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Yield and quality of new commercial seed grown artichoke hybrids

Calabrese, N., De Palma, E., Bianco, V.V.
Acta horticulturae 2004 no.660 pp. 77-82
adventitious shoots, artichokes, autumn, bracts, buds, color, cultivars, fiber content, freezing, hybrids, leaves, pH, planting, urea
Usually artichoke is vegetatively propagated. This method often causes physiological, pathological and economically disadvantages. Some of them can be avoided, or reduced, by seed propagation. Commercial seed grown artichoke hybrids are recently available and can represent a valid alternative to the traditional cultivars. The aim of this study was to evaluate the yield and the qualitative features of these new cultivars. Four commercial hybrids: 'Concerto', 'Opal', 'Violin', 'Menuet' (selected by Nunhems) were transplanted in the open field in July 2000; in comparison, the cv. 'Violetto di Provenza', was planted in the same date using rooted offshoots. Control and GA3 at 5 ppm was applied, starting 60 days after planting, three times to the foliage of all plants at three week intervals, using a pH 4 solution acidified with urea phosphate. Twenty harvests, as average, were made in both years from October to May. Number, weight, width, length, colour of bracts, dry matter and fibre of primary and secondary buds were recorded at each harvest. Small buds used for processing, height of the inflorescence complex (pappus), and atrophic buds were recorded. The suitability to quick freezing of the new hybrids were also performed. The results show the possibility to obtain autumn production in some cultivars with GA3 treatments: the harvests started 91 and 125 days after planting, in earlier and later cultivars respectively. The number of buds per hectare varied among cultivars from 222,000 to 157,000. The mean weight of primary buds reached 150 g in all cultivars. Length of pappus, dry matter and fibre content progressively increased in buds harvested from March to May. Good quality was observed in frozen buds blanched for 5 minutes.