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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Factors Effecting Establishment of Perennial and Semi-Perennial Hibiscus Species and Hybrids As Field Crops

Authors
item Bost, Georgia - BOST, HOUSTON, TEXAS
item Sij, JR., John - TEXAS A&M UNIV., BEAUMONT
item Webber, Charles

Submitted to: Kenaf Association International Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 15, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) has been studied as a fiber and feed crop There are also many other Hibiscus species that show promise for their food value, fibers, large flowers and prolific seed production. There is little or no information documenting the establishment of many of these other hibiscus species. The objective of this research was to determine the differences in field establishment of a number of Hibiscus that show promise as commercial crops. Kenaf and related hibiscus plants were evaluated for establishment in the field by either direct seeding or transplanting. The field trials were locate at Texas A&M's Beaumont field station in May 1995. All of the species and hybrids tested are potential "permanent" food and fiber crops with a long amortization period, and can be managed for multiple harvests per year using sustainable agricultural practices. Seed establishment was very poor due to the inundated condition nof the field plots , except for kenaf ("Everglades 71"). Kenaf has a muc larger seed and much shorter germination period than do the other species tested. Overall, establishment and survival of potted plants was excellent. Data suggests that seeds of Hibiscus spp. may have more than one trigger for germination. Possible management strategies for these potential perennial crops will be driven by the farmer's choice of the primary and secondary products that they want to produce annually from a given field, and by the mature size and vigor of the species or hybrids to be managed.

Technical Abstract: Kenaf (H. cannabinus), has been studied as a fiber crop for the last 40-50 years. There are also numerous other Hibiscus species that show promise for their food value, fibers, large flowers and prolific seed production. There is little or no information documenting the establishment of many of these other hibiscus species. The objective of this research was to determine the differences in field establishment of a number of Hibiscus that show promise as commercial crops. Field trials were initiated at Texas A&M's Beaumont field station in May 1995 to evaluate 14 species and subspecies of Hibiscus, plus 17 hybrids of Hibiscus Section Meunchhusia species, as potential alternative food and fiber crops. All of the species and hybrids tested are potential "permanent" food and fiber crops with a long amortization period, and can be managed for multiple harvests per year using sustainable agricultural practices. Thirteen wild Hibiscus genomes, plus Abelmoschus manihot, were established from potted stock; eight Hibiscus genomes were attempted by seed. Due to the inundated condition of the field plots, seed establishment was very poor, except for kenaf ("Everglades 71"), which has a much larger seed and much shorter germination period than do the other species tested. Overall, establishment and survivial of potted plants was excellent. Datea suggests that seeds of Hibiscus spp. may have more than one trigger for germination. Possible management strategies for these potential perennial crops will be driven by the farmer's choice of the primary and secondary products that they want to produce annually from a given field, and by the mature size and vigor of the species or hybrids to be managed.

Last Modified: 11/27/2014
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