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R. A. Criley and S. Lekawatana

More than three dozen species of Heliconia have entered the cut flower trade since the expanded interest in bold tropical cut flowers began in the early 1980s. Most were wild-collected originally with little information on their habitats or season of bloom. A natural flowering season for some species can be found in the taxonomic literature, but it may be influenced locally by rainfall and drought periods as well as by photoperiod and therefore not reliable in indicating production periods in Hawaii. Sales records from 1984 through 1990 or several heliconia growers on Oahu reflected not only the quantities produced but also the time and duration of the blooming season. Such information is helpful in coordinating with the flower markets. Heliconia species of commercial interest with strong seasonal flowering periods are noted: angusta, bihai, caribaea, caribaea X bihai, collinsiana, farinosa, lingulata, rostrata, sampaioana, stricta, subulata, wagneriana.

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L. Jones and R.A. Criley

The most popular Ficus for interior conditions is F. benjamina, which has many clonal selections but still drops its foliage too readily. We compared 4- to 5-foot-tall, shade-grown plants of F. nemoralis, F celebensis, F. binnendykii `Alii,' F. oblongifolia (?), and a selection of F. benjamina thought to be `Gulfstream' with F. benjamina `Exotica' that were transferred to the Hamilton Library of the Univ. Hawaii after 14 weeks under 50%, 65%, or 85% Saran shade. During a 9-week evaluation period, new growth, leaf drop, and photosynthesis were determined. Little new growth developed on any plants during the evaluation period in the library. Leaf loss was greatest for F. benjamina `Exotica,' followed by F. celebensis, while the other four species suffered little leaf loss. Leaf loss was greater for plants grown under 50% shade than for 80% shade, while leaf loss from plants produced under 65% shade was either greater or less than 80% shade, depending on species. Leaf loss was greater in low light sites (13.6 μM/m2 per s) than in medium conditions (20 μM/m2 per s) or near windows (29 μM/m2 pers). After the observation period, the plants were to be removed, but library staff asked to retain many plants as they liked the improved atmosphere the plants gave their office and library settings. Most popular for retention were F. binnendykii`Alii,' F. benjamina `Gulfstream,' and F. benjamina `Exotica,' which still looked good despite its high foliage loss initially. The weeping habits of F. nemoralis and F. oblongifolia (?) were not as desirable because of the space they required, although they are performing well after nearly 12 months in the library. F. celebensis, despite its attractive growth habit and foliage, was a disappointment as it lost many leaves and, over 12 months, developed chlorosis and exudation problems.