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Effect of Four Shading Levels on Flower Stem and Corm Quality of Liatris (Liatris spicata)

Flavia Schiappacasse C.1*, Gilda Carrasco S.1 y Fabiola Carrasco C.1,2

Liatris spicata (L.) Willd. was introduced to Chile as a cut flower crop more than a decade ago. It is commonly field-planted in consecutive plantings during spring and summer. The propagation structure is a corm that is reused in subsequent plantings. Other field crops are shaded to reduce the temperature, but in liatris, the effect of shading under our conditions on both cut flowers and corms is unknown. The present study assessed the cut flower quality of L. spicata cultivated in the VII Region (35°33’ S lat, 71°13’ W long), Chile, utilizing nets providing 35, 50, 65 and 80% shade, plus a control treatment without shade. As well, the weight of the corms was recorded one, four and eight weeks after flower harvest. The effect of shade on flower quality was evident at harvest time; the plants that grew at full sun had longer spikes and greater stem diameters. The weight of corms at the third evaluation was greatest in the control treatment, and at the first evaluation these values were lower than in the last evaluation. As the shade negatively affected both flower quality and corm weight, it was concluded that shading nets should not be recommended under the experimental conditions.

Key words: Liatris spicata, liatris, cut flower, bulb, corm, light level.

1 Universidad de Talca, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Casilla 747, Talca, Chile. E-mail: fschiap@utalca.cl *Corresponding author.

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