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Flowering in Heliconia Rostrata Ruiz & Pavon

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Title:Flowering in Heliconia Rostrata Ruiz & Pavon
Authors:Maciel, Norberto
Date Issued:2000
Abstract:The factors that affect the seasonal blooming of Heliconia rostrata in Hawaii and how to use them to obtain off season flowering were studied. These studies show that this pattern of blooming is due to photoperiod. Competent shoots (3 or more unfurled leaves) from different experiments subjected to short days (SD) less than 11.5 hours for periods of 4 to 8 weeks did flower. Plants growing under daylength >13 hours or <12 hours but with supplemental light or night break did not flower. The critical daylength was between 1 Ih 45m and 12h. On the other hand, night temperature did not induce flower initiation. Therefore, H. rostrata is a typical obligate or qualitative short day plant. The imposition of SD allows an earlier blooming season by inducing flowering, whereas the extension of daylength delays blooming by inhibiting the induction. The emergence of the inflorescence from the shoots occurred 21 to 29 weeks after the onset of SD.
Under Hawaii's natural daylength, the floral apex was observed microscopically 2 months prior to blooming. Floral shoots had from 6 to 12 leaves, depending on the number present at induction, while in non-induced shoots, the number of leaves can reach up to 15 since the apex would still produce leaves even if it had reached the competent stage to be induced.
Shoot density, daylength, and shoot generation were related with floral shoots and apex death. More inflorescences were developed in pots with one shoot per generation than in pots with all shoots per generation. At higher shoot density there were more dead shoots. The highest percentage of flowering shoots was also observed under continuous SD from all generations of shoots than in plants under 8 weeks of SD followed by long days. The results also showed a differential response between floral and dead shoots with the generations. The second generation of shoots showed the highest flowering. The highest shoot death occurred at the first generation. Stage of development of shoots at the moment of induction and competition among shoots for assimilates were suggested as possible causes of apex shoot death.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Horticulture

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