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Rina Kamenetsky and Jacob Blaustein

The annual life cycle and development of the monocarpic shoot of some ornamental Allium species from Central Asia and the Mediterranean area have been followed from the time of meristem dome initiation in the axil of a mother plant leaf, through formation of scale, leaf and flower primordia. There are three periods of meristem activity from apex initiation to flower formation. Detailed analysis of inflorescence development has been carried out by Scanning Electronic Microscope (SEM). The life span of the Allium monocarpic shoot can be as long as 18 months. Climatic variations between Central Asian and Mediterranean areas lead to differences in the time of leaf sprout and flowering of species from the same taxonomic group. The principal mechanism of floral initiation is similar for species from both areas. Knowledge of the structure and development of the shoot will be useful for improvement of an optimal program of ornamental Allium cultivation.

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Amalia Barzilay, Hanita Zemah, Rina Kamenetsky, and Itzhak Ran

The life cycle and morphogenesis of the floral shoot of Paeonia lactiflora Pallas cv. Sarah Bernhardt were studied under Israeli conditions. The renewal buds for the following year originate on the underground crown, at the base of the annual stems. Bud emergence begins in early spring. Stems elongate rapidly and reach heights of 50-70 cm in 60-70 days. Flowering begins in April and continues until the end of May. After flowering, the leafy stems remain green until September-October, when the leaves senesce, and the peony plant enters the “rest” stage for 3-4 months. The new monocarpic shoot initiated in the renewal bud at the end of June with the formation of the first leaf primordia and continued to increase in size until February. During summer, the renewal buds remain vegetative. The apical meristem ceases leaf formation after senescence of the aboveground shoots in the fall. During September, the apical meristem of the renewal buds reaches the generative stage and achieves the form of a dome, but remains undifferentiated. In October, floral parts become visible. Floral differentiation is terminated at the beginning of December. Floral initiation and differentiation of peony do not require low temperatures. Morphological development and florogenesis were similar to other geophyte species with an annual thermoperiodic life cycle.

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Rina Kamenetsky, Idit London Shafir, Hanita Zemah, Amalia Barzilay, and H.D. Rabinowitch

An understanding of temperature and photoperiod effect on garlic (A. sativum L.) growth and florogenesis might solve the enigma of garlic sterility and provide environmental tools for flowering regulation and fertility restoration. The effect of storage temperature and growth conditions on the interactive relationships between the developing vegetative and reproductive organs was studied. A long photoperiod for more than 2 weeks was required for both dormancy induction of the axillary buds and clove formation. In contrast, combination of low temperatures with short photoperiod resulted in sprouting of the axillary buds. Four phases were recognized in the florogenesis of garlic, including: transition of the apical meristem, scape elongation, inflorescence differentiation, and completion of floral development. In garlic accession #2091, meristem transition is autonomous and occurs in growing plants under a variety of storage and growth conditions. A long photoperiod triggers the initial elongation of the scape in post-transitional plants. The temperature effect was quantitative: low storage and growth temperatures combined with long photoperiod promoted scape elongation, whereas warm temperatures and long photoperiod promoted the translocation of reserves to the cloves, and the degeneration of the developing inflorescence. Differentiation of topsets followed flower formation and was dominated by and required lengthy exposure to long photoperiod. Hence, under short photoperiod with only short interruption of long photoperiod, normal development of fertile flowers occurred. We conclude that in bolting garlic genotypes, manipulation of the environment, both before and after planting, can regulate the development of flowers and regain fertility. Normal flowering cannot be achieved if any of the four developmental stages of florogenesis mentioned above is inhibited.