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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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Kelly M. Oates, Thomas G. Ranney and Darren H. Touchell

Rudbeckia spp. are adaptable and valuable ornamental wildflowers. Development of new varieties of Rudbeckia spp., with improved commercial characteristics, would be highly desirable. Interspecific hybridization and induced polyploidy may be avenues for improvement within the genus. The objective of this study was to evaluate fertility, morphology, phenology of flowering, and perennialness (overwintering survival) for lines of diploid and induced allotetraploids of R. subtomentosa × hirta and diploid and autotetraploids of R. subtomentosa ‘Henry Eilers’. Polyploid lines were developed and propagated in vitro and then grown ex vitro in a randomized complete block design with 12 replications. Compared with their diploid counterparts, autotetraploid lines of R. subtomentosa ‘Henry Eilers’ had similar internode lengths, plant heights, number of stems, flowering times (date at first anthesis), and fall and spring survival (100%); reduced number of inflorescences and male and female fertility; and increased inflorescence diameters. Compared with their diploid counterparts, allotetraploids of R. subtomentosa × hirta had similar internode lengths, reduced number of inflorescences, delayed flowering times, and increased pollen staining. Allotetraploids had limited male and female fertility compared with no detectable fertility in their diploid counterparts. Plant height and number of stems either decreased or showed no change with induced allotetraploidy. Spring survival of diploid hybrid genotypes ranged from 0% to 82% and was not improved in the allotetraploid hybrids. For a given genotype, some polyploidy lines varied significantly in certain morphological traits (e.g., plant height) indicating somaclonal variation may have developed in vitro or there were variable genomic or epigenetic changes associated with induced polyploidy.

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

Evidence is presented that native populations of Rudbeckia hirta L. (Blackeyed Susan) may be adapted to regional conditions. Two Florida ecotypes, one from north Florida (NFL) and one from central Florida (CFL), were better able to withstand the low fertility sites under three AHS Heat Zones (9, 10, 11) in Florida than were plants grown from Texas (TEX) seeds. Plants from TEX seed were the largest and showiest (generally the greatest number of flowers; largest flowers) but the shortest-lived. Most of these plants did not survive beyond August (about 6 months after transplanting) regardless of site. The CFL plants were especially tolerant of flooding conditions at Ft. Lauderdale. Under garden conditions, CFL Black-eyed Susan may be a highly desirable wildflower for subtropical or tropical summers.

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Dennis N. Portz and Gail R. Nonnecke

Yield of strawberry grown continuously on the same site often declines over time as a result of proliferation of weed seeds and pathogenic organisms in the soil. Plots were established and maintained in seven different cover crops and as continuous strawberry or continuous tillage for 10 years (1996 to 2005) in a site that was previously in strawberry production for 10 years (1986 to 1995). Cover crops included blackeyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta L.), sorghum Sudangrass [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench], marigold (Tagetes erecta L.), big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii Vitman), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), and Indiangrass [Sorghastrum nutans (L.) Nash]. Treatments were ended in 2005 and plots were planted with ‘Honeoye’ strawberry in a matted row. Effectiveness of soil pretreatments in reducing weed populations and enhancing strawberry production was evaluated for four growing seasons by quantifying weed growth by type and biomass and strawberry plant density and yield. The results indicate that matted-row strawberry production plots that were either in continuous tillage or established in S. bicolor, P. virgatum, or A. gerardii before planting strawberry had lower weed biomass and greater strawberry plant establishment and yield than plots established in L. perenne or R. hirta or that had supported continuous strawberry production.

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Daniel D. Beran, Roch E. Gaussoin and Robert A. Masters

Native wildflowers are important components of grassland communities and low-maintenance wildflower seed mixtures. Weed interference limits successful establishment of native wildflowers from seed. Experiments were conducted to determine the influence of the imidazolinone herbicides imazethapyr, imazapic, and imazaquin on the establishment of blackeyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta L.), upright prairieconeflower [Ratibida columnifera (Nutt) Woot. and Standl.], spiked liatris [Liatris spicata (L.) Willd.], blanket flower (Gaillardia aristata Pursh.), purple coneflower [Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench.], and spotted beebalm (Monarda punctata L.). Wildflower response to the herbicide treatments was variable and appeared to be influenced by the level of weed interference. Establishment of the native wildflowers after application of imazethapyr or imazapic at 70 g·ha-1 a.i. was generally improved at sites with greater weed interference. Emergence and density of wildflowers was often reduced by imazapic in sites with low weed interference. Flower density during the second growing season was usually either improved or not reduced by either imazethapyr or imazapic. Based on these findings, imazethapyr and imazapic can reduce weed interference and improve the establishment of some native wildflowers in areas with high weed infestations. Chemical names used: (±) -2-[4,5-dihydro-4-methyl-4-(1-methylethyl)-5-oxo-1H-imidazol-2-yl]-5-methyl-3-pyridinecarboxylic acid (imazapic); 2-[4,5-dihydro-4-methyl-4-(1-methylethyl)-5-oxo-1H-imidazol-2-yl]-3-quinolinecarboxylic acid (imazaquin); 2-[4,5-dihydro-4-methyl-4-(1-methylethyl)-5-oxo-1H-imidazol-2-yl]-5-ethyl-3-pyridinecarboxylic acid (imazethapyr).

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Anne Marie Johnson and Ted Whitwell

In a study examining the potential for production of a field grown wildflower sod, 29 annual and perennial wildflower species were evaluated. Species selection for the study was based on lack of a large taproot, adaptability to the southeastern climate, flowering period, and potential for surviving root undercutting. Species were individually seeded in 1-m2 plots in Fall 1993 and Spring 1994 to determine an optimum planting time. In early Spring 1994, fall seeded plots were undercut at a 5 cm depth with a hand held sod cutter. Spring planted species were undercut in early summer. After undercutting, sod pieces were placed on clear plastic under overhead irrigation for 7 weeks then transplanted to prepared field sites. Ratings for flower appearance, root mat density, top growth vigor and fresh root weights were taken at the time of undercutting and after transplanting. Fall-planted species had a higher survival rate than spring-planted species. Species with the highest ratings and greatest increase in fresh root weights from the time of undercutting to transplanting were yarrow (Achillea millefolium), oxeye daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum), lance-leaf coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata), plains coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria), blanketflower (Gaillardia aristata), lemon mint (Monarda citriodora), blackeyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), and moss verbena (Verbena tenuisecta).

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Gina M. Angelella, Laura Stange, Holly L. Scoggins and Megan E. O’Rourke

(Michx.) Greene, plains coreopsis– Coreopsis tinctoria Nutt., and indian blanket– Gaillardia pulchella Foug.], annual or biennial (blackeyed Susan– Rudbeckia hirta L.), and perennial forbs [lanceleaf coreopsis– Coreopsis lanceolata L., purple

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landscape requires planting practices that ensure good seed germination and subsequent growth. Seeds of Coreopsis tinctoria Nutt. (golden tickseed), Gaillardia pulchella Foug. (Indian blanket), and Rudbeckia hirta L. (blackeyed Susan) were sown in