Muscari comosum is a widespread Mediterranean species with a long use as food. The edible part is the bitter bulb that has to be cooked. The increasing value of bulbs, also due to a renewed cultural interest toward traditional foods and their benefits for health, claims to enhance the agricultural production. Surprisingly, no agronomic studies about the best practice of propagation exist. We tested whether and how germination rate and weight and size of bulbs, after one growing season, were affected by sowing date (autumn–spring), growing condition (greenhouse, shaded greenhouse and open field), and container’s volume. Results showed that the best-sowing period ranges between September and January; following this period there is a huge decrease in germination rate. The time of seedling emergence was higher in open field than in protected environment. The longer interval of growing was observed with the sowing of October that produced heavier and larger bulbs. The best combination to obtain larger bulbs is sowing in October under greenhouse. However, under shaded conditions it was possible to obtain satisfactory results even with medium-late sowing (December and January). Containers with higher volume generally performed better. We conclude that mass propagation of M. comosum could be efficiently performed for agronomic purposes using nurseries. In fact, due to the high rate of germination and to the ease of obtaining the seeds from wild populations or from cultivations, there is the possibility to produce large quantities of bulbs to develop new crops of this traditional food.

Seed-propagated Muscari comosum (L.) Mill.: Effects of sowing date and growing conditions

CASTRONUOVO, Donato;
2017-01-01

Abstract

Muscari comosum is a widespread Mediterranean species with a long use as food. The edible part is the bitter bulb that has to be cooked. The increasing value of bulbs, also due to a renewed cultural interest toward traditional foods and their benefits for health, claims to enhance the agricultural production. Surprisingly, no agronomic studies about the best practice of propagation exist. We tested whether and how germination rate and weight and size of bulbs, after one growing season, were affected by sowing date (autumn–spring), growing condition (greenhouse, shaded greenhouse and open field), and container’s volume. Results showed that the best-sowing period ranges between September and January; following this period there is a huge decrease in germination rate. The time of seedling emergence was higher in open field than in protected environment. The longer interval of growing was observed with the sowing of October that produced heavier and larger bulbs. The best combination to obtain larger bulbs is sowing in October under greenhouse. However, under shaded conditions it was possible to obtain satisfactory results even with medium-late sowing (December and January). Containers with higher volume generally performed better. We conclude that mass propagation of M. comosum could be efficiently performed for agronomic purposes using nurseries. In fact, due to the high rate of germination and to the ease of obtaining the seeds from wild populations or from cultivations, there is the possibility to produce large quantities of bulbs to develop new crops of this traditional food.
2017
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4865440
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