Freezing Tolerance of Chicory and Narrow-Leaf Plantain
- R. Howard Skinner * and
- David L. Gustine
‘Ceres Tonic’ and ‘Grasslands Lancelot’ narrow-leaf plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.) and ‘Grasslands Puna’ chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) have received considerable interest as potential new forages for the northeastern USA because of their reported drought tolerance and high forage quality. However, all three cultivars were developed under New Zealand conditions and may not have sufficient winter hardiness to survive northeastern USA winters. Growth chamber and field studies were conducted to determine the freezing tolerance and winter survival of these new forages under well-watered and drought conditions. Winter survival of chicory in the field ranged from 73% of marked plants in the wet treatment to 93% following summer drought. Likewise, winter survival of plantain in the field increased from 3% in the wet treatment to 41% in the dry treatment. Survival of Lancelot plantain in the growth chamber increased from 4% in the well-watered to 16% in the drought treatment. However, survival of Tonic plantain and Puna chicory in the growth chamber was not affected by drought. Chicory survival was greater than survival of plantain in both controlled and field environments. Puna chicory appears to have sufficient winter hardiness to survive winters in the northeastern United States. Although Lancelot had slightly greater survival than Tonic, neither plantain cultivar had sufficient freezing tolerance to be recommended for use in the northeastern USA. Improved cultivars will need to be developed from populations that have evolved under more severe winter conditions before plantain can become a viable forage for most of this region.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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