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John M. Dole and Harold F. Wilkins

Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum Thunb. `Nellie White') bulbs were exposed to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 weeks of cold before shoot emergence; 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 weeks of long days (LD) upon shoot emergence; or a combination of cold followed by LD: 1/5 (weeks cold/weeks LD), 2/4,3/3,4/2, or 5/1. Experiments were repeated for three consecutive years. LD did not substitute equally for cold; at least 3 weeks of cold were required before LD treatments resulted in anthesis. Depending on the year, 100% of the plants flowered when treated with 3 to 6 weeks of cold alone or in combination with LD. Days to first flower anthesis from planting increased with decreasing weeks of cold in years 1 and 3, but was similar for all treatments in year 2. Decreasing weeks of cold in combination with LD, however, decreased days to anthesis in years 1 and 2, but had no effect in year 3. Regardless of LD, days from emergence to visible bud increased with decreasing weeks of cold in all years, and days to emergence from placement in the greenhouse increased with decreasing cold in years 1 and 3, but not in year 2. Increasing weeks of cold, regardless of LD, decreased leaf count, but had no effect on plant height. Flower count was unaffected by cold when combined with LD, but was significantly reduced by increasing weeks of cold.

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John M. Dole and Harold F. Wilkins

Easter lily bulbs (Lilium longiflorum `Nellie White') were given 6 weeks of cold, placed in the greenhouse and subsequently divided into groups based on emergence date after placement in the greenhouse: 0-6, 7-13, 14-20 and 21-27 days. At emergence bulbs received 0, 1, 2 or 3 weeks of long days (LD). Late-emerging plants had fewer days to visible bud and anthesis from emergence than early-emerging plants; consequently, late-emerging plants flowered within 3-10 days of early emerging plants despite 14-21 days difference in emergence time. Late emerging plants were tallest and middle emerging plants had the highest leaf number. Increasing LD tended to decrease numbers of days from emergence to visible bud and anthesis and increase plant height. LD did not effect leaf or flower number. Interactions between LD and emergence date will be discussed. Experiment was repeated for three consecutive years.

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John M. Dole and Harold F. Wilkins

Vegetative, single-stem poinsettia plants (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. `Gutbier V-14 Glory') were allowed to develop 10, 15, or 20 nodes (nodal groups). Within each nodal group, blades from the same node position were removed, combined into one sample per node, and analyzed for nutrient content. Nutrient concentrations were found to be distributed within the plant in one of three patterns: 1) N, P, and K concentrations were higher in upper than in lower leaves; 2) Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, and B concentrations were higher in lower than in upper leaves; and 3) Cu and Zn concentrations were higher in upper and lower leaves than in middle leaves. When 10, 15, and 20 noded groups were compared, the distributional patterns were similar, but actual nutrient concentrations between groups differed. Leaf P, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn, and B concentrations increased over time. However, concentrations of N, K, and Cu were highest in 43-day-old leaves and lowest in 19-day-old leaves for N and Cu and lowest in 67-day-old leaves for K.

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John M. Dole and Harold F. Wilkins

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Wind. ex. Klotzsch) cultivars were divided into free-branching and restricted-branching groups. Auto and reciprocal grafts were made among three free-branching cultivars, Annette Hegg Brilliant Diamond (BD), Annette Hegg Topwhite (TW), and Annette Hegg Hot Pink (HP), and two restricted-branching cultivars, Eckespoint C-1 Red (CR) and Eckespoint C-1 White (CW). when CR scions were grafted onto BD stocks, vegetative characteristics of branching pattern and leaf morphology of CR plants were altered when compared to the control graft combination CR/CR (scion/stock). Branching pattern was determined by pinching the scion above the 12th node and measuring axillary shoot length, diameter, and node number 30 days later. CR scions grafted onto BD stocks produced a plant very similar to BD plants when axillary shoot length and node number were compared. However, axillary shoot diameter and leaf morphology were intermediate between CR and BD plants. Changes were retained after two generations of serial vegetative propagation and are considered permanent. The reproductive characteristics of anthesis date, bract color, and cyathia cluster diameter were not influenced by the stock. CR/BD plants produced twice as many axillary inflorescences as BD/BD or BD/CR plants, while CR/CR plants did not produce any. All of the free-branching cultivars were able to alter the vegetative characteristics of all of the restricted-branching cultivars.

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John M. Dole and Harold F. Wilkins

The free-branching poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex. Klotzsch) cultivar Annette Hegg Brilliant Diamond (BD) contained a free-branching agent that was graft-transmissible to the restricted-branching cultivar Eckespoint C-1 Red (CR). CR plants were transformed by the agent regardless of whether BD plants were used as scion or stock, indicating that the agent moved basipetally and acropetally through the graft union. The agent was repeatedly transmitted to a CR plant by serial grafting with a free-branching poinsettia plant. A minimum of 10 days contact through grafting was required for BD plants to transmit the agent to CR plants. Percentage of CR plants exhibiting the free-branching characteristic increased from 0% for < 10 days of graft contact with BD plants to 100% after 30 days.

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Michael R. Evans, Neil O. Anderson, and Harold F. Wilkins

Various durations of rooting at 15C and storage at 5.X and exogenous GA, (1000 ppm) application were used on dormant unrooted peony (Paeonia lactiflora Pall.) tubers of `Sarah Bernhardt', `Festiva Supreme' `Krinkled White', and `Scarlet O'Hara'. Four weeks of cooling were sufficient to break dormancy. Days to emergence, first bud color, and anthesis were reduced as the length of cold storage increased from 4 to 20 weeks. Height and number of shoots emerging per pot increased with increased cooling. All flower buds aborted when tubers were cooled for 20 weeks. When noncooled tubers were given a 1000-ppm GA, soil drench, shoots emerged within 7.5 days; untreated tubers failed to emerge after 5 months. When tubers were treated with GA,, all flower buds aborted.

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Peter M. Bierman, Carl J. Rosen, and Harold F. Wilkins

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Wind. ex. Klotzsch cv. Gutbier V-14 Glory) plants were grown under conditions simulating commercial stock plant production to investigate the effects of NH4-N: NO3-N fertilizer ratios, foliar Ca sprays, medium-applied Ca, and medium-applied Mo on leaf edge burn (LEB) and cutting production. Leaf edge burn expression was nearly 100% greater with NH4-N: NO3-N fertilizer ratios of 1:2 or 2:1 than with NO3-N only. However, cutting production was 28% lower with NO3-N as the sole N source. There was little difference in either LEB or cutting production between the two NH4-N levels. Weekly Ca sprays at 500 mg·liter-1 were effective in reducing LEB, while medium-applied Ca as gypsum was ineffective. Foliar Ca sprays reduced both the number of LEB leaves (90%) and symptom severity of individual leaves. Spraying plants with tap water (Ca at 25 to 30 mg·liter-1) plus wetting agent had an intermediate effect. Medium-applied Mo was ineffective in reducing LEB, despite greatly increasing leaf Mo levels. The Ca concentration in chlorotic, marginal leaf tissue was significantly lower than the Ca concentration in green leaf margins. There was also a strong, negative correlation between the Ca concentration in young leaves at the susceptible growth stage and the incidence of LEB in various treatment groups. Supplemental applications of Ca and Mo did not consistently affect cutting production. Leaf edge burn appears to be a localized Ca deficiency due to inadequate Ca uptake and/or translocation to the numerous axillary shoots simultaneously developing on poinsettia stock plants.

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Michael R. Evans, Harold F. Wilkins, and Wesley P. Hackett

The poinsettia [Euphorbia pulcherrima (Willd. ex. Klotzsch)] is a short-day plant (SDP) for floral initiation that will also initiate floral structures (cyathia) under long days (LD) after the apical meristem produces a cultivar-dependent number of nodes (long-day node number). Leaf removal, root restriction, and air layering failed to affect the long-day node number (LDNN) of the apical meristem. Repeated rooting of shoots, which resulted in the removal of nodes, did not affect the total number of nodes initiated by the apical meristem before floral initiation, although the number of nodes intact on the plant at the time of floral initiation was reduced. Reciprocal grafting of axillary buds of `Eckespoint Lilo' and `Gutbier V-14 Glory' plants did not affect the LDNN of the grafted meristem since the LDNN was the same as for nongrafted buds of the same cultivar. Further, grafting axillary buds from different positions along the main axis that differed in LDNN did not affect the LDNN of the grafted meristems. On the basis of these results, it was concluded that LD floral initiation in poinsettia is a function of the ontogenetic age of the meristem and that the LDNN represents a critical ontogenetic age for floral initiation to occur under LD.

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Michael R. Evans, Harold F. Wilkins, and Wesley P. Hackett

Exogenous foliar spray applications of gibberellic acid (GA3) applied at 7- or 14-day intervals providing 50 or 125 μg per plant inhibited long-day (LD) floral initiation in poinsettia [Euphorbia pulcherrima (Willd. ex. Klotzsch)]. Periodic application of GA3 resulted in an additional number of nodes being produced by the plant before floral initiation equivalent to the number of nodes over which GA3 was applied. Further, GA, application eliminated the nodal position dependence of the long-day node number (LDNN) of axillary meristems observed in control plants. It was concluded that GA3 application inhibited the inclusion of nodes into the LDNN count and thus inhibited ontogenetic aging of the meristem. Exogenous application of GA, also inhibited LD floral initiation, while application of GA4 had no effect. Application of GA7 delayed LD floral initiation, but plants did initiate cyathia by the termination of the experiment. All gibberellins increased the average internode lengths similarly. The gibberllin-biosynthesis inhibitors chlormequat and paclobutrazol had no effect on LD floral initiation when applied as single or multiple foliar sprays or as soil drenches, although heights and internode lengths were reduced by application of the inhibitors. The LDNN of plants grown at 31C was significantly higher than of plants grown at 16, 21, or 26C. All plants eventually initiated cyathia regardless of temperature. When plants were grown under a range of day/night temperatures, an increase in the LDNN occurred only when plants were grown at 31C during the day. Chemical names used: 2-chloroethyl-trimethyl-ammonium chloride (chlormequat); (+/-)-(R*,R*)-β -(4-chlorophenyl)methyl-α -(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1-H-1,2,4-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol).