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Jeffrey G. Norcini, James H. Aldrich, Mack Thetford, Kimberly A. Klock-Moore, Michelle L. Bell, and Brent K. Harbaugh

Growth, flowering, and survival of black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta L.) from three seed sources—northern Florida (NFL), central Florida (CFL), and Texas (TEX)—were evaluated under low input conditions for one growing season at four sites in Florida. Two sites were in American Horticultural Society (AHS) Heat Zone 9 while the other two were in AHS Heat Zones 10 and 11. Growth, onset date of flowering, and number of flowers at peak flowering varied by site. With few exceptions, plants tended to reach peak flowering at about the same time. Flower diameter varied by seed source with TEX>NFL>CFL. While TEX plants were perceived as the showiest, NFL and CFL plants persisted longer under the low input conditions in Florida, and hence provided some evidence of adaptation to regional site conditions.

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Clydette M. Alsup and Pamela B. Trewatha

In two experiments, seedlings of black-eyed susan were transplanted into 15-cm pots and after 1 week received one of the following treatments: media drench application of 0.1, 1, 10, or 100 mg·L-1 of paclobutrazol or pinching back of terminal growth once, twice, or three times. After plants reached salable size, plant height, lateral branch length and number, and flower counts were taken, and plants were harvested for dry weights. In the first experiment, all pinching treatments and 10 mg·L-1 paclobutrazol reduced plant height and increased lateral branching. Flower count at harvest was enhanced by paclobutrazol and reduced by pinching, due to delayed development of inflorescences. Lateral branching and flower bud count were greatest in the second study on plants receiving three pinches. The 100 mg·L-1 paclobutrazol-drenched plants had lowest height, dry weight, and bud count and were severely stunted. The most attractive plants appeared to be those that received the 10 mg·L-1 paclobutrazol drench treatments.

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Gina M. Angelella and Megan E. O’Rourke

( Chamaecrista fasciculata ), and showy tickseed ( Bidens aristosa ); the biennual was black-eyed Susan ( Rudbeckia hirta ); perennials included narrowleaf mountain mint ( Pycnanthemum tenuifolium ), lanceleaf coreopsis ( Coreopsis lanceolata ), wild bergamot

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Heather Kalaman, Gary W. Knox, Sandra B. Wilson, and Wendy Wilber

advertised pollinator plant, spotted beebalm ( Monarda punctata ), 587 of 838 respondents (70.1%) were able to correctly identify an image of this floral resource. Similarly, when shown a photo of a black-eyed susan ( Rudbeckia hirta ), 744 of 841 respondents

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Claudia Elkins and Marc W. van Iersel

Supplemental light can increase growth and accelerate production of greenhouse crops, but it can be expensive if not provided in a way that promotes efficient use of the light. Dimmable light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures have the potential to reduce lighting costs because the output can be precisely controlled to meet crop needs. Because light is used more efficiently to drive photosynthesis at lower photosynthetic photon flux densities (PPFDs), we hypothesized that providing Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ seedlings with the same daily light integral (DLI), spread out over a longer photoperiod and at lower PPFDs, should improve growth. A DLI of 12 mol·m−2·d−1 was provided in a greenhouse over 12, 15, 18, or 21-hour photoperiods from a combination of sunlight and supplemental light from LEDs, using adaptive lighting control. Plants grown without supplemental light had an ≈12-hour photoperiod and received an average DLI of 5 mol·m−2·d−1, ≈58% less light than the four lighting treatments. Lengthening the photoperiod from 12 to 21 hours increased shoot dry mass (30%), root dry mass (24%), plant height (14%), leaf area (16%), and chlorophyll content index (48%), and decreased specific leaf area (26%). There was no significant effect of photoperiod on root mass fraction or compactness. Growth parameters of plants without supplemental light were 26% to 90% smaller compared with those in the 12-hour photoperiod treatment. Treatment effects on canopy size, seen as early as 2 weeks into the study, were correlated with final shoot dry mass. Longer photoperiods did not induce a shade-avoidance response, based on specific leaf area and compactness data. The 24% increase in root dry mass for the plants in the 21-hour photoperiod suggests that cropping cycles can be shortened by 1 to 2 weeks compared with the 12-hour photoperiod. This could result in more crop turns per year and increased profits. In addition, fewer lights would be needed for adequate growth, reducing the capital cost of the lighting system.

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Anthony M. Ortiz, Brent S. Sipes, Susan C. Miyasaka, and Alton S. Arakaki

. bicolor nothosubsp. drummondii cvs. Bale All, Bale All III, Baler, Graze-All, Piper, Sordan 79, and Tastemaker. The other species group included black hollyhock, elecampane, black-eyed Susan, and sunn hemp. Seeds were germinated in vermiculite and

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James J. Marois and Jeffrey G. Norcini

Survival of black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta) from three regional seed sources was evaluated after inoculation with the pathogenic fungus Fusarium oxysporum in the greenhouse, and after they were planted in fumigated or nonfumigated and irrigated or nonirrigated field plots. The three seed sources were northern Florida (NFL), central Florida (CFL), or Texas (TEX). Plants from the three seed sources were inoculated individually under greenhouse conditions with four isolates of F. oxysporum originally isolated from the roots of diseased black-eyed susan grown in ecotype trials near Monticello, Fla. About 20% of the inoculated plants developed symptoms similar to those observed in the field, but no consistent ecotype or isolate effects were observed. In the field trial, planting beds were fumigated with methyl-bromide and chloropicrin and irrigated with drip irrigation (high input), not fumigated and irrigated, fumigated and not irrigated, or not fumigated and not irrigated (low input). During the first month of the trial, treatment and seed source had a significant effect on survival due to the low initial survival of NFL in the nonfumigated-nonirrigated plots. After the first month, only seed source had asignificant effect on survival, with TEX decreasing rapidly and the NFL population decreasing to a lesser degree. The decline of TEX could not be directly attributed to pests or climatic effects.

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Amy L. Neigebauer, Garald L. Horst, Donald H. Steinegger, and Greg L. Davis

Significant research has been conducted on wildflower sod, but the reasoning behind the production system methods is not clear. The purpose of this research was to determine the influence of mowing height on the subsequent leaf growth and root biomass distribution in a wildflower sod production system. Rudbeckia hirta was grown in sand in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) tubes in simulating field conditions. Plants were either not mowed (control) or hand-clipped to 5.1, 7.6, or 10.2 cm to simulate mowing. After the initial mowing, plants were mowed at ≈7-day intervals. Total root depth, number of root axes in the top 2.5 cm, root: shoot ratio, total root dry weight, and root dry weight at depths of 0.0-2.5, 2.5-21.7, 21.7-40.8, and 40.8-60.0 cm were measured at the end of the study. Comparing the total root dry weight of all segments indicates that mowing significantly reduces root biomass. As mowing height increased, the depth of longest root increased linearly. Plants not mowed or plants mowed to 10.2 cm produced significantly more root axes in the top 2.5 cm of sand than did mowing heights of 5.1 or 7.6 cm. Root dry weight in the top 2.5 cm was considerably greater in nonmowed plants. Increased root axes in sod with higher mowing heights indicated a greater root density, which may also increase wildflower sod stability.

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Erin M.R. Clark, John M. Dole, Alicain S. Carlson, Erin P. Moody, Ingram F. McCall, Frankie L. Fanelli, and William C. Fonteno

Each year a wide variety of new cultivars and species are evaluated in the National Cut Flower Trial Programs administered by North Carolina State University and the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Stems of promising and productive cultivars from the National Trial Program were pretreated with either a commercial hydrating solution or deionized (DI) water and placed in either a commercial holding solution or DI water. Over 8 years, the vase life of 121 cultivars representing 47 cut flower genera was determined. Although there was cultivar variation within each genus, patterns of postharvest responses have emerged. The largest category, with 53 cultivars, was one in which a holding preservative increased vase life of the following genera and species: acidanthera (Gladiolus murielae), basil (Ocimum basilicum), bee balm (Monarda hybrid), black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia hybrids), campanula (Campanula species), celosia (Celosia argentea), common ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius), coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), coral bells (Heuchera hybrids), feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium), foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), ladybells (Adenophora hybrid), lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum), lobelia (Lobelia hybrids), obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana), ornamental pepper (Capsicum annuum), pincushion flower (Scabiosa atropurpurea), pinkflower (Indigofera amblyantha), seven-sons flower (Heptacodium miconioides), shasta daisy (Leucanthemum superbum), sunflower (Helianthus annuus), snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus), sweet william (Dianthus hybrids), trachelium (Trachelium caeruleum), and zinnia (Zinnia elegans). Hydrating preservatives increased the vase life of four basils, coral bells, and sunflower cultivars. The combined use of hydrator and holding preservatives increased the vase life of three black-eyed susan, seven-sons flower, and sunflower cultivars. Holding preservatives reduced the vase life of 14 cultivars of the following genera and species: ageratum (Ageratum houstonianum), false queen anne's lace (Ammi species), knotweed (Persicaria hybrid), lisianthus, pineapple lily (Eucomis comosa), sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale), yarrow (Achillea millifolium), and zinnia. Hydrating preservatives reduced the vase life of 18 cultivars of the following genera and species: feverfew, lisianthus, ornamental pepper, pineapple lily, seven-sons flower, shasta daisy, sneezeweed, sweet william, sunflower, trachelium, yarrow, and zinnia. The combined use of hydrating and holding preservatives reduced the vase life of 12 cultivars in the following genera and species: false queen anne's lace, feverfew, pincushion flower, sneezeweed, sunflower, trachelium, yarrow, and zinnia. Data for the remaining 50 cultivars were not significant among the treatments; these genera and species included beautyberry (Callicarpa americana), black-eyed susan, blue mist (Caryopteris clandonensis), calendula (Calendula officinalis), campanula, cleome (Cleome hasserliana), common ninebark, dahlia (Dahlia hybrids), delphinium (Delphinium hybrids), flowering peach (Prunus persica forma versicolor), heliopsis (Heliopsis helianthoides), hemp agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum), himalayan honeysuckle (Leycesteria formosa), hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata), larkspur (Consolida hybrids), lily of the nile (Agapanthus hybrid), lisianthus, lobelia, ornamental pepper, pineapple lily, scented geranium (Pelargonium hybrid), sunflower, sweet william, and zinnia.

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Amy M. Fay, Mark A. Bennett, and Steven M. Still

Low-vigor seeds of black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida Ait.) primed in aerated -1.3 MPa KNO3 for 7 days at 30C in darkness had double the total germination percentage at 30C and one-half the mean time of germination as nonprimed seeds. Priming the seeds in polyethylene glycol rather than KNO3 generally resulted in lower total germination percentage and longer mean time of germination. Osmotic priming increased total germination percentage and germination rate of seeds germinated at 21.9 to 32.2C, but the priming benefit on total germination percentage was greater at ≤27.6C. Total germination percentage of primed and nonprimed seeds was highest at 28.8 to 32.2C.