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Time of flower bud initiation in peach cultivars differing in chilling requirement



Time of flower bud initiation in peach cultivars differing in chilling requirement



Hortscience 22(2): 216-218



Time of flower bud initiation was determined for nine peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.] cultivars, three in each of three chilling requirement groups (< 500 hr, 500-750 hr. and 800-1050 hr below 7.2.degree.C). Based on morphology of the apical dome, the first visible signs of flower bud initiation of all cultivars occurred between 15 July and 8 Aug. 1984, and between 1 and 20 July 1985. The earlier initiation period in 1985 may have been promoted by drought stress. Although significant differences occurred in time of flower bud initiation among chilling requirement groups in both years, they were not consistent from year to year, indicating that chilling requirement is not strongly associated with time of flower bud initiation. The rate of morphological development of flower primordia was not associated with earliness of flower bud initiation. 'Diamante', while early in flower bud initiation, showed a slow rate of subsequent flower development. No relationship was found between time of flower initiation and either time of bloom or time of fruit ripening of the cultivars.

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