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  • Author or Editor: Hrvoje Rukavina* x
  • HortTechnology x
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Saltgrass (Distichlis spicata) has received increased attention as a result of its low input needs. A good understanding of the factors that influence greater flower production in saltgrass clones would facilitate seed production management and hybridization in the breeding program. Therefore, the influence of sampling time from the field, nitrogen (N) fertilization, and burning on flowering spike production of five saltgrass clones from three cold-hardiness zones were evaluated over 2 years. Clones were sampled from the field at two times (August and November) in the first and at three times (August, November, and January) in the second experimental year. After field sampling, clones were transferred to the greenhouse and received N and burning treatments. N fertilization increased number of spikes (flowering) for all saltgrass clones by ≈30% in both experimental years. In the second experimental year, the number of spikes was increased to a greater extent when N was applied in combination with burning treatment as compared with N without burning. The burning treatment had a greater effect on the number of spikes in plants sampled in August as compared with those sampled in November and January. Sampling in November increased flowering in three clones as compared with August sampling, but with the greatest effect in clone A1540. Sampling in January further increased the number of spikes in clones 1490 and A1610 but with no significant effect on the number of spikes in clone A1540. Environmental adaptation associated with origin of saltgrass clones is a major factor that influences flowering spike production.

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