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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Evaluation and Forcing of Curcuma As Potted Plant and Cut Flower

Authors
item Roh, Mark
item Lawson, Roger - FORMER ARS, FNPRU
item Lee, Jong Suk - CHUNGNAM NAT'L UNIV,KOREA
item Suh, Jeung Keun - DANKOOK UNIV, KOREA
item Criley, Richard - UNIV OF HAWAII, HAWAII
item Apavatjrut, Pimchai - CHIANG MAI UNIV, THAILAND

Submitted to: Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 24, 2005
Publication Date: January 6, 2006
Citation: Roh, M.S., Lawson, R., Lee, J.S., Suh, J.K., Criley, R.A. and Apavatjrut, P. 2006. Evaluation of Curcuma as potted plants and cut flowers. 81(1):63-71.

Interpretive Summary: Curcuma (Zingiberaceae) is native to tropical Asia and includes plants used for medicine, dyes, spices, and as herbaceous ornamentals. The large, concave or hooded bracts are perhaps the showiest feature of the plants and are the basis for their use as potted plants and cut flowers. Dormancy of Curcuma rhizomes is broken when rhizomes were stored until spring and dormancy must be broken before new growth resumes. However, evaluation of diverse Curcuma germplasm for production as cut flowers or potted plants has not been extensively conducted. More detailed physiological abnormalities observed in leaves have not been investigated. Plants of Curcuma parviflora 'White Angel' flowered in 50 to 89 days and C. 'CMU Pride' flowered in 104 days, and were acceptable as potted plants. Plants of C. alismatifolia flowered 96 to 133 days after potting, and can be used as a cut flower. The floral stem length of 'White Angel', ranged from 27 to 35 cm. A high level of boron may cause marginal leaf burn observed on old leaves of ‘CMU Pride’ at flowering. The level of ethanol-soluble fructose, glucose, and sucrose in tuberous roots of Curcuma was higher than the level in rhizomes and increased as storage temperatures increased. It is recommended to store rhizomes at 25 - 30oC after harvest for 2 - 3 months to break dormancy. Based on the similar morphological characters between C. thorelii, ‘Chiang Mai Snow’ and C. parviflora, ‘White Angel’, identification of Curcuma accessions using molecular markers may be required in future studies.

Technical Abstract: Sixteen accessions of Curcuma germplasm, and several selected accessions of Curcuma were evaluated for use as potted plants or as cut flowers. Curcuma alismatifolia Gagnep., and C. thorelii Gagnep., ‘Chiang Mai Snow’ met standards for cut flower and pot plant use, respectively. Further, C. parviflora Will., ‘White Angel’ proved to be a good selection for potted plant production. Optimum storage temperatures of rhizomes were studied in relation to greenhouse forcing and carbohydrate changes. It is recommended to store rhizomes at 25 - 30oC after harvest for 2 - 3 months to break dormancy. Plants of C. parviflora 'White Angel' flowered in 50 to 89 days and C. 'CMU Pride' flowered in 104 days after potting, and were acceptable as potted plants. Plants of C. alismatifolia flowered 96 to 133 days after potting with floral stem length suitable for use as a cut flower. A high level of boron or manganese may cause the burn at the margin of the leaves (marginal leaf burn) observed on old leaves of ‘CMU Pride’ at flowering. The level of ethanol-soluble fructose, glucose, and sucrose in elongated rhizomes with emerged short shoots of Curcuma was higher than the level in rhizomes and increased as storage temperatures increased. Accelerated leaf emergence may be associated with the increase in the glucose and fructose content. Based on the similar morphological characters between C. thorelli, ‘Chiang Mai Snow’ and C. parviflora, ‘White Angel’, identification of Curcuma accessions is required in the future studies.

Last Modified: 8/1/2014
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