Soilless Propagation of Haberlea rhodopensis Friv. Using Different Hydroponic Systems and Substrata

Boryanka D. Traykova, Marina I. Stanilova*
Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Department of Plant and Fungal Diversity and Resources, 23 Acad. G. Bonchev str., 1113 Sofia, BULGARIA
*Corresponding author:
Abstract. Haberlea rhodopensis (Gesneriaceae) is a tertiary relict with high conservation value, endemic to the Balkan Peninsula. The interest to this species is due mainly to its resurrection ability and multiple pharmacological activities, although it is valued also as an ornamental plant for use in rock gardens. H. rhodopensis plants are very slow-growing and no efficient method for their mass propagation has been set up until now. The present study reports the first trials on soilless cultivation of the species. Two aero-hydroponic systems with vertical and horizontal arrangements were used, studying the impact of different inert substrata, together with either leaf treatment with Indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) or leaf age and status, on rosette formation. In addition, plant propagation from seeds was tested on a small hydroponic system. Leaf rooting and survival were relatively high, up to 86.7%; however variants differed by root quality and time for root formation. Best results were obtained when IBA-treated leaves were either immediately put in perlite/agrolava substrate on the vertical system (46.7% leaves with rosettes, 2.9 well-shaped rosettes per leaf) or rooted in wet perlite prior to cultivation on the horizontal system in agrolava fractions (85.0% leaves with rosettes, 2.2 well-shaped rosettes per leaf). Rosettes were transferred to soil mixture and acclimatized in a greenhouse, and the largest 47 of them reached 10 cm in diameter for one year. Possible procedure improvements are discussed aiming at enhancement of H. rhodopensis soilless propagation.
Key words: еndemics, Orpheus flower, resurrection plants, soilless cultivation, plant reproduction.

Ecologia Balkanica, 2020, Volume 12, Issue 1 pp. 111-121
Article № eb.20107 [Full text - PDF]pdf

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