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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 42 No. 6, p. 1959-1965
    Received: Oct 16, 2001

    * Corresponding author(s): gesch@morris.ars.usda.gov
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Yield and Growth Response of Cuphea to Sowing Date

  1. Russ W. Gesch *a,
  2. Frank Forcellaa,
  3. Nancy Barboura,
  4. Bliss Phillipsb and
  5. Ward B. Voorheeesa
  1. a USDA-ARS, North Central Soil Conservation Research Laboratory, Morris, MN 56267, USA
    b USDA-ARS, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Peoria, IL 61604


Select germplasm of Cuphea, developed from an interspecific hybridization of C. viscosissima Jacq. and C. lanceolata f. Silenoides W.T. Aiton, shows good potential for commercial production in short-season temperate climates. Cuphea seed oil could serve as a domestic source of medium-chain fatty acids, which are in high demand by the chemical manufacturing industry. However, little is known about proper management practices for Cuphea agronomic production. A field study was conducted in west central Minnesota to determine optimum time of sowing in the northern Corn Belt region and describe influences of sowing date on growth and seed yield components of a semidomesticated germplasm line (PSR23). Seed was sown on 15 April, 1 May, 15 May, 1 June, and 15 June 1999 and 2000. Sowing in May resulted in greatest seed and seed-oil yields, which were as high as 1.09 and 0.29 Mg ha−1, respectively. Seed yield declined as much as 31% when sown 15 April and 65% when sowing was delayed until 15 June. Plants developed from seed sown before June tended to form more branches and accumulated a greater amount of aboveground biomass. Typically, there was a distinct decrease in plant biomass accumulation and most seed yield components when sowing date was delayed until June. Cuphea PSR23 can be successfully grown in the northern Corn Belt, with early to mid May being the best time for sowing.

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Copyright © 2002. Crop Science Society of AmericaPublished in Crop Sci.42:1959–1965.