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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 92 No. 6, p. 1206-1210
    Received: Jan 18, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): mas44@psu.edu
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Chicory and English Plantain Seedling Emergence at Different Planting Depths

  1. Matt A. Sanderson * and
  2. Gerald F. Elwinger
  1. USDA-ARS, Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Res. Unit, Building 3702, Curtin Rd., University Park, PA 16802-3702 USA


Chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) and English plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.) have been introduced in the USA as perennial herbs for pastures. A knowledge of seedling emergence and the structure of these species under different planting conditions is necessary for developing planting recommendations. We conducted controlled environment and field studies to compare the emergence and morphology of chicory and plantain seedlings from three planting depths. ‘Grasslands Puna’, ‘La Certa’, and ‘Forage Feast’ chicory, and ‘Ceres Tonic’ and ‘Grasslands Lancelot’ plantain were sown at 1, 3, and 6 cm depths in the growth chamber and greenhouse. The seedlings were destructively sampled 14 d after emergence, and the number and mass of leaves and roots (primary, lateral, basal, and adventitious) were recorded. The same cultivars were sown in field plots in July and September 1998 to determine seedling size and emergence from 1-, 3-, or 6-cm planting depths. Controlled environment studies showed that deeper planting reduced the root weight, length, and number more in chicory than in plantain. Planting at 3 and 6 cm in the field reduced seedling emergence by 34 and 60% (avg. of cultivars), respectively, compared with the 1-cm planting depth. Differences in seedling size among cultivars within species were mainly related to differences in seed mass. Plantain had better seedling emergence in the field than chicory (54 vs. 27% in July and 60 vs. 17% in Sept.), and these differences were not related to differences in seed mass. Both chicory and plantain should be planted no deeper than 1 cm for rapid establishment.

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