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Leonard P. Perry

Mean yields (stems per plant) of 5 randomly selected plants from a block of 15 were determined for each of 13 species of 2–year old herbaceous perennials. Mean yields of Achillea filipendulin a `Coronation Gold' of 4 randomly selected plants, in each of 4 replicates in a randomized c-o-replete block design, were determined over 3 years for 3 spacings. The most consistent yields over the period, and highest in years 1 and 3, were from 60cm spacing between plant centers, with yields from 90cm and 30cm highly variable. In year 2, stems were graded by length with most stems 40 to 49cm at 30cm and 90cm spacings (19 and 46 stems) and 50 to 50cm at 60cm (27 stems). As stems per plant increased from 30 to 72 for 30cm to 90cm spacing, respectively, stems per 30cm2 decreased from 30 to 8. Vaselife was greatest (9 days) for stems in Oasis preservative, with less in Floralife (8 days), tap water (7 days), or distilled water (5 days). Flowers 10 days older prior to cutting lasted an average 2 days less.

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Jeffrey F. Derr

Tolerance of transplanted black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima Farw.), lanceleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata L.), shasta daisy (Chrysanthemum × superbum Bergmans ex. J. Ingram), purple coneflower [Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench.], and blanket flower (Gaillardia aristata Pursh) to preemergence herbicides was evaluated in container trials. Herbicides were applied at the maximum use rate and twice the maximum use rate. Dithiopyr, pendimethalin, and prodiamine provided excellent control of spotted. spurge (Euphorbia maculata L.) and yellow woodsorrel (Oxalis stricta L.) with little injury to the five herbaceous perennials. DCPA, oxadiazon, and metolachlor were tolerated by all treated species, but these chemicals provided lower control of one or both weed species. Oryzalin, isoxaben + trifluralin, and napropamide caused unacceptable injury and shoot fresh-weight reductions in some of the perennials at one or both application rates. Chemical names used: dimethyl 2,3,5,6-tetrachloro-1,4-benzenedicarboxylate (DCPA); S,S-dimethyl 2-(difluoromethyl) -4-(2 -methylpropyl)-6-trifluoromethyl-3,5-pyridinedicarbothioate(dithiopyr);N-[3-(1-ethyl-1-methylpropyl)-5-isoxazolyl]-2,6-dimethoxybenzamide(isoxaben); 2-chloro-N-(2-ethyl-6-methylphenyl)-N-(2-methoxy-1-methylethyl)acetamide(metolachlor);N,N-diethyl-2-(l-naphtha1enenyloxy) propanamide(napropamide);4-(dipropylamino)-3,5-dinitrobenzenesulfonamide (oryzalin);3-[2,4-dichloro-5-(1-methylethoxy)phenyl]-5-(1,1-dimethylethy1)-l,3,4-oxadiazol-2-(3H)-one (oxadiazon); N-(1-ethylpropyl) -3,4-dimethyl-2,6-dinitrobenzamine (pendimethalin); N,N-di-n-propyl-2,4-dinitro-6-(trifluoromethyl)-m-phenylenediamine (prodiamine); 2,6-dinitro-N,N-dipropyl-4-(trifluoromethyl)benzamine (trifluralin).

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Genhua Niu and Denise S. Rodriguez

Use of recycled water to irrigate urban landscapes may be inevitable, because the freshwater supply has been diminishing and the population continues to grow in the arid and semiarid southwestern United States. However, little information exists on the performance of landscape plants irrigated with nonpotable water. Two greenhouse studies were conducted during the summer and the fall to characterize the relative salt tolerance of five herbaceous perennials by irrigating the plants with a saline solution at an electrical conductivity (EC) of 0.8 dS·m–1 (tap water), 2.0 dS·m–1, or 4.0 dS·m–1. In the summer study, after 10 weeks of treatment, Achillea millefolium L., Gaillardia aristata Foug., and Salvia coccinea Juss ex J. had an aesthetically acceptable appearance for landscape performance (visual quality scores of 4 points or more), whereas Agastache cana (Hook.) Woot. & Standl. and Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench had relatively low tolerance to salinity. Dry weight of shoots of A. millefolium, A. cana, and G. arstata was lower at elevated salinity levels. In the fall study, A. millefolium, E. purpurea, G. arstata, and S. coccinea had acceptable growth and visual quality at elevated salinity levels, whereas A. cana had lower quality and reduced growth. Dry weight of shoots was lower in G. arstata and A. millefolium at an EC of 2.0 dS·m–1 or 4.0 dS·m–1. Leaf osmotic potential of all species in the summer experiment was significantly lower at higher salinity compared with the control. In the fall experiment, leaf osmotic potential in A. millefolium, E. purpurea, and G. aristata at 4 dS·m–1 was lower compared with lower salinity treatment and the control. Leaf osmotic potential in the fall was higher than that of the same species at the same salinity level in the summer experiment, indicating that plants in the fall were less stressed than in the summer. Combined the results from both experiments, the authors concluded that A. millefolium, G. arstata, and S. coccinea had a relatively high salt tolerance (as much as 4 dS·m–1 of irrigation water under greenhouse conditions) among the tested species, whereas A. cana and E. purpurea were not tolerant to salt and should not be irrigated with low-quality water.

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Bert T. Swanson and James B. Calkins

Fourteen herbicides or herbicide combinations, a wood chip mulch, a chipped rubber tire mulch, and a newspaper mulch were evaluated for weed control efficacy and potential phytotoxicity using 12 species of herbaceous perennials under field-growing conditions. Nineteen herbicides or herbicide combinations were similarly evaluated under container-growing conditions using 11 species of herbaceous perennials. The effect of herbicide application time also was monitored through application of herbicides to dormant and actively growing plants. Herbicides and mulch treatments were compared to weeded and nonweeded controls. Herbicide phytotoxicity effects were dependent on the age and species of the herbaceous perennial and herbicide application timing. Herbicide injury was generally greater for newly established plants compared to established plants. Although injury was usually reduced when herbicides were applied to dormant plants, injury was sometimes greater when herbicides were applied in early spring compared to applications made in late spring after complete herbaceous perennial emergence. This effect resulted in injury to young shoots that had emerged before the earliest possible time that herbicides could be applied in early spring. A wood chip mulch provided the most effective weed control and highest quality plants under field growing conditions. Several of the herbicides evaluated demonstrated potential for weed control in both field and container herbaceous perennial production systems and landscape plantings.

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Jeffery K. Iles, Nancy Howard Agnew, Henry G. Taber and Nick E. Christians

A major limiting factor in producing container-grown herbaceous perennials is low-temperature injury to cold sensitive roots and crowns during above ground winter storage. Growers and retailers of these plants understand the need for protection systems, yet specific recommendations are unavailable. The ability of several structureless systems to moderate temperature and protect 16 species of container-grown herbaceous perennials from low-temperature injury was investigated. Two light-excluding treatments consisting of 30 cm of straw between 2 layers of 4 mil white copolymer, and 18 cm deep in-ground beds protected with 1 layer of 4 mil white copolymer and 30 cm of woodchips provided the greatest moderation of winter low and early spring high temperatures but resulted in severe etiolation among test plants, A bonded white copolymer-microform overwintering blanket with translucent properties provided comparable plant survival, and prevented etiolated growth allowing plants to grow rapidly after uncovering, despite dramatic temperature extremes observed beneath this cover.

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Nickolee Zollinger, Teresa Cerny-Koenig, Roger Kjelgren, Rich Koenig and Kelly Kopp

Although salinity is becoming an increasing concern for landscape plants in many areas of the West, few studies have been carried out to evaluate salinity responses of ornamental plants, especially herbaceous perennials. We investigated salinity tolerance of four traditionally grown and four Intermountain West native ornamental herbaceous perennials. Penstemo×mexicali `Red Rocks', Leucanthemum×uperbum `Alaska', Echinacea purpurea, Lavandula angustifolia, Geranium viscosissimum, Eriogonum jamesii, Penstemon palmeri, and Mirabilismultiflora were irrigated with water containing a mixture of 2 CaCl2: 1 NaCl at salinity levels of 0.33 (tap water control), 2.2, 5.4, and 8.3 dS·m-1 for 8 weeks. Growth, visual quality, and gas exchange were assessed. Mirabilis multiflora and L.×uperbum `Alaska' showed high salt tolerance based on visual quality. No noticeable leaf necrosis was observed for either species at any salinity level. However, over the 8-week period, growth rates for L. superbumwere reduced by 35%, 58%, and 72% compared to the control for the 2.2, 5.4, and 8.3 dS·m-1 salinity levels, respectively. The decrease in growth did not reduce visual quality. Growth rates for M. multiflora were slightly higher than the control for the 2.2 and 5.4 dS·m-1 salinity levels and dropped about 20% at the highest salinity level. Echinaceapurpureashowed the lowest tolerance to salinity, as evidenced by substantial margin burn at all salinity levels as well as high mortality; all plants in the highest salinity treatment died.

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J. Raymond Kessler Jr., Jeff L. Sibley, Bridget K. Behe, Darby M. Quinn and James S. Bannon

Fifty-seven herbaceous perennials were evaluated from July 1996 to October 1997 in USDA Hardiness Zone 8. Plants in this study generally performed better the first year after planting than the second year. Several selections did not reemerge the second year, though some natural reseeding occurred. Still other selections never fully recovered from the winter months or succumbed to stress in the summer. Plants that maintained an attractive foliage display while not in bloom and plants that had a high bloom rating during the bloom season are worth incorporating into a full sun perennial or mixed border in the southeastern United States. Performance of perennials in the landscape may vary from year to year as climatic conditions affect performance. Comparison of results from variety trials at other locations should help increase performance information reliability for perennial selection.

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James E. Klett and David Staats

During the 1999 season, preemergent herbicides were applied to container-grown herbaceous perennials and evaluated on the basis of weed control, phytotoxicity, and effect on plant growth. The herbicides and rates were: Oxyfluorfen + Pendimethalin (Scotts Ornamental Herbicide II) 3 and 6 lb ai/A, Napropamide (G) (Devrinol) 3 and 6 lb ai/A, Oryzalin (Surflan) 2 and 4 lb ai/A, Oxadiazon (Ronstar) 4 and 8 lb ai/A, Oxyfluorfen + Oryzalin (Rout) 3 and 6 lb ai/A, Prodiamine (Barricade) 0.65 and 1.3 lb ai/A, Pendimethalin (Scotts Ornamental Weedgrass Control) 2 and 4 lb ai/A, Trifluralin (Treflan) 4 and 8 lb ai/A. Herbicides were applied to Penstemon mexicali `Red Rocks'™, Osteospermum barberiae compactum `Purple Mountain'™, Gazania linearis `Colorado Gold'™, Agastache rupestris, Diascia integerrima `Coral Canyon'™, and Zauschneria arizonica. All plant and herbicide combinations did not result in any significant decline in plant growth. All herbicides provided good weed control.

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James E. Klett, David Staats and Matt Rogoyski

During the 2004 season, preemergence herbicide was applied to 12 container-grown herbaceous perennials and woody plants and evaluated for weed control, phytotoxicity, and effect on plant growth. The herbicide and rates were: pendimethalin (Pendulum 2G) 908 g (label rate), 1816 g, and 3632 g/acre a.i. Herbicides were applied to lady's mantle (Alchemilla mollis), purple rock cress (Aubretia species), blue wild indigo (Baptisia australis), pink pussytoes (Antennaria dioica var. rosea), common sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale), redhot poker (Kniphofia uvaria), showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa), heartleaf foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia), lavender (Lavendula angustifolia), blue flax (Linum perenne), catmint (Nepeta ×faassenii), and hen and chicks (Sempervivum tectorum). At 32 and 117 days after application, plants were evaluated for phytotoxicity. No phytotoxicity symptoms were apparent on any of the plants tested. Weed control was good in most cases with this herbicide but it did not control all weeds. Increasing the rates from 1× (label rate) did not significantly improve weed control.

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Annamarie Pennuci

Novel and standard herbicides were applied alone, sequentially, or tank-mixed to determine weed control efficacies and tolerances in 15 species of field-grown herbaceous perennials. Autumn applications provided excellent but short-term broadleaf (BL) and annual grass (AG) weed control. Early spring applications were equally effective and of longer duration. Mid- and late spring treatments provided moderate to poor control of AG and poor control of winter perennial BL. Single applications of prodiamine provided season-long control of AG and of spring germinating BL. Greatest number of weed species were controlled by DCPA. Increased duration occurred with tank-mixes of DCPA + pendlimethalin, DCPA + quinclorac. Quinclorac provided excellent pre/post control of AG and some BL. Crop injury was minimized with directed applications. Isoxaben provided excellent preemergent control of BL. Tank-mixes improved AG control. Treatments applied prior to, or at the same time as mulch applications increased weed control and lessened drought stress. Treatments applied over mulch were less effective, suppressed fewer weed species, were of shortened duration, and increased the likelihood of crop injury.