Synchrony of inflorescence initiation and shoot growth in selected Protea cultivars
Protea L. sp. can be assigned to groups according to similar times of flower initiation and harvest. The stages occurring during flower initiation and their synchrony relative to shoot growth were investigated for three cultivars when flower initiation occurred on the spring growth flush. For all three cultivars, the spring flush was preformed and enclosed in the apical bud before spring budbreak. During elongation of the spring flush, the apical meristem produced floral primordia which differentiated into involucral bracts. After completion of the spring flush, meristematic activity continued and produced floral bracts with florets in their axils. The different cultivars were characterized by differences or similarities in the time of budbreak, and the rates of shoot growth, appendage formation, and flower development. Insight into the time of flower initiation relative to vegetative growth could be useful in making management decisions, as well as forming a basis for manipulation of the flowering process.