Per se performance of heliconia cultivars for yield and quality under Eastern ghats
The experiment was conducted at Horticultural Research Station, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Yercaud during 2010 – 2011 with 38 Heliconia cultivars. The different types of Heliconias were collected from different sources and evaluated for their performance under Eastern Ghat. The biometric and flowering characters viz., plant height(cm), plant spread in East-West and North-South direction(cm), leaf length (cm), Leaf breath (cm), number of leaves per plant, number of suckers per plant, length of spike (cm), length of stalk (cm), Girth of stalk and number of spikes /clump/year were recorded. The results indicated that, based on the height of the plant, Heliconias can be classified into three categories viz., tall types, medium types and dwarf type. Among the heliconia accessions, Parakeet, Black Cherry, Golden Torch Sunshine, Lady Di, Strawberry Cream, Alancarli, Tropics, Dwarf Jamaica, Kenya Red, Alex Red, Andromeda, Petracover, Sexy Scarlet, Sexy Pink, and Gyana are dwarf types. Princess of Darkness, Wagenariana, Indonesian Wax Ginger and Auria are tall types. H.rostrata, Lataspathy, Barbados Flat, Caribean Cream, Jacqualine and Angusta are medium types. The pseudostem of all the heliconia accessions is glabrous except Shee. Dwarf types are found to be promising under sub-tropical conditions compared to Medium types and tall types. The results revealed that cv. Princess of Darkness recorded the highest plant height (6.5m), plant spread in East-West direction (2.1 m) and North-South (2.6m). The highest number of leaves was recorded in Temptress (22), maximum leaf length of 120 cm in Lobster Claw and the maximum leaf breadth in H. bihai Yellow dancer. Maximum sucker production was recorded in Wagenarian (24), H. caribean Falsh and Barbados Flat (23). Maximum stalk length was observed in Angusta (77.0 cm). It could be concluded from the present investigation that the out of 38 types of Heliconia accessions, Lady Di, Strawberry Cream. Alancarli, Tropics, Dwarf Jamaica, Kenya Red, Alex Red, Andromeda, Petracover and Gyana were identified as best performers under Eastern Gaht conditions. The year round blooming was found to be good in these best cultivars with floral quality and yield and recommended for cut flower production under Shevaroy condition of Eastern Ghats.
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