiod treatments to determine their relative effectiveness at inducing flowering. Photoperiods were 9-hour natural days with NI 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% or 6/54 cyclic lighting); or 6 minutes on, 24 minutes off for 4 hours (20% or 6/24 cyclic lighting). For five species, the experiment was repeated with more mature plants; for the sixth, Rudbeckia fulgida Ait. `Goldsturm', following a cold treatment of 8 weeks at 5 °C. The species generally showed a quantitative flowering response to the NI duration until a saturation duration was reached; as the length of the uninterrupted night break increased, flowering percentage, uniformity, and number and plant height increased and time to flower decreased. Minimum saturation durations of NI were 1 hour for Coreopsis grandiflora Hogg ex Sweet `Early Sunrise' and Hibiscus moscheutos L. `Disco Belle Mixed', 2 hours for Campanula carpatica Jacq. `Blue Clips' and Coreopsis verticillata L. `Moonbeam', and 4 hours for unchilled R. fulgida `Goldsturm'. Echinacea purpurea Moench `Bravado' flowered similarly across all lighting treatments. The 6/24 cyclic lighting regimen induced flowering comparable to that under a continual 4-hour NI for four of the six species and the cold-treated R. fulgida `Goldsturm'. Flowering under the 6/54 regimen was generally incomplete, nonuniform, and delayed compared to that under saturation duration treatments. Three of five species flowered earlier when more mature plants were placed under the NI treatments. Cold-treated R. fulgida `Goldsturm' flowered more rapidly than unchilled plants and the saturation duration of NI decreased to 1 hour.

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`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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Phlox paniculata Lyon ex Pursh `Eva Cullum' plants were grown under seven photoperiods following 0 or 15 weeks of 5 °C to determine the effects of photoperiod and cold treatment on flowering. Photoperiods were a 9-hour day extended with incandescent lamps to 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, or 24 hours; an additional treatment was a 9-hour day with a 4-hour night interruption (NI). Noncooled plants remained vegetative under photoperiods ≤13 hours; as the photoperiod increased from 14 to 24 hours, flowering percentage increased from 20 to 89. Flowering of noncooled plants took 73 to 93 days. Flowering percentage was 19, 50, or 100 when cooled plants were held under photoperiods of 10, 12, or ≥13 hours or NI, respectively. Time to flower in cooled plants progressively decreased from 114 to 64 days as the photoperiod increased from 10 to 24 hours. Reproductive cooled plants had at least three times more flowers, were at least 50% taller, were more vigorous, and developed seven or eight more nodes than did noncooled plants. Photoperiod had no effect on height of flowering plants.

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