F. Schiappacasse, J.C. Szigeti, E. Manzano, R. Kamenetsky
Eremurus is a popular ornamental geophyte, originated from Asia and used for cut flower production in regions with a temperate climate. The underground organs of the plant consist of tuberous roots and a corm-like crown with renewal buds. During the annual growth cycle, long period of low temperatures under 10°C is required for dormancy release and further flowering. In September 2009, underground storage organs of cultivars ‘Line Dance’ and ‘Tango’ were harvested in The Netherlands and immediately air-shipped to Aysen, Chile. Prior to planting, the plant material was subjected to the following treatments: control (no cold applied, immediate planting); immersion in gibberellic acid (25 ppm GA3, no cold applied, immediate planting); and storage at 2°C for 6, 14 or 17 weeks. After planting, only the plants subjected to 2°C for 14 and 17 weeks sprouted and developed leaves and flower stems. Plants stored for 14 weeks flowered at the end of March, while plants stored for 17 weeks were planted too late in the season and early frosts damaged the flower stems. In the next spring (September 2010) the plants that had emerged more than 90% in the previous season did not show a satisfactory performance. At the same time, plants that did not emerge in the first season, sprouted the following spring. It was concluded that storage of Eremurus plant material at low temperature for 14 weeks is sufficient for dormancy release and that, after introduction, plant development in the following season is inhibited by an unsatisfactory development of the flower bud during the previous season. In-depth research on plant development and flowering physiology are needed for successful introduction of Eremurus and other ornamental geophytes into Chile from the Northern Hemisphere.
Schiappacasse, F., Szigeti, J.C., Manzano, E. and Kamenetsky, R. (2013). EREMURUS AS A NEW CUT FLOWER CROP IN AYSEN, CHILE: INTRODUCTION FROM THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE. Acta Hortic. 1002, 115-121
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2013.1002.13
cold treatment, dormancy, flowering ornamental geophytes

Acta Horticulturae