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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Relative Salt Tolerance of Four Herbaceous Perennial Ornamentals

Texas A&M AgriLife Research, El Paso, TX 79927, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Horticulturae 2019, 5(2), 36;
Received: 26 March 2019 / Revised: 25 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 11 May 2019
Salt tolerant ornamental plants can be irrigated with alternative water sources that are typically saline as a sustainable practice for urban landscaping, especially in arid and semi-arid regions. However, the salt tolerance of many ornamentals is not known. An eight-week greenhouse experiment was conducted to assess the relative salt tolerance of four perennial ornamentals, ‘Angelina’ (Sedum rupestre), ‘Autumn Joy’ (S. telephium), ‘Blue Spruce’ (S. reflexum), and ‘Blue Daze’ (Evolvulus glomeratus). The plants were grown in pots with potting mix substrate and irrigated with control or saline solutions. The electrical conductivities (EC) of the saline solutions were 5.0 and 10.0 mS/cm. Data collected included relative shoot, root, and total dry weight (DW), visual score, shoot tissue concentrations of Na+, Cl, K+, and Ca2+, and the K+/Na+ ratio. There were significant differences in treatment and varieties for all response variables, and some interactions were also significant, indicating different responses to salinity for the four varieties. Shoot, root, and total DW decreased with increasing salinity for all varieties. Visual score was highest in Autumn Joy and Blue Spruce when treated with EC5 and EC10 and lowest in Angelina and Blue Daze, the latter of which showed symptoms of moderate foliar damage including leaf necrosis, or “burn”, due to salt stress. The concentrations of Na+ and Cl in the shoot tissue increased with increasing salinity while K+ and Ca2+ and the K+/Na+ ratio tended to decrease. Of the four varieties of herbaceous perennial ornamentals evaluated in this study, Autumn Joy and Blue Spruce were considered the most relatively salt tolerant while Angelina and Blue Daze were least tolerant. View Full-Text
Keywords: ornamentals; herbaceous; perennials; salt tolerance; salinity ornamentals; herbaceous; perennials; salt tolerance; salinity
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Hooks, T.; Niu, G. Relative Salt Tolerance of Four Herbaceous Perennial Ornamentals. Horticulturae 2019, 5, 36.

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