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- Author or Editor: Neil O. Anderson x
In production classes, students often commence the class by learning complicated crop-specific production cycles. Rarely are they afforded the opportunity of spending several class periods to first understand the major differences between commercial crops for production time, labor input, and market share. A cooperative learning exercise was created for the first week of lectures in potted plant production class (Hort 4051) at the Univ. of Minnesota (n = 18 students). Students were assigned to working groups for discussion and synthesis of the assignment. One week later, each group turned in their recommendations and one lecture session was devoted to in-class discussion of their answers. The exercise was in the form of a memo from a commercial company, Floratech, addressed to the students as the newly hired potted plant production specialists. In the memo, a graphical summary was presented of 13 major and minor potted crops, contrasting total production time, labor input, and market share for each crop. As production specialists, the student's primary task was to interact with all staff (other students role-playing various positions within the company) to answer the following question: “What is the most realistic, cost-effective location on the graph that Floratech should aim to move all crops?” Group discussions, both within and outside of class, focused on the noticeable trends depicted by the graph and the limiting factors that prevented crops from moving to the ideal location. Growers and breeders were quizzed on what factors kept each crop in the specific locations on the graph. The majority of student chose the midpoint of the graph as the best location. The exercise successfully peaked student's awareness of crop differences and the limiting production factors. Throughout the semester, students referred back to this graph to pinpoint the location for each crop covered.
Seed-propagated lilies have the potential to revolutionize Easter lily production, eliminating clonal disease transmission, costly production and shipping. Five F1 interspecific hybrids, Lilium × formolongo (L. longiflorum × L. formosanum), were evaluated to establish an initial forcing schedule. The hybrids included `Raizan Herald', `Augusta F1', `Raizan No. 1', `Raizan No. 2', and `Raizan No. 3'. Two hundred seeds/hybrid were sown in early July in plug trays. Ten weeks after sowing, seedlings were transplanted into 3-inch pots. At the 20-week stage, the seedlings were repotted into 6-inch standard pots for the final production phase. All hybrids had low germination rates (<20%). Hybrids were grown under two photoperiod treatments (short, long days) at 21 °C with n = 10 reps/hybrid/treatment. Plants were evaluated for no. days to visible bud, leaf unfolding rate, final plant height, leaf number, bud count, flowering dates, and the no. of shoots/bulb. Ten weeks after sowing, hybrids had one to four leaves/plant. At 20 weeks, the leaf number had increased to as many as 40. Despite the lack of a cold treatment, most hybrids initiated flower buds. Visible bud date occurred as early as 20 weeks after sowing. Photoperiod had no effect on leaf number, stem height, and flower bud initiation. Plant height exceeded 15 inches by week 16 in most hybrids, indicating the need for plant growth regulator applications. The next steps in product development for seed-propagated Easter lilies will be outlined.
The advent of horticulture, backed by research, teaching, and extension in the State of Minnesota during the 1800s, had long-term ramifications for initiating opportunities for the newly formed University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Minnesota State Horticultural Society—all of which worked closely together. The founding of the horticulture department in 1888, then known as the Division of Horticulture and Forestry, provided long-term commitment to address the needs of the horticulture field. The integration of female students in 1897 provided inclusivity of gender perspectives in horticulture and enabled essential services during World War I (WWI), when male students, faculty, and administrators were drafted into military service. After the sudden death of Dr. Samuel Green, the first Department Head, in 1910, Dr. LeRoy Cady (who served as an Acting Department Head) instituted a novel idea at the time of having weekly departmental seminars. These formally commenced on 13 Jan. 1913, with the first seminar entitled “Organization of the Seminar.” A survey across the country of horticulture or plant science-based departments revealed its uniqueness as being the oldest seminar series in the country and, undoubtedly, the world. An early seminar tradition included taste-testing of fruit. Early seminars were conducted in the department office of the newly built Horticulture Building (opened in 1899). This idea of the seminar format—as a valuable mechanism of exchanging ideas and increasing department associations—was spread by faculty and Dr. Cady at national and regional meetings of the American Society for Horticultural Science. The seminar concept stretched across the country to other universities and colleges with horticulture programs to make such a forum commonplace to convey research, teaching, and outreach findings in academic settings. Knowledge of the history of the seminar series remained obscure until the record book was discovered in 2010, which provided documentation of its founding and the early years of knowledge-sharing in seminar format. To mark this unique event in horticultural science, a centennial celebration of the seminar series occurred on 13 Jan. 2013. An estimated total of 1899 seminars have been presented during this century-long period. However, a gap in the seminars during 1916 to 1925 was unexplained in the record book. Examination of the departmental, college, and university archives during this time period revealed two primary reasons for this: WWI and the 1918 influenza epidemic. The War Department’s takeover of all college and university campuses in 1918 resulted in the decimation of the faculty and student body by mandatory service (all males age 18–45 years), the institution of a wartime curriculum (which limited the number and types of horticulture classes), the takeover of essential departmental functions by nondrafted men and all female students/faculty, the building of barracks (many of which were on horticultural research plots), and the cessation of all activities, including the seminar. Concurrently, the 1918 influenza outbreak prohibited social gatherings, thus limiting interactions such as seminars. Only a few photographs exist of students wearing masks in 1918, but the impact of the flu seriously affected the ability of students to return to the University of Minnesota after WWI. One subtle benefit in 1918 was the first-ever admission of disabled students (veterans) to horticulture classes. The deaths of students, faculty, and administrators on WWI battlefields, in training camps, or by influenza, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder, devastated the department for years. Lessons learned from these tragedies resonate with the modern-day continuation of the seminar series in the context of the current Covid-19 pandemic.
Reclassifications of the genus Chrysanthemum (10, 11, 13-15, 18, 22), accepted by most botanists and taxonomists for almost a decade, have not been brought to the attention of horticulturists. Of special concern is the correct scientific name of the garden and greenhouse chrysanthemums, currently integral components of national and international floricultural trade.
Historic ignorance of species’ native range, expansion due to unintentional involvement by vectors, and their quiet evolution has caused several invasive species to become “poster children,” such as purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea), and others. Common misconceptions on how these became problematic have involved a variety of causes, including ignorance of species’ ability to intercross and create introgressive hybrids, lack of insects for control, wind pollination, and intercontinental distribution from their native range. Current research focuses on how misappropriating the historical contexts can reverse our misconceptions of native species being noninvasive and how this affects control by land managers. Purple loosestrife and reed canarygrass will be used as example species to demonstrate challenges that native vs. exotic, intra-, and interspecific differences confer to land managers. Issues such as a lack of phenotypic differences challenge land managers’ charge to control invasive individuals yet retain the noninvasives. This is fraught with challenges when native vs. exotic status is invoked or cultural values are entwined. To avoid a monumental impasse, particularly when native and exotic types are phenotypically indistinguishable, this dilemma could be solved via modern techniques using molecular biology.
A case study is presented for use as an active learning tool for students in a floriculture potted plant production class. This is the second case study developed for Floratech, a potted plant finisher. Students work together in small groups to solve the proposed problems; each student role-plays as a Potted Plant Production Specialist. A memorandum from the Board of Directors is delivered in their first month on the job at Floratech. Objectives of this case study are to determine the students' fluency in terminology and crop-specific cultural requirements for potted plant production of cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) and primrose (Primula sp.) as well as their ability to setup a scientifically rigorous and unbiased cultivar trial for Floratech personnel and selected customers. Students research the latest commercial catalogs to determine which species, series, and cultivars are available, as well as their relative merits, prior to choosing the appropriate cultivars to include in the trial. The trial setup has a space limitation of 2,000 ft2 (186 m2). This case study was tested with 20 undergraduate students during Fall Semester 1999. The case study demonstrated the students' fluency with terminology and crop-specific cultural requirements for both crops. Their ability to set up a scientifically rigorous trial varied widely, often with an inadequate sampling of cultivars and excessive replications (56 ± 37 cyclamen to 132 ± 65 primrose). A mean ± sd of 4 ± 1 cyclamen and 7 ± 3 primrose series were chosen. The number of cultivars varied from 6 ± 2 cyclamen to 9 ± 4 primrose and the number of distributors was similar for the crops. Trial design and additional questions raised by the case study were discussed in class and applied in a cultivar trial in the lab. Unanswered questions were used as learning opportunities during class tours with local growers.
This paper presents a case study for use as an active learning tool with students in a floriculture potted plant production class. Students work together in small groups (three to four) to pose answers to a dilemma. With this case study, students quickly learn the names of their colleagues and work together outside-of-class to solve the assignment. Each student role-plays being hired on as a new potted plant production specialist. A memorandum from the Board of Directors is delivered on their first day of work at Floratech, a company specializing in potted plants. Floratech is a finisher company, purchasing plugs (vegetative or seed-propagated crops) from plug producers and rooting stations, and selling their final products to both wholesale and retail markets. Objectives of this case study are to determine 1) the students' fluency in terminology for potted plant production, 2) ideal production time/labor inputs for the Floratech potted crops, and 3) limiting factor(s) preventing each crop from reaching this goal. As the students progress through the course material, they refer to the memorandum for clarification of unknown terms. Unresolved questions are raised during the semester (in the classroom and during laboratory tours) to other players interacting in the memorandum, i.e., Floratech staff (growers, sales people, management), its suppliers (rooting stations, plug producers, distributors, breeders, producers, operations, quality control), and customers (wholesale, retail). This case study was tested with undergraduate students enrolled in HORT 4051, Floriculture Production and Management I (Potted Plants) at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, during Fall Semester 1999.
The increasing number of crops being grown for the floriculture market has frustrated educators faced with limited classroom and laboratory time. Time constraints necessitate selection of crops to serve as examples of floral induction treatment(s) and provide an accurate scope of production requirements for all cultivated species. Since flowers are the primary reason for purchasing most floricultural products—with the notable exception of cut and potted foliage—the various treatments required for flower bud initiation and development were used to categorize potted plants. New and old crops (>70 species) are categorized for flower bud initiation and development requirements, including photoperiod (short, long day, day neutral; facultative/obligate responses), vernalization, temperature, autonomous, rest period, and dormancy. Crop-specific temperature, irradiance, and photoperiod interactions are noted, as well as temperature × photoperiod interactions. A course syllabus can be modified to ensure that at least one crop from each category is presented to serve as a model. It is recommended that the class focuses on example crop(s) from each floral induction category and then reviews other crops within each category for differences or similarities. This method allows coverage of floral induction categories without leaving information gaps in the students' understanding. This method was used with students in the Fall 1999, floriculture production class (Hort 4051) at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul.
The prostrate plant habit may be an important new trait for the garden chrysanthemum [Dendranthema ×grandiflora Tzvelv. (=Chrysanthemum ×morifolium Ramatuelle)] market. Fifteen prostrate and non-prostrate genotypes were evaluated in production trials, using Regular and Fast Cropping systems. At flowering, the following traits were evaluated: days to flowering (first, 50%, 100%), flowering duration, pot coverage, plant uniformity, and salability. Salability was measured with consumer evaluations. Genotypes differed significantly for days to first and 100% flowering, flowering duration, plant height, plant width, and plant uniformity. Cropping systems were significantly different for days to first and 100% flowering. `Snowscape', a semi-prostrate day-neutral cultivar, was earlier than all other genotypes for days to first flower. It also had the longest flowering duration. `Snowscape' would be the best genetic source for creating early, continual flowering cultivars. Most prostrate genotypes were as early as commercial cultivars. Genotype 90-275-27 was significantly shorter (prostrate) than all other genotypes and would be the best genetic source for prostrate plants. Genotypes 95-169-8, 92-237-9, 95-157-6, 95-169-10, 90-275-27, and `Snowscape' had the most acceptable plant width for shipping. Plant uniformity of 95-169-10 and 95-169-8 matched that of `Debonair' and `Spotlight', all of which were significantly more uniform than the other genotypes. The least uniform prostrate was 95-331-10. `Snowscape' had the highest (best) index of traits ranking and was significantly better than all other genotypes. Consumer evaluations were highest for non-prostrate cultivars.
Cleome hassleriana is an ornamental garden plant introduced from South America and naturalized in eastern United States with tendencies to reseed primarily in gardens. The objectives of this research were to determine (1) if C. hassleriana cultivars can germinate in Minnesota prairies and roadsides, (2) if germination in cultivated environments reflect germination in non-cultivated environments, and (3) if there are differences among cultivars across environments, with some cultivars germinating well in cultivated habitats and poorly in non-cultivated habitats. In June 2003, 135 seeds from each of four cultivars (Queen Rose, Queen White, Sparkler Rose and Sparkler White) were planted in each of 4 gardens and 8 non-cultivated habitats (4 prairies and 4 roadsides). Germination and survival was recorded once weekly for four weeks. Cleome seeds germinated in Minnesota gardens, prairies and roadsides. By day 14, the proportion of germinated seedlings was significantly greater in gardens (30.5%) than in prairies (1.4%) and roadsides (0.9%). Sparklers had significantly greater germination than Queens in the prairies. The best performing cultivar in the garden (Queen White, 29%) was different than the best performing cultivar in the prairies and roadsides (Sparkler Rose, 1.4% and 1.2% respectively), suggesting that germination in non-cultivated habitats may not reflect germination in the field. Cultivars varied in their ability to germinate in cultivated and non-cultivated environments.