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Germination and performance of seven native wildflowers in the Mediterranean landscape plantings

Enrico Scarici, Maria Elena Provenzano, Francesco Rossini, Roberto Ruggeri
  • Enrico Scarici
    Department of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy
  • Maria Elena Provenzano
    Department of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy
  • Francesco Rossini
    Department of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy

Abstract

The use of native species in landscape design is a choice related to environmental sustainability and it contributes to the aesthetic appeal of urban and marginal areas. However, to date, the lack of knowledge of the ecological characteristics and agronomic practices of these species, represents a limit for their use. This study aims to obtain information about germination ecology, morphological traits and ornamental value of 7 selected perennial native taxa, with potential use in meadows seed mixtures for the Mediterranean environment. Seed germination for each taxon was assessed under different conditions (temperature, photoperiod and pre-treatment) in a controlled environment, while data on plant performances was collected from field plots. In general, the dormant seeds showed a positive response to pre-treatment with gibberellic acid (GA3) and chilling within a period of about six months from the time of seed collection. The dependence of germination on light and temperature was observed in most of the tested taxa. Differences in plant height and flowering dynamics gave practical directions in terms of combining seeds of different species to create and maintain a wildflower meadow in lowmaintenance areas. Crepis bursifolia L. and Hypochaeris radicata L. were the only two species which showed good persistence during the two-year field study and met the aesthetic requirements of low-input Mediterranean landscaping. Our study by adding original findings to the limited knowledge available on wildflower sowing in the Mediterranean environment,contributes to the development of sustainable strategies in the greening projects designed for those peculiar climatic conditions.

Keywords

Herbaceous perennials; Native plants; Germination ecology; Flowering dynamic; Seed dormancy breaking

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Submitted: 2017-06-12 18:23:51
Published: 2017-10-27 12:03:48
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Copyright (c) 2017 Enrico Scarici, Francesco Rossini, Maria Elena Provenzano, Roberto Ruggeri

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
 
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