Ranunculus asiaticus: from research to production
The interest on ornamental geophytes has grown over the years due to the important impact of these crops on different market segments (cut flowers, potted plants, propagation material and use in the landscape) and their adaptability to different cultural cycles and conditions. In Italy, ornamental geophytes have known moments of notoriety followed by declines but to date the so-called minor geophytes have an important role in the national flower industry. Among these ones, Ranunculus has gained importance and for instance in our Region (Liguria) it is the most popular cut flower. Ranunculus is cultivated in different countries and its commercialization has an international impact with opportunity for an all-over year production. To testify this impact, the studies on Ranunculus have increased over recent years. Since the first work in seventies, the research on this crop has greatly advanced in the field of propagation, pest management and cultural practices although still challenges should be faced to achieve a good standard and high production quality. Our Institute has been working on Ranunculus for more than 30 years. The first goal for us was to point out a reliable micropropagation protocol enabling to provide the growers with cultivars for which standard production could be applied. The availability of micropropagated plant material allowed us to introduce a new product onto the market: the Ranunculus clone with improved agronomic performance compared to the seedling production. A production chain was then developed able to ensure a high and standard quality through insights related to the phytopathological health, the integrated pest management, the cultural practices and the production costs. This presentation deals with the most relevant results obtained in our work and is aimed at outlining the challenges which should be still faced.
Beruto, M., Martini, P. and Viglione, S. (2019). Ranunculus asiaticus: from research to production. Acta Hortic. 1237, 117-128
crop management, floriculture, production systems, tissue culture