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Richard O. Kelly, Zhanao Deng, Brent K. Harbaugh and Rick K. Schoellhorn

Florida is one of the top wholesale producers of bedding plants, and in 2003 was ranked fourth in annual bedding plant production and fifth in potted pansy/viola production. Evaluation of pansy cultivars is vital for continued growth of the industry. We evaluated 210 cultivars of pansy (Viola ×wittrockiana) (164 new cultivars) in replicated class tests at the University of Florida's Gulf Coast Research and Education Center at Bradenton, Fla., from 2000–04 to determine the best-of-class and use them in future trials to compare against new entries in the same class. In this report, we provide objective plant measurements of vegetative and floral characteristics as well as subjective performance ratings. Subjective ratings were on a 1 to 7 scale with the highest rating of 7 for excellent. In general, overall performance ratings (combined foliage, flower, arthropod, and disease ratings) ≥5.5 were considered outstanding. Pansy cultivars were grouped into classes based on flower color and pattern. Best-of-class selections that had an outstanding overall performance rating in one or more contested trials, never falling below 5.0 in other contested trials, were: (black class) `Accord/Banner Black Beauty', (blue shades/tints class) `Nature Blue', (blue with blotch class) `Nature Ocean', (mix class) `Panola Clear Mixture', (pink shades/tints with blotch class) `Nature Pink Shades', [purple (dark), blue-violet with white cap class] `Nature Beacon', [purple (dark), blue-violet/white face with blotch class] `Panola Purple With Face', (purple with light eye class) `Baby Bingo Lavender Blue', (white class) `Nature White', (yellow class) `Nature Yellow', (yellow with blotch and purple, blue-violet cap class) `Iona Purple & Yellow With Blotch', (yellow with blotch and red cap class) `Bingo Red & Yellow', (yellow with blotch and red cap class) `Panola Yellow With Blotch', (yellow with dark veins class) `Whiskers Yellow'. We believe these cultivars would perform well in the southern U.S. or areas of the world with similar heat and cold hardiness zones.

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Kristian Borch, Kathleen M. Brown and Jonathan P. Lynch

by Bedding Plants Foundation, Inc., and the Danish Academy of Science. We thank Kai L. Nielsen, Carl-Otto Ottosen, and David Beattie for valuable comments.

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Nicole L. Waterland, Craig A. Campbell, John J. Finer and Michelle L. Jones

Floriculture crops represent a $4.2 billion industry in the United States with bedding plants accounting for ≈44% of their total wholesale value ( USDA, 2009 ). In the last 17 years, there has been a change in the retailing of floriculture crops

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Candice A. Shoemaker and William H. Carlson

the Western Michigan Bedding Plant Growers Assn. We express our appreciation to the Ball Seed Co. for the donation of seed. The cost of publishing this paper was defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. Under postal regulations, this paper

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Genhua Niu, Denise S. Rodriguez and Terri Starman

with saline water were most affected during the hottest and driest periods of summer ( Fox et al., 2005 ; Niu et al., 2007 ). As more low-quality water is used for landscape irrigation, demand for salt-tolerant bedding plants will increase in arid

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Michelle A. Grabowski and Dean K. Malvick

et al., 2006 ; Strauss and Dillard, 2009 ). Annual bedding plants are widely used and highly valued in landscapes in private homes, public parks, and around commercial properties. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Statistics Service

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Jeff S. Kuehny, Aaron Painter and Patricia C. Branch

Eight bedding plant species were grown from plugs obtained from two sources. The plugs were transplanted into jumbo six packs and sprayed with a solution of chlormequat/daminozide with concentrations of 1000/800, 1250/1250, or 1500/5000 mg·L-1 when new growth was ≈5 cm in height or width. Three different species were grown in the fall (Dianthus chinensis L., `Telstar Mix', Petunia ×hybrida Hort. Vilm.-Andr., `Dreams Red', and Viola ×wittrockiana Gams., `Bingo Blue'), winter [Antirrhinum majus L., `Tahiti Mix', Matthiola incana (L.) R. Br., `Midget Red', and P. × hybrida, `Dreams Mix'], and spring [Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don, `Cooler Pink', Salvia splendens F. Sellow ex Roem. & Schult., `Empire Red', and Begonia ×semperflorens-cultorum Hort., `Cocktail Mix']. The treatments significantly reduced finished plant size of all species for each season. There was a significant difference in finish size between sources for Dianthus, Antirrhinum, Matthiola, Catharanthus, Salvia, and Begonia. The efficacy of chlormequat/daminozide also differed for each source of Dianthus, Matthiola, and Begonia, but the treatments minimized the differences in finish size between sources for Petunia and Viola. Chemical names used: (2-chlorethyl) trimethylammonium chloride (chlormequat); (N-dimethylaminosuccinamic acid) (daminozide).

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Lyn A. Gettys and William T. Haller

avoid damage to nontarget ornamental and bedding plant species. Irrigation restrictions for herbicides applied to water have two components. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) establishes acceptable concentrations or tolerances of

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Madeline W. Olberg and Roberto G. Lopez

Typical annual bedding plant production in northern latitudes (≥40°N) occurs from midwinter to spring in heated greenhouses. Unfortunately, greenhouse heating can account for 10% to 30% of operating costs for these greenhouse operations ( Lopez and

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Krishna S. Nemali and Marc W van Iersel

agricultural water use ( Lea-Cox and Ross, 2001 ). To comply with new regulations, it has become important to optimize water use in greenhouse production in the United States. Bedding plants are among the most important greenhouse crops in the United States ( U