Phenology study of Myrtus communis accessions selected from wild populations of Sicily: preliminary results
Myrtus communis is a Mediterranean shrub widely diffused in Sicily. To promote the cultivation of myrtle, seven wild populations were collected from different areas of Sicily, with the aim to select new candidate cultivars in the frame of a selection program. Considering the berries value in the food industry, many efforts need to be done to cultivate myrtle as alternative to harvest from wild plants. To promote cultivation few important phenologic traits have been recorded in candidate cultivar selections from wild populations in Sicily. This study was performed in a repository field under homogeneous environmental conditions. The vegetation activity of the selected accessions begins in January/February and all myrtle plants keep growing until December. Differences in number and time of flowering fluxes on myrtle accessions were observed. All Monte Pellegrino, most of Riserva Zigaro and few myrtle accessions from Ispica and Ribera showed two flowering fluxes in June and July, while only three Monte Pellegrino accessions present also a third flowering between August and the beginning of November. High variability was observed in fruit ripening time. In general, Ribera and Sciacca populations present an early fruit ripening period from October to January, while Scopello and Ispica myrtle berries ripen later (from November to February). Future studies will be conducted in order to select genotypes for domestication program.
Melito, S., La Bella, S., Martinelli, F., Cammalleri, I., Tuttolomondo, T., Leto, C. and Mulas, M. (2017). Phenology study of Myrtus communis accessions selected from wild populations of Sicily: preliminary results. Acta Hortic. 1172, 231-236
aromatic crop, phenology, candidate cultivar