Nitrogen nutrition of giant chincherinchee (ornitbogalum saundersiae l.)
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The study was conducted to investigate the influence of nitrogen fertilization and size of mother bulbs on growth and flowering of Giant chincherinchee (Ornithogalum saundersiae). It was also carried out to assess the carryover effect of nitrogen from one season to the other by mother bulbs to daughter bulbs. It was carried out at the University farm in Kabete (Altitude 1940m) between February 1993 and April 1994. The experiment was a 3 x 4 factorial randomized complete block design. The treatment factors comprised of three bulb sizes, small (3.0-4.0 em) medium (5.0-6.0 em) large (7.0-8.0 em) and four nitrogen levels (0, 90, 180 and 270 kg N/ha). The treatment combinations were in three replications. Nitrogen application did not have a significant effect on days to 50% flowering, total shoot production, floral shoot production, percent flowering, flower stalk length, flower stalk diameter and the number of daughter bulbs produced. Increasing nitrogen (N) application increased foliar and daughter bulb N content. There was a significant N carryover effect from mother bulbs to daughter bulbs but the nitrogen that was carried over had no correlation with subsequent growth parameters measured. (ix) Bulb size significantly affected growth and flowering of giant chincherinchee. Small bulbs produced fewer shoots and floral stalks while larger bulbs produced more shoots and floral stalks. Flower stalks produced by large bulbs were of satisfactory market quality in terms of length and diameter. It was concluded that large bulbs measuring 6-8 cm in diameter should be recommended for use by growers to establish a cut flower crop of Giant chincherinchee. A differrent crop can be grown using small bulbs for production of daughter bulb propagules which will be large in size. The "seed" crop can be grown with some nitrogen as it will be carried over to the next season.