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  • Author or Editor: James Aldrich x
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Fresh seeds of prevariety germplasms of goldenmane tickseed (Coreopsis basalis), florida tickseed (Coreopsis floridana), lanceleaf tickseed (Coreopsis lanceolata), and leavenworth's tickseed (Coreopsis leavenworthii) were harvested from cultivated plants and stored under dry conditions for 1 to 24 weeks at 15 or 32 °C to alleviate dormancy, that is, to promote after-ripening. The relative humidity (RH) was 33% for all species except lanceleaf tickseed (23% RH). Seeds were subsequently stored for 24 weeks in a commercial storage facility at 23% RH/17 to 19 °C to determine whether after-ripened seeds could be stored without loss in quality (viability, germination velocity). The only substantial after-ripening occurred with seeds of lanceleaf tickseed, although most after-ripening of lanceleaf tickseed seeds occurred during the 24 weeks of dry storage in the commercial storage facility regardless of storage conditions for the previous 24 weeks. After the 24 weeks in commercial storage, germination of lanceleaf tickseed seeds was 48% to 80%, but germination was only 2% to 15% after 24 weeks of dry storage at 15 or 32 °C, respectively. Freshly harvested seeds of the other three species were much more nondormant than seeds of lanceleaf tickseed, but after-ripening effects were still evident because there were increases in germination or germination velocity (an indicator of after-ripening). Maintenance of seed quality was species-dependent. Seed quality of the two upland species, goldenmane tickseed and lanceleaf tickseed, was maintained during the initial 24 weeks of dry storage plus the subsequent 24 weeks in the commercial storage facility. In contrast, viability of seeds of the two wetland species, florida tickseed and leavenworth's tickseed, declined to varying degrees either during the initial 24 weeks of after-ripening or during storage in the commercial facility. The greatest decline in quality occurred for florida tickseed seeds that were stored for 24 weeks at 32 °C and then for 24 weeks in the commercial storage facility.

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Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) and glossy privet (L. lucidum) have been classified as Category I invasives in Florida. The closely related japanese privet (L. japonicum) has escaped cultivation but is not considered a problem species in Florida. Plant growth, visual quality, flowering, and fruiting were assessed for the resident species (wild-type form) and selected cultivars of chinese privet, glossy privet, and japanese privet planted in northern and southern Florida for 132 weeks. Visual quality varied by site, month, and cultivar. With the exception of ‘Swift Creek’ chinese privet (which did not survive in southern Florida), all cultivars survived the study. All plants fruited in northern Florida. In southern Florida, fruiting was less abundant and not observed for ‘Jack Frost’ japanese privet, ‘Rotundifolium’ japanese privet, ‘Swift Creek’ chinese privet, ‘Suwannee River’ hybrid privet, and glossy privet within 132 weeks. In northern and southern Florida, the growth index rate was lower for ‘Lake Tresca’ japanese privet, ‘Rotundifolium’ japanese privet, and ‘Suwannee River’ hybrid privet than other cultivars. There was a significant interaction between temperature and species for seed germination. Germination in incubators set with a 12-hour photoperiod ranged from 51% to 78.5% for chinese privet, japanese privet, and glossy privet among temperatures, with the exception of glossy privet at 35/25 °C, where only 2.0% of seeds germinated. Germination in complete darkness ranged from 39.5% to 80.5% for chinese privet and glossy privet among temperatures, with the exception of glossy privet at 35/25 °C, where only 0.5% of seeds germinated.

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Full sun trial gardens (full sun) were established at Leon County (LC) and Santa Rosa County (SRC), Florida, to evaluate the effect of site on horticultural performance traits pertinent to landscape use (long-term growth, flowering, vigor, overall quality, and survival) of native and nonnative warm season grasses when grown under low-input landscape conditions over a 3-year period. The gardens contained landscape fabric- (LC) or plastic (SRC)-covered rows, with the synthetic mulch at each site covered by 4 inches of hardwood chip mulch. Fifteen native and eight nonnative grass species, and cultivars were evaluated as were the two grass-like species black flowering sedge (Carex nigra) and narrowleaf silkgrass (Pityopsis graminifolia), a native dicot with grass-like foliage. Many of the native species were derived from seeds or plants collected from naturally occurring populations in Florida, and other species or cultivars were obtained from commercial sources. Based on quality ratings and survival, a majority of the species and cultivars were rated as at least being marginally acceptable for 2 years or more, but only six species and cultivars were rated as excellent or good over all 3 years. Four of these six species were native, with 100% survival at both sites occurring only for purpletop tridens (Tridens flavus). The other three native species, gulf hairawn muhly, (Muhlenbergia capillaris var. filipes), ‘Alamo’ switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), and indian woodoats (Chasmanthium latifolium) had high rates of survival. Porcupine grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Strictus’) and ‘Cabaret’ silver grass (M. sinensis ssp. condensatus) were the only two nonnative species demonstrating potential for long-term performance in a low-input landscape at both sites. Three of the four cultivars of miscanthus (Miscanthus spp.) survived the entire evaluation period in SRC, while two cultivars suffered losses only in LC, demonstrating the importance of site effects on the long-term performance of individual species or cultivars of grasses. Chalky bluestem (Andropogon capillipes) (Orange County, FL), sand lovegrass (Eragrostis trichoides), giant silver grass (Miscanthus ×giganteus), and bamboo muhly (Muhlenbergia dumosa) each survived 3 years at one site but only 1 year at the other site. Pineland threeawn (wiregrass) (Aristida stricta), ‘Red Baron’ cogon grass (japanese blood grass) (Imperata cylindrical), ‘Hameln’ fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides), black flowering fountain grass (P. alopecuroides ‘Moudry’), and ‘Feesey Form’ ribbon grass (Phalaris arundinaceae) were categorized as marginal for low-input landscapes and could only be considered short-term perennials under the conditions of this test. ‘Morning Light’ silver grass (M. sinensis), coastal bluestem (Schizachyrium maritimum), and ‘Lometa’ indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans) had good 2-year landscape performance and survived at least 2 years at both sites. Bigtop lovegrass (Eragrostis hirsuta), silver plumegrass (Saccharum alopecuroides), and lopsided indiangrass (Sorghastrum secundum) were categorized as having excellent 1-year landscape performance and have potential for short-term performance under low-input conditions. Chalky bluestem (Andropogon capillipes) (SRC), black flowering sedge, ‘Heavy Metal’ switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), and narrowleaf silkgrass were categorized as having good 1-year landscape performance.

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Growth, flowering, and survival of black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta L.) from three seed sources—northern Florida (NFL), central Florida (CFL), and Texas (TEX)—were evaluated under low input conditions for one growing season at four sites in Florida. Two sites were in American Horticultural Society (AHS) Heat Zone 9 while the other two were in AHS Heat Zones 10 and 11. Growth, onset date of flowering, and number of flowers at peak flowering varied by site. With few exceptions, plants tended to reach peak flowering at about the same time. Flower diameter varied by seed source with TEX>NFL>CFL. While TEX plants were perceived as the showiest, NFL and CFL plants persisted longer under the low input conditions in Florida, and hence provided some evidence of adaptation to regional site conditions.

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