A. Elia, G. Damato, V.A. Bianco
The effects of inflorescence removal time (topping) relative to stage of plant growth in Florence fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill. var. azoricum Thell.) and basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) were examined.

In the fennel during the first year 5 topping treatments were made: 1) control; 2) topping at boot stage; 3) topping at emergence of primary umbel (PU) with removal of the PU+first order, 4) topping at emergence of PU with removal of the PU only; 5) topping at beginning flowering of PU. In the second year topping treatments happened at boot stage, at initial and full flowering of PU.

In the basil 8 treatments were planned:1) control; 2) topping the main stem at appearance of the spike; 3) as treatment 2 by topping all the stems; 4) treatment 2, 7 days later; 5) treatment 3, 7 days later; 6) treatment 2 topped 14 days later; 7) topping apex and 2 expanded leaves below of all stems; 8) topping apex and 3 expanded leaves below of all stems

Topping treatments did not influence the yield and yield component of fennel and basil.

For the fennel in the first year germination percent was higher for the "seed" coming from PU and when the topping occurred at beginning of the flowering. "Seeds" from PU reached earlier predetermined germination percent and showed a higher germination value. In the second year, germination percent decreased when topping happened at boot stage and at beginning of the flowering, while the time to reach a pre-determinate germination percent was shorter when elimination of the PU occurred at full flowering.

In the basil higher and lower germination percent resulted by topping according to treatment n. 7 and n. 6 respectively. Longer time to reach ninety-five percent of the final germination was observed when plants were topped as treatment n. 2.

Elia, A., Damato, G. and Bianco, V.A. (1994). TOPPING TIME, YIELD AND QUALITY OF FLORENCE FENNEL AND BASIL SEED. Acta Hortic. 362, 75-82
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1994.362.8

Acta Horticulturae