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S.B. Wilson, P.J. Stoffella, and D.A. Graetz

Growth of golden shrimp plant (Pachystachys lutea Nees.) transplants was evaluated in media containing 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100% compost derived from biosolids and yard trimmings. A commercial coir- or peat-based media was amended with compost. As compost composition in the peat or coir-based media increased from 0% to 100%, carbon/nitrogen ratios decreased; and media stability, nitrogen mobilization, pH, and electrical conductivity increased. Bulk density, particle density, air-filled porosity, container capacity, and total porosity increased as more compost was added to either peat- or coir-based media. Plants grown in media with high volumes of compost (75% or 100%) had less leaf area and lower shoot and root dry weight compared to the controls (no compost). Regardless of percentage of compost composition in either peat or coir-based media, all plants were considered marketable after 8 weeks.

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S.B. Wilson, P.J. Stoffella, and D.A. Graetz

Three perennial species, wine sage (Salvia spp. Sell x roenen Schultes `Van Houttei'), blue anise sage (Salvia gauranitica St.-Hil. Ex Benth. `Black and Blue'), and indigo spires salvia (S. longispicata Martius Galeotti × S. farinacea Benth. `Indigo Spires') were transplanted in containers filled with a biosolid-yard waste compost, a commercial peat-based mix, or a mixture of 1 compost: 1 peat-based mix by volume) and grown under ebb-and-flow, drip, or manual irrigation systems. Initial physical, chemical, and elemental analyses of the media indicated that compost alone had higher pH, electrical conductivity (EC), total porosity (TP), bulk density (BD), particle density (PD), N, C, P, Ca, Zn, Cu, Fe, and B; lower initial moisture, Mg and Al; and similar Mn contents than did the 100% peat-based medium. Heavy metal (Cd and Pb) contents of compost did not exceed EPA 503 Rule limits for biosolid usage. After 6 weeks, plants were measured for leaf nutrient content, growth (leaf and stem dry weights, stem lengths), and quality (number of flowers, leaf greenness, and subjective quality ratings). At 6 weeks, plants grown in 50% or 100% compost generally had higher leaf K, P, and Mn; similar N and Ca; and lower Mg, Fe, and Al content than plants grown in the 100% peat-based medium. Plants grown in media amended with compost generally produced similar or slightly smaller plants (stem weight, leaf weight, and stem length) than when grown in peat-based media. Plants irrigated by ebb and flow resulted in higher (`Van Houttei') or similar (`Indigo Spires') dry stem weights than plants irrigated manually or with drip irrigation. Plants grown in compost had leaf SPAD readings (leaf greenness), number of flowers, and visual quality ratings that were generally similar (`Indigo Spires') or slightly reduced (`Van Houttei') than plants grown in peat-based media. However, for each species (except for `Van Houttei' grown in 50% compost using drip irrigation), plants were of marketable quality, regardless of irrigation system or medium. This study suggests that compost may serve as a viable alternative substrate for peat in the production of containerized perennials using ebb-and-flow, manual, or drip irrigation systems.

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Sandra B. Wilson, Laurie K. Mecca, Mack Thetford, and Josiah S. Raymer

Plant growth, visual quality and flowering were assessed for 14 butterfly bush (Buddleja) taxa planted in western Florida (Milton) and central southern Florida (Fort Pierce). In both locations, `Violet Eyes' butterfly bush (B. weyeriana × B. lindleyana), `Honeycomb' butterfly bush (B. × weyeriana), `Moonlight' butterfly bush (B. × weyeriana), and `Sungold' butterfly bush (B. × weyeriana) generally had the greatest growth index and shoot dry weight of all cultivars. In Fort Pierce and Milton, flower dry weights of `White Profusion' butterfly bush (B. davidii), `Nanho Alba' butterfly bush (B. davidii var. nanhoensis), and `Dartmoor' butterfly bush (B. davidii × B. davidii var. nanhoensis) were among the highest as compared to other cultivars at each site, although in Milton, `Gloster' butterfly bush (B. lindleyana), japanese butterfly bush (B. japonica) and `Honeycomb' butterfly bush also had high flower dry weights. Peak plant performance varied by month, cultivar and location. At 12 weeks, plant form and color were above average for each cultivar with the exception of `Black Knight' butterfly bush (B. davidii), lindley's butterfly bush (B. lindleyana), and `Gloster' butterfly bush in the Fort Pierce location only. After 24 weeks at each location, visual quality was above average for `Black Knight', `Dartmoor', `Gloster', `Honeycomb', `Violet Eyes', and japanese butterfly bush. Peak flowering times varied with cultivar and location. At 24 weeks, flowering of `White Profusion', `Nanho Alba', `Nanho Blue', and `Nanho Purple' butterfly bush grown in Fort Pierce was 25% to 40% less than that of the same cultivars grown in Milton. At 24 weeks, `Dartmoor' had the most flowers in both locations, covering 75% of the plant canopy.

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Sandra B. Wilson, Laurie K. Mecca, Judith A. Gersony, Mack Thetford, and Josiah S. Raymer

Because of its weedy nature, extensive use in the landscape, numerous cultivars, and history as an invasive plant in other countries, butterfly bush (Buddleja) was an appropriate candidate to evaluate for seed production and germination in Florida. Seed production was quantified for 14 butterfly bush taxa planted in western Florida (Milton) and central southern Florida (Fort Pierce). Each of the 14 taxa evaluated produced seed. In Fort Pierce, japanese butterfly bush (B. japonica) had the greatest capsule weight and `Gloster' butterfly bush (B. lindleyana) had the second greatest capsule weight as compared to other taxa. In Milton, `Gloster' had the greatest capsule weight and japanese butterfly bush and `Nanho Alba' butterfly bush (B. davidii var.nanhoensis) had the second greatest capsule weights as compared to other taxa. The shape and number of seed capsules per infructescence varied with cultivar. Seeds were cleaned and germinated in germination boxes with and without light at 20/10, 25/15, 30/20 and 35/25 °C (68.0/50.0, 77.0/59.0, 86.0/68.0 and 95.0/77.0 °F). Regardless of temperature or cultivar, light was required for germination. At each temperature, `Nanho Blue' butterfly bush (B. davidii var. nanhoensis) and `Moonlight' butterfly bush (B. × weyeriana) had highest germination rates (63-74%) as compared to other taxa.

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C L. Wilson, B. Upchurch, A. El Ghaouth, C. Stevens, V. Khan, S. Droby, and E. Chalutz

An apparatus was designed to deliver low-dose UV-C light to the surface of fruit on a processing line and tested for its control of postharvest decay. It consisted of a row of UV-C emitting lamps mounted on a frame above a conveyer belt that transported the fruit. The dosage of the UV-C light delivered to the fruit surface was regulated by varying the speed of the conveyor belt. Postharvest decay after 28 days storage of `Empire' apples was reduced 52% relative to the untreated checks when the fruit were conveyed at 6.2 m·min−1 (1.38 kJ·m−2 dose) under the UV-C apparatus. Factors affecting the practical application of UV-C irradiation of fruit for controlling postharvest decay are discussed.

Open access

Renjuan Qian, S. Brooks Parrish, Sandra B. Wilson, Gary W. Knox, and Zhanao Deng

Porterweed (Stachytarpheta spp.), a member of the verbena family, is frequently used in pollinator gardens to attract butterflies. This study was conducted to assess the morphological features, pollen stainability and morphology, nuclear DNA content, and chromosome number of five porterweed selections. Coral porterweed (S. mutabilis), ‘Naples Lilac’ porterweed (S. cayennensis × S. mutabilis ‘Violacea’), and nettleleaf porterweed (S. cayennensis) had the largest plant heights. Flower number was significantly higher in nettleleaf porterweed, jamaican porterweed (S. jamaicensis), and U*J3-2 porterweed (S. cayennensis × S. jamaicensis), with an average of 65–72 flowers per inflorescence. Internode length and flower width of jamaican porterweed had much lower values than the other selections. Coral porterweed recorded the lowest pollen stainability with only 10.6% stainability, but it had the largest relative pollen production. ‘Naples Lilac’ porterweed had the highest DNA content with an average of 3.79 pg/2C, like jamaican porterweed with 3.73 pg/2C. Ploidy levels varied between selections, and the basic chromosome number was x = 28. Coral, jamaican, and ‘Naples Lilac’ porterweed had 2n = 6x = 168 chromosomes, first reported in this genus. These results provide a guide and a new tool to distinguish native and non-native porterweed and may aid future breeding toward the production of noninvasive cultivars.

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Milton E. Tignor, Sandra B. Wilson, Lisa S. Hightower, Efren Fitz-Rodriguez, Gene A. Giacomelli, Chieri Kubota, Emily Rhoades, Tracy A. Irani, Margaret J. McMahon, Andrew N. Laing, David A. Heleba, and Sarah M. Greenleaf

Using a multidisciplinary approach, we are creating an instrument for utilization in a variety of greenhouse related courses. We now have over 3 hours of edited and titled video segments that were obtained at different locations by the same videographer. The greenhouse businesses in Arizona, Vermont, Ohio, and Florida were chosen due to their unique business strategies, level of computerization, type of greenhouse construction, management philosophies, and climate challenges. Individual video segments are based on nine topics that were covered at each location including computers, structure, plant life cycle, and labor. The videos have been placed on a streaming media server and will be burned to a DVD. An interactive Flash-based greenhouse environment simulator is nearly complete. This instrument allows students to model greenhouse environments based on climate data from each of the four video locations. Additionally, a searchable digital repository has been established that will allow other participants to submit materials for educational use. This open source software (DSpace) has an integrated distribution license which streamlines compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Several hundred high quality images have already been uploaded, described and tagged. Learning assessment tools based on numerical self-evaluation and verification narratives are also being developed in conjunction with the multimedia tools. We have created a database of all the greenhouse courses at 1862, 1890, and 1994 institutions and hope to build a community of teachers that will utilize and contribute to the multimedia greenhouse collection. This community has already grown to include two international greenhouse experts who contributed interactive software for educational use.