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Richard A. Criley*

As part of a research study on growth and flower production of 20 commercial heliconia cultivars, plants were established at the Waimanalo Research Farm (Oahu) of the Univ. of Hawaii in July 1999. This report focuses on Heliconia ×rauliniana. Five plants in 7.6 L pots were planted at spacings of 2.5 M in row, with between row spacings of 3 M. Beginning a month later, newly emerged shoots were tagged every four weeks. At flowering, the shoots were harvested and leaf counts made. The information derived from the data include time frame from shoot emergence to flower, rate of shoot production, percentage of shoots from each tag date that flowered and the periodicity of flowering in a two year period. The range of times from shoot emergence to harvest was 208 to 450 days. In the first 12 months following planting, the average cumulative new shoot production since planting was 77 shoots per plant, while more than 58 inflorescences per plant were produced from the tagged stems for a 75% productivity rating. H. X rauliniana evidenced periodic flowering behavior, with peak flowering in the April to June period, that suggested it is a short-day plant for flower initiation.

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Richard A. Criley

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Richard A. Criley

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Richard A. Criley

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Richard A. Criley

The flowers of pakalana are initiated under long days (LD) at 18C or above. At 21 and 24C, inflorescence initiation occurs after 3 weeks of LD, and the clusters grow to 6 mm in another 2 weeks, but at 18C, about 12 weeks are required to achieve the 6-mm length. This length is critical, as a shorter stage often fails to develop further. From a length of 6 mm, clusters develop to anthesis in 3 to 4 weeks at 24C, 4 to 5 weeks at 21C, and 6 to 7 weeks at 18C. This work is important to the production of pakalana flowers for Hawaii's winter lei flower trade.

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Setapong Lekawatana and Richard A. Criley

Inflorescence abortion in heliconia contributes to an economic loss to growers. In an effort to determine the cause, we manipulated temperature, daylength and light intensity. Plants of Heliconia stricta cv. Dwarf Jamaican were grown in 4 day/night temperature regimes (15/10, 20/15, 25/20 and 30/25°C) under 14 hr daylength. In a separate experiment, plants were grown in full sun, 60% and 80% shade. Both experiments had been conducted after inflorescences were induced (4 weeks of short days). Apical meristems were dissected weekly to follow inflorescence development. Leaf abscisic acid level was detected by an indirect ELISA. Significantly more inflorescences were aborted in plants grown under high temperature regimes than in plants grown under low temperature regimes and under different light intensity. Abscisic acid concentration increased in heliconia leaves under regimes that induced inflorescence abortion. The results could provide a mean to improve heliconia inflorescence production.

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Osamu Kawabata and Richard A. Criley

An aqueous solution of dikegulac-sodium at 0, 2000, 4000, 6000, or 8000 mg a.i./liter was sprayed on a mature Murraya paniculata hedge as the first leaves expanded on newly developing lateral shoots after trimming. The lateral shoots from each 0.09-m2 hedge surface elongated less and the coefficient of variation (cv) decreased as the growth regulator concentration increased. Application of dikegulac-sodium at 4000 mg a.i./liter to the most distal leaf on topped, single-leader seedlings inhibited the elongation of distal shoots while it enhanced proximal shoot growth. Dikegulac-sodium spray between 4000 and 6000 mg a.i./liter to the hedge decreased apical dominance among lateral shoots and enhanced uniform regrowth without causing visible damages. The cv reduction was attributed to the growth regulator-induced weakening of apical dominance. Chemical name used: sodium salt of 2,3:4,6-bis-O-(1-methylethylidene)-α-l-xylo-2-hexulofuranosonic acid (dikegulac-sodium).

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Norberto Maciel and Richard A. Criley

Heliconia rostrata is a herbaceous-musoid sympodial rhizomatous plant that grows as clump. After three leaves are produced, each shoot of the clump may bear an inflorescence if it is induced by short days (SD). However, the relationship between shoot density and flowering has not been quantified. To evaluate the effects of the inductive period, number of shoots, and leaf removal on flowering, rhizomes were planted in 120 pots (8 L). One-third of the pots were planted with two rhizomes, while the remainder was planted with one. One-half of the pots with one rhizome were allowed to develop all their shoots for three generations, while in the remaining pots only one shoot per generation was allowed to grow. In addition, one-half of the plants in all the treatments were subjected to selective leaf removal. The plants were grown under long days (LD) >13 h in a glasshouse until four leaves were produced. Inductive SD was supplied to all the plants from 5:00 pm to 8:00 am. After 8 weeks of SD, one-half of the plants were given LD, while the other half continued under SD (conSD) until flowering. The highest percentage of flowering shoots (39% to 35%) was observed in plants under conSD; plants under SD-LD were 10% to 9%. The second generation of shoots showed the highest flowering (74% conSD and 21% SD-LD), followed by the first (62% conSD and 18% SD-LD), and third (31% conSD and 0% SD-LD) generations. Non-flowering shoots of the first generation were aborted or dead. Shoots of the third were still vegetative, since they had few leaves to be induced. Fewer flowers occurred in clumps allowed to develop all their shoots. Intact plants from rhizomes with one shoot per generation flowered more than the partially defoliated ones under conSD.

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Funoh Kwon and Richard A. Criley

Bright red bracts with white flowers are produced by H. angusta from Sept through Dec in Hawaii. The inflorescences are valued as cut-flowers and the species is potentially adaptable as a seasonal potted plant. Sakai et al (1990) reported the LD responsiveness of this species, but-additional detail was necessary to permit scheduling. EK's PhD thesis developed a model for flowering in which the minimum day length requirement to initiate was 13 hr for 7 wk with another 15-16 wk required for development irrespective of the day length (12-18 hr) or temperature (14-22C). As with other phozoperiodically sensitive heliconias, 3 unfurled leaves were required to respond to LD. A growing degree model was developed to determine the time necessary to reach the 3-leaf stage. A 30-year temperature record was used to estimate the latest shoot emergence date that would permit initiation, development, and flowering under Honolulu conditions. The model was validated by comparison with commercial production records. Sakai et al. 1990. Bul Heliconia Soc Intl 4(4):10-11

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Richard A. Criley and Setapong Lekawatana

Although in florescences of H. chartacea `Sexy Pink' can be harvested year'round in Hawaii, flowering is heaviest during the summer while demand is higher during winter months. The research was directed at identifying influences affecting the timing and rate of flower development, Dissection of apices of pseudostems which began development during June-July showed reproductive development (3-6 cm) in Jan-Feb when @6 leaves had unfurled. Some pseudostems had aborted the growing point after initiation had occurred. Data from 141 flowering pseudostems over 2 years of sampling showed that approx. 46 weeks were required from shoot emergence to flowering. Seasonal variation existed for leaf number and developmental period. The paper will analyze the influence of temperature on these two components of flowering.