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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 58 No. 2, p. 189-192
    Received: Aug 13, 1965

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Tiller and Leaf Behavior of Orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) in a Broadcast Planting1

  1. T. H. Taylor and
  2. W. C. Templeton2



The growth and development of a ‘Boone’ orchardgrass sward was observed from sowing in September to 1 year of age. Data were obtained on tiller density, leaf area, dry matter accumulation, rate of leaf appearance and senescence, and carbohydrate food reserves in the stubble.

The young plants tillered profusely in autumn, late winter, and early spring. Tillering in early spring was of first, second, and third order. Under seed-crop conditions viable tiller density declined from an average of 768 per 10 square decimeters (1.08 square feet) May 1 to 390 by June 15, the time of seed harvest. At certain times the rate of dry matter accumulation was related to leaf-area index, but at other periods no relationship was apparent. Individual seedling shoots which flowered in the spring developed 15 leaves during their life cycle. Seedling shoots that failed to flower in spring and remained, viable through the summer continued to add leaves to the short stem axis. An average of 22 leaves per shoot was produced in 1 year. Considering all types of shoots, mean interval between appearance of successive leaves on a plant during the growth periods was 11 days. Life span of leaf blades during spring and summer was 28.0 ± 9.1 days. Stubble of seed-bearing tillers cut June 15 was higher in carbohydrates than that of contemporary nonflowering tillers. Rapid expansion of leaves on nonflowering tillers accounted for most of the early regrowth following a harvest in which jointing tillers were cut below the merlstems.

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