Abstract of a paper based on work funded in part by the Australian Flora Foundation

Vernalization promotes flowering of a heat tolerant Calandrinia while long days replace vernalization for early flowering of Brunonia
Robyn L. Cave and Margaret E. Johnston, The University of Queensland, The Centre for Native Floriculture, School of Land, Crop and Food Sciences, Gatton, Qld 4343, Australia
Scientia Horticulturae (2010) 123: 379–384

The flowering responses of Brunonia australis (blue pincushion) and Calandrinia sp. to vernalization, photoperiod, temperature and plant age were investigated to provide a foundation for manipulating flowering in these potential potted plants. Plants were vernalized at 4.8°C for 0, 3 or 6 weeks at the plant age of 1–4 or 8–14 leaves. Following vernalization, plants were grown at 25/10 or 35/20 8°C (day/night) under short days (11 h, ambient daylight averaged 380± 44 mmol m-2 s-1) or long days (16 h) provided by an additional 5 h night break (21:00–2:00 h at <4.5 mmol m-2 s-1 from incandescent lamps), for 85 days.

This is the first work to investigate flowering of these ornamental species. Both species showed enhanced flowering following vernalization and a quantitative requirement for long days. The reduction of the time until the first visible inflorescence (Brunonia) or flower (Calandrinia) buds by 8–13 days was affected by vernalization for 3 or 6 weeks, respectively. Long days were effective for reducing the time to first visible floral bud and increasing the number of inflorescence or flowers per plant for both species. For Brunonia, LDs replaced vernalization when applied to plants with 1–4 leaves. Raising temperature from 25/10 to 35/20 8°C increased the number of flowers per plant of Calandrinia by 2–2.5-fold for plants with 1–4 or 8–14 leaves respectively.