Scheduling Flowering in Metrosideros excelsa (pohutukawa)
J. Clemens, R.E. Henriod, J. Song and P.E. Jameson
We have been working on a number of plants native to New Zealand to bring our knowledge to a stage at which some of them could be of use in the floricultural industry, either as cut flowers or flowering pot plants. Candidates receiving the greatest attention to date have been members of the Pacific genus Metrosideros, especially the New Zealand Christmas tree or pohutukawa (M. excelsa), and the colourful native legumes Sophora (kowhai) and Clianthus (kowhai ngutukaka or kaka beak). More recently, flowering in Phormium (flax) has been studied, and we are extending our findings in Metrosideros to plants in the closely related Eucalyptus group.
There are three parts to our research on pohutukawa: overcoming juvenility in micropropagated plants (i.e., making the plants become competent to flower as soon as possible), understanding the environmental signals that trigger flowering, and working out the conditions needed to control the timing of flowering and the effects on
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