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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Production and Ion Uptake of Celosia Argentea Irrigated with Saline Wastewaters

Authors
item Carter, Christy - USSL, UC RIVERSIDE,CA
item Grieve, Catherine
item Poss, James
item Suarez, Donald
item Suarez, Donald

Submitted to: Scientia Horticulturae
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 21, 2005
Publication Date: September 20, 2005
Citation: Carter, C.T., Grieve, C.M., Poss, J.A., Suarez, D.L. 2005. Production and ion uptake of celosia argentea irrigated with saline wastewaters. Scientia Horticultureae. 106:381-394.

Interpretive Summary: The reuse of saline wastewater and groundwaters becomes a viable option for the irrigation of salt tolerant floral crops as competition for high quality water increases. We tested the effects of two water compositions and six salinity levels on two cultivars of Celosia argentea var. cristata (L.) Kuntze under greenhouse conditions. Water compositions mimicked sea water and saline drainage waters of the Imperial and Coachella Valleys of southern California. Seeds of "Chief Rose" and "Chief Gold" were sown in 36 greenhouse sand tanks and phenotypic measurements were taken when plants were harvested after flowering. All phenotypic measurements, including stem length and weight, inflorescence length and weight, number of leaves, and stem diameter, showed an overall decrease as salinity increased for both cultivars. Ion analyses showed that calcium, potassium and total-phosphorous decreased in leaf tissues as salinity increased, whereas magnesium, sodium, and chloride increased with increasing salinity. Based on 41 cm stem length for marketability, "Chief Gold" may be produced for commercial use in saline waters with electrical conductivities of 12 dS/m for both water compositions. "Chief Rose" may be produced up to 10 dS/m in water simulating the Imperial and Coachella Valleys and up to 8 dS/m for water compositions similar to sea water. Both varieties may be produced along coastal areas where sea water intrusion may be problematic and in inland areas where drainage waters are typically used for irrigation. Salinity also functions as a natural alternative to growth regulators to control for excessive stem length.

Technical Abstract: The reuse of saline wastewaters and groundwaters becomes a viable option for the irrigation of salt tolerant floral crops as competition for high quality water increases. A completely randomized design with three replications was used to assess the effects of two water ionic compositions and six salinity levels on the production and mineral accumulation of two cultivars of Celosia argentea var. cristata (L.) Kuntze under greenhouse conditions. Ionic water compositions mimicked sea water and saline drainage waters of the Imperial and Coachella Valleys of California. Electrical conductivity levels included 2.5 (control), 4.0, 6.0, 8.0, 10.0, and 12.0 dS/m. Seeds representing the two cultivars ("Chief Rose" and "Chief Gold") were sown in 36 greenhouse sand tanks. Leaf mineral concentrations were determined one month from planting for Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+, Cl-, total-S, and total-P. Phenotypic measurements were taken when plants were harvested after flowering. For both cultivars and ionic water compositions, concentrations for Ca2+, K+, and total-P decreased as salinity increased whereas Mg2+, Na+, and Cl- concentrations increased with increasing salinity. Significant two-way interactions were found between water ionic composition and salinity for all mineral concentrations for both cultivars (P < 0.05). All phenotypic measurements showed an overall decrease as salinity increased for both cultivars. Based on stem length measurements, "Chief Gold" may be produced for commercial use in saline waters with electrical conductivities of 12 dS/m in both water compositions. "Chief Rose" may be produced in salinity concentrations up to 10 dS/m for water compositions similar to the Imperial and Coachella Valleys and up to 8 dS/m for water compositions similar to sea water. Producing cut flowers in saline waters also reduces excessive stem length, which occurs when plants are grown in control treatments.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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