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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Reproductive Morphology of Five Kentucky Bluegrass Cultivars


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 84 No. 2, p. 144-147
    Received: Oct 19, 1990

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. J. L. Rhoads,
  2. J. H. Dunn ,
  3. D. D. Minner and
  4. K. L. Hunt
  1. Horticulture Dep., Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211



A problem associated with plant growth retardant applications in Kentucky bluegrass, Poa pratensis L., is the application window for effective seedhead and vegetative growth suppression. Theoretically, the optimum timing for growth retardant applications would be just prior to the peak growth period in spring and before the inflorescence becomes visible above the youngest leaf. The objective of this field study was to determine if time of primordia initiation as an indicator of inflorescence development is consistent in selected Kentucky bluegrass cultivars in successive growing seasons. Initiation of inflorescence primordia was determined by randomly sampling and dissecting primary tillers of each cultivar during the late winter-early spring and observing under a dissecting microscope. Our research showed that dates marking a transition from vegetative toward a predominately reproductive growth habit varied significantly among Kentucky bluegrass cultivars in both years. Also, one of the six cultivars, Kenblue “low maintenance” was not in a similar reproductive condition on several observation dates occuring in the same calendar week of 1986 compared with 1987. These results, based on our 2-yr study, show that reproductive variation exists among Kentucky bluegrass cultivars, and that some cultivars may not develop inflorescences annually within calendar date application windows for growth retardants with much predictability.

Contribution from Missouri Agri. Exp. Station, Journal Series No. 11311.

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