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Gary J. Wilfret

Two lance-leaf caladium cultivars are to be released from the ornamental breeding program at the University of Florida. `Red Ruffles', whose pedigree is Red Frill × (`Red Frill' × `Candidum Jr.'), has elongated medium red leaves with ruffled green margins. Plants are upright with strong petioles, have leaf blades 25 cm long and 14 cm wide, and attain a height of 61 cm when grown in full sun in the field. Plants have more leaves and are more cold tolerant than `Red Frill', the major red lance-leaf cultivar of commerce. Tuber yields of `Red Ruffles' are similar to `Red Frill' but less than `Rosalie', with production indices of 95.0, 97.8, and 121.0, respectively. Foliage of `Red Ruffles' is more upright and less likely to elongate under reduced light than the other cultivars. `Irish Lace', an F2 selection from a cross of “Candidum Jr.' × “Red Frill', has elongated dark green leaves with heavily ruffled margins, which are etched with a thin red border. Leaf blades are 26 cm long and 8 cm wide and have heavy substance. Plant height is 65 cm in the field. Tuber yields of `Irish Lace' are greater than `White Wing', a major green/white cultivar. Use of a green caladium would be as a border or a mixture with red or white lance-leaf cultivars.

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Gary J. Wilfret

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Gary J. Wilfret

Intact tubers of Caladium cv. Florida Elise were soaked for 30 min in water at 24 or 50 °C in l998 and manually cut into cubes with 2-cm sides. Propagules were planted on 15-cm centers in raised sand beds covered with white plastic. Tubers were harvested in 6 months, air-dried, cleaned, weighed, and graded. Yield of No. 2 tubers (>1.9 <3.8 cm diam) was increased 31%, total tuber weight was 13% greater, and the production index was 13% larger due to hot-water treatment. No differences were determined for other tuber sizes. Tubers harvested from both treatments were soaked for 30 min in 1999 in water at 24 or 50 °C or in water at 24 or 50 °C that contained the fungicide Systec 85WDG [thiophanate methyl(dimethyl{(1,2-phenylene)-bis(iminocarbonothioyl)}bis{carbamate}] at 33.6 g/20 L. Tubers were cut and planted as in l998 and harvested in 2000. Tuber yields and production indices were greater in all hot-water treatments, but were not increased by fungicides alone. Yields from tubers that were not hot-water treated in l998 but were soaked in hot water in l999 were similar to those tubers that were hot-water-treated in both years. Fungicides did not have an additive effect when hot-water was used.

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Gary J. Wilfret

Production of stock plants is essential for the asexual propagation of poinsettia, but variability exists among cultigens in the development of axillary shoots under high day/night temperatures of central Florida. Thirty-eight and 44 cultigens were grown during 1995 and 1996, respectively, and were evaluated for cutting production and subsequent growth of harvested cuttings. Plants were pruned twice prior to cutting harvest, with a projected cutting number of 21 in 1995 and 27 in 1996. Cuttings were graded into three groups based upon stem caliper and overall quality: #1, #2, and cull. Number of #1 cuttings/plant in 1995 ranged from 3.4 to 18.6, represented by `Cortez' and `Ball 838', respectively; a majority of the cultigens produced between 14 and 16 cuttings in the top grade. Number of usable (#1 and #2) cuttings ranged from 4.9 to 30.0, represented by `Cortez' and `Jolly Red', respectively, with a mean of 20.2. Stem caliper of cuttings measured 7 cm from terminal apex ranged from 0.55 cm of `Mikkel 520' to 0.91 cm of `Ball 838'. Cuttings of `Cortez' and `Red Splendor' had poor lateral development. During 1996, number of #1 cuttings ranged from 9.8 (`Picacho') to 22.2 (`Freedom'), with a mean of 16.6. Number of usable cuttings ranged from 14.2 to 31.9, represented by `Cortez' and `Spotlight Dark Red', with a mean of 25.3. Stem caliper ranged from 0.55 cm (`Ball 865') to 0.79 cm (`Supjibi'). Cuttings taken from plants of the `Cortez' series produced few, if any, laterals, while `Marblestar' and `Jolly Red' had up to 50% aborted axillary buds.

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Gary J. Wilfret

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Gary J. Wilfret

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Gary J. Wilfret

Plant growth and flower development of Easter lilies (Lilium longiflorum) were evaluated for 3 years (1988-90). Bulbs of cvs. Ace and Nellie White were soaked preplant in solutions of uniconazole at cones. of 0 to 5 ppm at durations of 1 to 5 minutes and compared to bulbs soaked in ancymidol at 5 to 40 ppm. Time of bulb soak had no effect on amount of solution absorbed and on growth and flower development. Plant height from bulbs soaked in water alone was variable among the 3 years, ranging from 56 to 70 cm for Nellie White and 55 to 89 cm for Ace. Ancymidol concs. of 5, 10, 20, and 40 ppm retarded plant height 10.8, 14.5, 33.8, and 46.2%, respectively. Uniconazole solutions at 0.625, 1.25, 2.5, 5, 10, and 20 ppm produced Nellie White plants 16.7, 70.4, 56.8, 46.9, 39.3, and 30.8% of the height of the water soaked bulbs, respectively. Response of Ace to similar uniconazole concentrations was slightly less. High uniconazole concentration (> 5 ppm) delayed flowering time and reduced the number of floral buds which developed. Variability among plants within uniconazole treatments was large and would not be acceptable commercially.

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Gary J. Wilfret

A recently introduced poinsettia cv. Freedom was evaluated during 1990 and 1991 for production of multi-branched plants in 10 and 15 cm pots and 25 cm baskets. In 1991 `Freedom' was compared to four cvs. for cutting production and rooting in a mist house. Number of usable cuttings (from 24 nodes on stock plants) was 21.1, 22.9, 25.2 and 25.8 for `Freedom', `Celebrate 2', `Supjibi' and `Glory', respectively. Root development of `Freedom' was better than `Celebrate 2' and equivalent to `Supjibi' and `Glory'. In 1990, `Freedom' exhibited bract color 35.8 days after initiation of short days and was marketable in 51.2 days. These dates were 9.1 and 8.1 days earlier than `Amy' and 16.4 and 14.7 days earlier than `Glory', respectively. Similar dates were recorded in 1991. `Freedom' plants were taller than `Amy', of a height similar to `Supjibi', and shorter than `Glory' following treatment with growth regulators. Post production studies indicated that leaf retention of `Freedom' was similar to `Glory' but less than `Supjibi' and `Lilo'. `Freedom' exhibited some bract necrosis, especially at high nutrition levels, but showed good potential as an early cultivar for Florida.

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Gary J. Wilfret

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Gary J. Wilfret

Caladiums, grown for the colorful foliage in containers and the landscape, are the major floricultural tuber crop grown in Florida. They are planted for their variety of leaf colors, shapes, color patterns, and their ability to grow in areas of reduced light and high temperatures. `Florida Calypso' (FC), a fancy leaf caladium with dark-red central venation and rose and white blotches, was released by the Univ. of Florida in 1995. It is in the same color classification as `Carolyn Whorton' (CW), a top-selling rose/pink cultivar. When grown with on de-eyed 6.5-cm-diameter tuber per 10-cm pot, FC was 33 cm tall, produced five leaves within 33.4 days from planting, and had 33.6 leaves after 8 weeks, compared to 42.9 cm, 48.2 days, and 11.0 leaves, respectively, of CW. When grown in the field for tuber production, FC produced larger tubers, had a greater total tuber yield by weight, and had a higher production index than CW. Tuber yields of FC were not significantly different than `Candidum', the cultivar produced most in Florida. `Florida Calypso' can be grown in heavily shaded areas or in full sun in the landscape and in 10- to 40-cm containers.