Doryanthes - Doryanthaceae - How to care for and grow Doryanthes plants



by Dario Toffolon






: Angiosperms


: Monocotyledons











: see the paragraph on "Main species"


it is a herbaceous, tuberous plant, endemic to Australia, initially classified in the amaryllidaceae family and later among the agavaceae (still in many classifications it appears to be ascribed to this family). the genetic analyzes that can be carried out today make it possible to place these plants in the doryanthaceae family (having close ties to the liliaceae family) which includes doryanthes as the only genus, divided into two species: doryanthes excelsa (native to the coast of New South Wales in Australia, in the forests and rich clearings of sandstone) edoryanthes palmieri (from south-east Queensland).

doryanthes excelsa

doryanthes palmieri

both species are characterized by long, lanceolate, fibrous, large leaves (up to 150 cm in length, but also greater, and 10 cm in diameter), similar to those of the phormium tenax which comes from the same continent, forming a large robust tuft and fleshy, and flowers of 10 cm in length each, gathered in very numerous groups, of an intense red color (but the alba variant is also documented in this family) which open on a very long stem (from 3 to 8 meters in height for the d. excelsa and from 2 to 5 meters, inclined laterally due to the weight of the inflorescence, for d. palmieri), and are very nectariferous and attractive for birds which allow their pollination. the fleshy root system is a rhizome that produces numerous stolons for the generation of daughter plants throughout its growth, and is very robust.

the plants are very long-lived and a single group, originating from a single mother plant, can live for over a century. in the lands of origin it seems that it is above all the forest fires that stimulate a strong vegetative restart, the development of new plants generated by stolons at the base of the mother plants, and the flowering in mass the following year, and even that these favor the germination of seeds, but, in areas adjacent to roads and urban contexts, it seems that 30-40% of the plants always flower every year.

scarcely widespread already in the natural territory, due to the continuous collection of seeds for illegal sale, the subtracting land from nature for agriculture and not least due to the habit of the native aborigines of the Sidney region of eating roasted inflorescences (collecting the flower stems when reach the length of 1 or 2 meters, as if they were asparagus) and to use the tuberous roots, reduced to flour, in a roasted dough, the doryanthes risk disappearing also due to the slow cultural development. in fact, starting from seed, a doryanthes, depending on the environmental circumstances, takes from 8 to 20 years before reaching maturity and flowering for the first time, a circumstance that unfortunately aggravates their progressive disappearance from the lands of origin. the long period leading to flowering, which is only a few years short if the stolons of the small plants generated by the mother bushes are taken, does not even help the spread in horticulture: they are present in botanical gardens in the USA and in a few other regions of the world (among these, thanks to the work of scholars and enthusiasts, even in Italy).

my plants of doryanthes excelsa (bought in a nursery in Canberra when they were 1 and a half years old, grown from seed) are now 5 years old and the leaf system barely reaches 50 cm in length, against the 150 cm that characterize a plant adult! also the development time, both in nature and in horticulture is extremely limited: in spring for only a couple of months the plants will develop new leaves which will increase the head. then throughout the summer, autumn and winter there will be no obvious signs of growth, which also makes these spectacular plants a great source of frustration for the breeder and a proof of his determination. and I experience this as a great sign of hope!

their tolerance to winter temperatures is officially similar to that of Agaves: the few sites that document resistance to frost speak of 4, maximum 5 ° C below zero. the freezing winters that distinguish the land where I host them (above Lake Orta, which reached night peaks of -20 ° C two years ago) force me to hospitalize them in the attic, where however intense frosts also bring consistent negative temperatures inside . thus, while I lost plants whose rusticity officially had to be greater than the doryanthes, despite having the vase literally frozen like a block of marble, they survived without any damage to either the leaves or the roots. it is therefore probable that large plants, if planted in a protected and well-mulched place (and I add with well-drained soil, to avoid radical rottenness often irreparably decree the death of any plant) can tolerate even some intense frost, and this gives me the hope of to be able to fully land them and naturalize them over the years.

very high summer temperatures probably do not cause problems: they are plants that grow even in semi-desert areas and certainly have an easy time tolerating dryness and heat. this makes me think that their progressive propagation throughout Italy is possible, but with greater ease and success in the central-southern and island areas and therefore I hope that a growing interest of enthusiasts and nurserymen will lead to their insertion in our country, contributing to their dissemination.



, better known as Gymea Lily, is a showy species that grows wild in forest clearings in New South Wales in Australia. it lives among rocky outcrops of coastal sandstone and in the highlands within the Sydney region. it is also known with several popular names that reflect its size, appearance and distribution: "giant lily", "torch lily" (or flame), "lance lily", "Illawarra lily", in addition to the aforementioned " Gymea lily ". as you can see from the map alongside, its distribution in the land of origin is very localized. of the two endemic species of doryanthes, d. excelsa is the most widely cultivated.

the root system consists of a thickened hypogeal organ (rhizome) that tends to develop deeper into the soil over the years. for this reason it is important that the plants take place in deep and well-draining soil and, if invaded, that it is of suitable capacity and depth.

in the years of growth from the rhizome come out innumerable stolons of child plants that generate real dense and dense agglomerations together with the mother plant, guaranteeing the survival of a colony for a very long time.

the foliar apparatus is very robust and is evergreen and consists of long, bright green fibrous lanceolate leaves of 150 cm in length (or greater) and 10cm in width.

the flower stem emerges from the center of the plant during the winter to blossom in clusters at the top of the same in spring. the spectacular inflorescences can reach up to 8 meters in height in the longest-lived plants, but generally reach "only" 3-6 meters, depending on the age and size of the plant, and can be formed by 100-200 red flowers, very fleshy, nectarous and very fragrant, 10 cm long each, which open in succession facing upwards even for a couple of months forming a 30 cm wide “panicle”. the nectar, overflowing from the chalices formed by the tepals, is dense and viscous (similar to a very sugary jelly) which attracts all the animals greedy for honey (bats and birds) which, entangling themselves, also smear pollen and guarantee fertilization. as it is known, being red in color, they are paradoxically "invisible" to bees that do not frequent them, however there is evidence of a rare form with white or pink-veined flowers.

the arrangement of the flowers, facing upwards, suggests a use near a home: the plant will benefit from the protection offered by the construction (taking care to plant the d. excelsa in a south-facing position) and at the same time it will be possible to be amazed and admire the inflorescences ... from above the balcony on the first or second floor! in fact, the dark bracts that surround the inflorescence during growth and that dry up with the opening of the flowers do not benefit the enjoyment of this spectacle of nature from the ground. finally, if the inflorescence can be reached from the balcony, it will also be possible to enjoy its perfume and ... taste its nectar! there are testimonies of shepherds who have fed on this very energetic "supplement" during their work (although probably, to do so, have sheared the inflorescence itself).

the fruit is a woody capsule that breaks when the seeds have matured, at the end of summer.

the seeds are brown, flattened and winged and are spread by the wind. it thus appears evident that evolution has devised, through the considerable height of the flower stems, the best system for spreading new plants in different places and far from the stolon bushes of the mother plant.

suitable for rock gardens, the d. excelsa loves a deep, humid but blindfolded soil, in full sun or partial shade, with a good supply of slow-moving fertilizer (manure, droppings, ox's blood, etc.) and frequent watering in spring and summer. the foliage is frost-resistant, but the flowers can be damaged by severe frosts. the plants have the only handicap of being very slow growing, even though they respond to the applications of fertilizers.

the seeds (which do not require any pre-sowing treatment) can be kept for one or two years and generally germinate in a couple of months (they must be placed in a sandy soil just moistened with a sprayer). flowering, starting from seed, can take place between 8 and 20 years, according to climatic and adaptation conditions. propagation is usually carried out in this way, but it is also possible to divide the tufts in spring (the daughter plants must be inserted directly in the sand kept just moist and must not be watered due to the risk of rotting), which benefits from a few years of growth but has defect unaminor genetic variability.

d. excelsa is rarely attacked by parasites or fungal diseases, although the inflorescence can occasionally be damaged by the birds that feed on the ringing.

Gymea lily is a rustic and very attractive plant that has received some attention in public landscaping projects in recent years in Australia, proving to be adaptable to a wide range of climates, which could lead Italian architects and landscape architects to study the possibility of its integration in ours as well. territory.


, is a species from the south-east of Queensland in Australia, known as Spear Lily (Lily-Lance, due to the shape of the inflorescence). similar to the previous species, it differs, in addition to the geographical distribution, for the shape of the inflorescence which, instead of resembling a "torch" as for d. excelsa, is shaped like a long spear, 2-5 meters in size, falling due to its considerable weight and studded along the last meter of the stem with innumerable red-brown flowers, with a length, also 10 cm each, clearly visible from the ground because of the arching of the same. always comparing with the previous species, the bright green lanceolate leaves form a gigantic rosette, each reaching up to 3 meters in length in adult plants and 10 cm in width. the flowers, whose development takes place from the previous summer, until all autumn and winter to open in spring, contribute with the entire foliar apparatus to a plant of great architectural impact!

the flowering, if the same characteristics of the environment of origin are not recreated, appears very rarely: a specimen in Kew Gardens (UK) has flowered only four times since 1948. More luck has been had in the botanical gardens of Hanbury in La Mortola and in Villa Ormond in Sanremo with more frequent blooms and even fruiting. d. palmieri is also cultivated in some botanical gardens and by collectors in the USA.

another probable difference with d. excelsa and a lower tolerability of night frosts, especially if prolonged (although it seems that any loss of the leaf apparatus due to the cold is then compensated by the growth of new stolons). it seems that even excessive heat, especially at night (30 ° C), can disadvantage growth and cultivation. the geographical area of ​​origin is in fact characterized by a mild climate throughout the year.

d. palmieri is a very long-lived species, being able to reach a century of age, but with a very slow growth which, together with the destruction of its habitat, contributes to its slow, progressive extinction. from sowing it takes a minimum of 10-13 years to obtain the first flowering in optimal conditions.


both doryanthes love sunny positions (even if in the case of excessively hot areas a partial shade in the afternoon is welcome), fertile, nutritious and well-drained soil, fertilized with slow release fertilizers (organic); they love abundant and regular watering but tolerate even long periods of drought without problems, corresponding to a sort of quiescence. in the first years of growth, both from seeds and from stolon, it is possible to grow doryanthes in pots, as long as they are deep due to the rhizomatous root similar to a taproot. it is better to repair pots with young plants in a protected but not too hot place during the winter as it is sensitive to low temperatures. adult plants can be planted in the ground, withstanding short frosts or temperatures that are not excessively low, otherwise it is better to grow them in large pots to be placed in a cold greenhouse.


from seed: in sand moistened with a little liquid fertilizer for green plants, all in a tray covered with transparent cellophane and exposed to partial sun. germination takes place in a couple of months. the young seedlings should be placed in a jar after 2-4 months and kept in a ventilated environment but not exposed to too sudden changes in temperature.

offshoot: a stolon is cut in spring and left to dry in the sun for 24 hours so as to dry the wound with respect to the root system of the mother plant. both plants (mother and daughter) must be kept dry, i.e. the cut parts must not be wet. the new small plant is placed directly in the soil for a sandy cactus which must be moistened on the surface with a sprayer. this for several days. better to spray water on the leaves than on the ground. after a week, moisten the soil more, but without wetting too much. the wound can cause rot and therefore death. once well established, treat like the others.

it is better to protect small plants from winter cold, but do not store in dark apartments: a bright cellar / attic that maintains a temperature of 5-6 ° C waiting for spring will be more suitable. in spring fertilize with slow release organic fertilizer.


the doryanthes are not attacked by animal parasites and rarely by fungi or diseases. when this second hypothesis occurs it is a sign of an excess of soil moisture, or an excess of fertilizations. in general, powdery mildew can attack young plants on the underside of the leaves, causing some spots. however, the resistance of the plant is such that no treatment is required. it is sufficient to suspend the waterings or the fertilizations and if it is true that the stained leaves will not return to uniform green, it is equally true that the disease will not spread to the others.

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• Premise
• The growth factors
• The terms used
• The 35 families (described and illustrated in as many cards)
• The 150 genres (described and illustrated in as many cards)
• The Mesembriantemi (Lithops, Conophytum, Faucaria, Fenestraria, Pleiospilos, Delosperma, Titanopsis, etc.)
• Major alternative names
• Index of illustrated species
• Bibliography
• Acknowledgments
• Information

ABROMEITIELLA (Bromeliaceae)
- brevifolia chloranta scapigera yaquiba
ADANSONIA (Bombacaceae)
- digitata grandidieri
ADENIA (Passifloraceae)
- aculeata ballyi digitata glauca globosa keramanthus pechuelli spinosa
ADENIUM (Apocynaceae)
- arabicum obesum obesum subsp. boehmianum obesum subsp. oleifolium obesum subsp. Somali
ADROMISCUS (Crassulaceae)
- alveolens antidorcatum caryophyllaceus cooperi crist. little spheroid maculatus marianae immaculatus schuldtianus
AEONIUM (Crassulaceae)
- arboreum arboreum nigrum glutinosum tabulaeformis urbicum virgineum
AGAVE (Agavaceae)
- americana medium picta alba angustifolia marginata attenuata bracteosa celsii albicans colored cupreata dasylirioides ellemetiana ferdinandi regis filifera geminiflora guiengola lechugilla leopoldii macroacantha macroacantha var. green neomexicana subsp. latifolia parrasana parryi var. huachucensis parviflora potatorum potatorum var. Japon purpusorum pygmaea rubra var. nigra sp spiralis stricta titanota toumeyana victoriae reginae var. longispina vilmoriniana
ALLUAUDIA (Didieraceae)
- adscendens comosa dumosa procera
ALOE (Asphodelaceae)
- affinis var. nigra amudatensis antandroi arborescens var. foliis variegatis arborescens var. frutescens aristata ciliensis claviflora concinna cryptosa conifer deltoideodontha var. latifolia descensii x hawortioides dichotoma distans erinacea falcata forbesii haworthioides hereroensis var. red fl. humilis jacksonii jucunda juvenna kedongensis var. red. fl. microstigma mitriformis mitriformis f. variegata morijensis pepper descoingsii x haworthioides percrassa pillansii plicatilis prolifera rahuii richardisiana rupicola speciosa spectabilis stricta
ALOINOPSIS (Aizoaceae)
- rubrolineata sp
ANACAMPSEROS (Portulacaceae)
- albissima alstonii baeseckei comptonii crinita namaensis quinaria rufescens
APTENIA (Aizoaceae)
- cordifolia lancifolia
- fissum subalbum
ASTRIDIA (Aizoaceae)
- hallii
ASTROLOBA (Asphodelaceae)
- aspera pentagona
BEAUCARNEA (Nolinaceae)
- gracilis stricta
- scapiger
BIJLIA (Aizoaceae)
- cana
BILLBERGIA (Bromeliaceae)
- euphemiae
BOMBAX (Bombacaceae)
- ellipticum
BOWIEA (Asphodelaceae)
- volubilis garipiensis
BRACHYCHITON (Sterculiaceae)
- acerifolia populneus rupestris
BRACHYSTELMA (Asclepiadaceae)
- barberae constrictum decipiens
BULB (Asphodelaceae)
- latifolia margarethae preamorse
BURSERA (Burseraceae)
- fagaroides filicifolia odorata
CALIBANUS (Nolinaceae)
- hookeri
CARALLUMA (Asclepiadaceae)
- European
- acinaciformis acinaciformis var. white dimidiatus muirii
- royal phyllantoides
CERARIA (Portulacaceae)
- namaquensis pygmaea
CEROPEGIA (Asclepiadaceae)
- adrienniae enlarged dichotoma fruticosa fusca haygarthii linearis debilis stapeliformis variegata woodii
- candidissima denticulata robusta sp.
CHORISIA (Bombacaceae)
- specious
CISSUS (Vitaceae)
- cactiformis cirrhosa sandersonii sicoydes tuberosus
CONOPHYTUM (Aizoaceae)
- angelicae tetragonum bachelorum sponsaliorum christiansenianum ectipum sulcatum ernestii ficiforme noviceum novicium hangpaz obcordellum ursprungianum ovigerum phoeniceum piriforme rubrolineatum speciosum uvaeforme uviforme subincamum verrucosum
CORALLOCARPUS (Cucurbitaceae)
- bainesii boehmii
COTYLEDON (Crassulaceae)
- ladismithiensis undulata
CRASSULA (Crassulaceae)
- alstonii anomala arta buddas temple commutata corymbulosa deceptrix elegans falcata lycopodioides mesembryanthemoides mesembryanthemopsis morgan pink muscosa perforata picturata quadrangularis rupestris schmidtii susannae tecta teres tetragona
CUSSONIA (Araliaceae)
- paniculata spicata
CYANOTIS (Commelinaceae)
- somalensis
CYNANCHUM (Asclepiadaceae)
- laeve marnierianum
- betiformis elephanthopus juttae lanigerum uter
- littlewoody
DASYLIRION (Nolinaceae)
- cedrosanum durangensis longissimum
DECARYA (Didieraceae)
- madagascariensis
DELOSPERMA (Aizoaceae)
- bosseranum madagascariensis napiforme sutherlandii
DIDIEREA (Didieraceae)
- madagascariensis trollii
- microspermus puberulus pole evansii sp vanzylii wilmotianus impunctatus
DIOSCOREA (Dioscoreaceae)
- elephantipes macrostachys sylvatica
DORSTENIA (Moraceae)
- foetida
- candens eburneum midas speciosum orange strictifolium
DUDLEYA (Crassulaceae)
- aff. white powdery brittonii, slimy lanceolate
DUVALIA (Asclepiadaceae)
- corderoy parviflora pillansii somalensis sulcata
DICKYA (Bromeliaceae)
- marnier la postolle remotiflora sp
EBERLANZIA (Aizoaceae)
- spiny disarticulate
ECHEVERIA (Crassulaceae)
- affinis affinis x metallica agavoides agavoides crist. agavoides prolifera albicans amoena bombicina carnicolor coccinea derembergii desmetiana difractens elegans gibbiflora metallica glauca laui leucotricha microcalyx minima multicaulis nodulosa nuremberg pearl prolifica pulidonis purpusorum recurvata sanchez mejoradei potosina sangusta spangosa set secosa. pumila shaviana topsy turvy
ECHIDNOPSIS (Asclepiadaceae)
- borealis cereiformis
EUPHORBIA (Euphorbiaceae)
- abdelkuri aerithreae aerithreae variegata aeruginosa alluaudii ankarensis anoplia aphylla avasmontana balsamifera bubalina bupleurifolia canariensis cap-saintemariensis caput-medusae clava coerulescens columnaris confinalis ssp. rhodesica cooperi cylindrifolia cylindrifolia var. tubifera decaryi spirosticha decidua didieroides echinus crist. eilensis enopla enopla crist. esculenta evansii fasciculata ferox fimbriata fortuita fusiformis globosa gorgonis gottlebei grandialata grandicornis gregaria gymnocalycioides hadramantica hamata hedyotoides hofstatteri horrida horwoodii inermis ingens knuthii lactea crist. lambii lindenii maleolens mammillaris variegata mayuranatanni meloformis milii multiceps neohumbertii obesa obesa crist. officinalis oncoclada pachypodioides peramata piscidermis polyacantha pugniformis quadrangularis rossii schinzii schoenlandii septentrionalis squarrosa stapelioides stellas stellate stenoclada stolonifera submammillaris suzannae tetragona tirucalli triangularis, trichadenia trichadenia. valid virosa tubiglans tulearensis
FAUCARIA (Aizoaceae)
- boscheana britteniae tigrina
- aurantiaca
FICUS (Moraceae)
- palmeri retusa
FOCKEA (Asclepiadaceae)
- edulis kamura
FOUQUIERIA (Fouquieriaceae)
- fasciculata purpusii splendens
FRITHIA (Aizoaceae)
- humilis pulchra
FURCRAEA (Agavaceae)
- selloa marginata
GASTERIA (Asphodelaceae)
- ernesti-ruschii maculata verrucosa
GERRARDANTHUS (Cucurbitaceae)
- macrorhizus
GIBBAEUM (Aizoaceae)
- dispar pachypodium
- linguiform neilii oligocarpum
GRAPTOPETALUM (Crassulaceae)
- macdougallii paraguayense silverstar
GREENOVIA (Crassulaceae)
- aurea sp
HAWORTHIA (Asphodelaceae)
- angustifolia liliputana attenuata bayeri? bruynsii chloracantha coarctata cooperi dumosa emeliae fasciata geraldii glauca limifolia maraisii hyb. magnificent splendens mirabilis mirabilis var. mundula papillosa truncata var. maughanii maughanii x truncata pigmaea radula reinwardtii retusa var. george tessellata tortuosa pseudorigida truncata truncata x maughanii turgida var. lavranos woolleyi
HECHTIA (Bromeliaceae)
- meziniana brevifolia
HEREROA (Aizoaceae)
- curves smell
HESPERALOE (Agavaceae)
- parviflora
HOODIA (Asclepiadaceae)
- gordonii macrantha
HOYA (Asclepiadaceae)
- beautiful camphoripholia meliflua oscura publicalyx sp
HUERNIA (Asclepiadaceae)
- keniensis hystrix macrocarpa penzig wolkartii wolkartii repens zebrina var. zebrina
IBERVILLEA (Cucurbitaceae)
- sonorous and tenuisecta
IPOMOEA (Convolvulaceae)
- albivenia bolusiana (Turbina holubii) molleri platense
JATROPHA (Euphorbiaceae)
- berlandieri catartica gossypifolia multifida podagric peltata
JOVIBARBA (Crassulaceae)
- sobolifera allions
- very good
KALANCHOE (Crassulaceae)
- arborescens beharensis fang daigremontianum fedtschenhoi grande hybrid laxiflora foliis variegatis millotii tubiflora x kewensis
KEDROSTIS (Cucurbitaceae)
- African hirtella puniceus
KLEINIA (Compositae)
- crist. picticaulis
- sp
LAPIDARIA (Aizoaceae)
LEWISIA (Portulacaceae)
- cotyledon revived
LITHOPS (Aizoaceae)
- aucampiae var. aucampiae aucampiae var. euniceae aucampiae var. doroteae francisci gracilidelineata gracilidelineata var. gracilidelineata hookeri lutea hookeri susannae julii subsp. fulleri julii var. julii fulleri karasmontana karasmontana karasmontana karasmontana mickebergensis lesliei venteri otzeniana salicola schwantesi marthae turbiniformis verruculosa gebseri verruculosa verruculosa villetii villetii
MESTOKLEMA (Aizoaceae)
- macrorhizum tuberosum
MOMORDICA (Cucurbitaceae)
- balsam charantia rostrata
MONADENIUM (Euphorbiaceae)
- coccineum elegans ellembeckii grantii var. rubra lugardae majus montanum montanum rubellum rhizophorum ritchiei stapelioides
MONANTHES (Crassulaceae)
- polyphylla
MONILARIA (Aizoaceae)
- moniliformis pisiformis
MYRMECODIA (Rubiaceae)
- echinata beccarii
NOLINA (Nolinaceae)
- cedrosanum guatemalense recurvata texana
OPERCULYCARIA (Anacardiaceae)
- decaryi pachypus
--longum praesectum pubescens
ORBEA (Asclepiadaceae)
- varied
ORNITHOGALLUM (Asphodelaceae)
- longibracteatum
OROSTACHYS (Crassulaceae)
- japonicus spinosus
OSCULARIA (Aizoaceae)
- caulescens
OTHONNA (Compositae)
- clavifolia euphorbioides hallii opima retrorsa sonchifolia
OXALIS (Oxalidaceae)
- fleshy sorrel
PACHYCORMUS (Anacardiaceae)
- discolor
PACHYPHYTUM (Crassulaceae)
- bracteosum bravifolium compactum fittkaui hookeri longifolium oviferum species viride
PACHYPODIUM (Apocynaceae)
- aridlans baronii bispinosum brevicaule cactipes densiflorum gracilis griquense horombense geayi madagascariensis fa. crist. namaquanum in cultiv. namaquanum in habitat rosulatum gracilis rutembergianum saundersii succulentum
PEDILANTHUS (Euphorbiaceae)
- macrocarpus tithymaloides var.
PELARGONIUM (Geraniaceae)
- alchemilloides arida carnosum cotyledonis echinatum ferulaceum gibbosum hirsutum hirtum melananthum incrassatum jacobii odoratissimus rapaceum tongaense triste
PIARANTHUS (Asclepiadaceae)
- fetidus
- bolusii compactus canus compactus soros hyb.
PLUMERIA (Apocynaceae)
- acutifolia alba obtusa rubra tricolor
PORTULACARIA (Portulacaceae)
- afra
PSEUDOLITHOS (Asclepiadaceae)
- caput-medusae migiurtinus
PTERODISCUS (Pedaliaceae)
- aurantiacus luridus ngamicus ruspolii speciosus
PUYA (Bromeliaceae)
- mirabilis raimondii
RABIEA (Aizoaceae)
- albinota difformis
RAPHIONACME (Asclepiadaceae)
- angolensis burckei elata flanaganii hirsuta procumbens
RECHSTEINERIA (Gesneriaceae)
- leucotricha
- broomii frithii macrodenium muirii
RUSCHIA (Aizoaceae)
- cupulata ventricose intruder
- 'laurentii' trifasciata parvula
SARCOCAULON (Geraniaceae)
- flavescens herrei inerme patersonii vanderietiae
SARCOSTEMMA (Asclepiadaceae)
- austral
- ruedebuschii
SCILLA (Asphodelaceae)
- purple spotted
SEDUM (Crassulaceae)
- arborescens frutescens furfuraceum middendorffianum morganianum oxypetalum quevae nussbaumerianum rubrotinctum spectabile villosum
SEMPERVIVUM (Crassulaceae)
- calcareum 'granat' montanum siriacum oddity form silber kameal tectorum tomentosum utopia
SENECIO (Compositae)
- articulatus articulatus x rowleyanus barbertonensis crassissimus deflersii hadley woody haworthii herreianus macroglossus phicoides rowleyanus scaposus sempervivum spiculosus stapeliaeformis min. x kleiniformis sin. cuneatus
SINNINGIA (Gesneriaceae)
- bulbous
STAPELIA (Asclepiadaceae)
- gigantea grandiflora mutabilis variegata
STOMATIUM (Aizoaceae)
- difforme niveum pyrodorum rouxii suaveolens
SYNADENIUM (Euphorbiaceae)
- cupular
TACITUS (Crassulaceae)
- bellum
TALINUM (Portulacaceae)
- caffrum paniculatum pulchellum
TAVARESIA (Asclepiadaceae)
- angolensis barklyi
TILLANDSIA (Bromeliaceae)
- filiform jonantha juncea usneoides
TITANOPSIS (Aizoaceae)
- fulleri
TRADESCANTIA (Commelinaceae)
- navicularis sillamontana
TRICHOCAULON (Asclepiadaceae)
- cactiforme meloforme piliferum
- barbatum bulbosum densum mirabilis
TYLECODON (Crassulaceae)
- buchholzianus luteosquamata racemosa reticulatum singularis wallichii
UMBILICUS (Crassulaceae)
- rupestris
UNCARINA (Pedaliaceae)
- decaryi leptocarpa grandidieri perrieri roeoesliana stellulifera
VANHEERDEA (Aizoaceae)
- roodiae
WELWITSCHIA (Welwitschiaceae)
- mirabilis
XEROSICYOS (Cucurbitaceae)
- perrieri pubescens
YUCCA (Agavaceae)
- baccata brevifolia elata filifera
ZYGOSICYOS (Cucurbitaceae)
- tripartitus.



Habitat: South Africa, Madagascar, Canary Islands, Ethiopia, Zambia, Asia, America, Europe.
Description: plants of different development, there are about 2000 species, of which almost half are succulent. Some have fleshy deciduous leaves, others are caudiciform or succulent stems. Without areolas or hair, spines are sometimes present. Small, unisexual flowers, gathered in inflorescence (cyathium). The fruit is a three-lobed capsule.
Ground: fertile formula for bushy species basic formula for species with succulent stems and without leaves mineral formula for caudiciform species. Prevent peat from appearing in the soil composition.
Exposure: hazy sun, with bright location. Provide plenty of fresh air in greenery. The following tropical species prefer a less bright location: alfredii, ambovombensis, aureoviridiflora, bongolavensis, brunellii, capmanambatoensis, capsaintemariensis, charleswilsoniana, cremersii, cryptocaulis, cylindrifolia, decaryi, francoisii, geroldii, hedyothurazi, hermanshaaei, hermanshaoti, l rubella, tulearensis.
Temperature: minimum of 15 ° C during the day and 10 ° C. nocturnal for tropical species with summer growth, and 10 ° C. daytime and 5 ° C. nocturnal for other species. The Guillauminiana species, pachypodioides require a minimum of 15-20 ° C.
Water: in general, to supply little or nothing of it in dormancy and when the leaves fall, adjust in any case with the temperature. The tropical and subtropical species with summer growth are normally wet from May to October, and kept dry for about thirty days in the other months. The subtropical species with winter growth must be kept dry for a week in the months of February, March, April, May, September, October, November and for 30 days in the other months.
The ankarensis, neohumbertii, pachypodioides, pedilanthoides, vigueri species must be left to dry from mid-October to after spring blooms. Eyassiana, gemmea, subscandens, tenuispinosa and other species must be avoided from drying out too much in winter, after spring blooms.
Cultivation: the following summer-growing tropical species are less tolerant than others: abdelkuri, atrox, brunelii, colubrina, columnaris, cremersii, cuneneana, dichroa, eilensis, allenbeckii, fascicaulis, fiherensis, finispina, friedrichiae, fusiformis, gemmea, guillauminiana, gymnocalycioides, hadrammea , holmesiae, horwodii, kalisana, kondoi, longituberculosa, marsabitensis, migiurtinorum, monadenioides, moratii, mosaica, multiclava, odontophora, pachypodioides, phillipsiae, phillipsioides, piscidermis, platycephala, poissularellae, rivaimuseolia, primulseicola , rudis, schizacantha, subsalsa, turbiniformis, turkanensis, unispina, venenifica, vittata, whellamii.
The following summer-growing subtropical species are also less tolerant than others: aequoris, bupleurifolia, clavarioides, crispa, cylindrica, ecklonii, eustaceans, fasciculata, fortuito, fusca, gariepina, gentilis, hallii, hypogaea, juttae, lignosa, loricata, louwii, melanohydrata, multiceps, multiramosa, mundtii, namaquensis, namibensis, pseudotuberosa, schoelandii, silenifolia, stapelioides, sasannae, tuberose, verruculosa.
Poor resistance to fungal infections and collar rot. Some fear low temperatures, others too much humidity. In vegetation, fertilize once a month. Propagation from seed (fresh) at 20-22 ° C and by spring / summer cuttings, in sandy soil, after careful washing of the cut to remove the latex and allow the subsequent formation of the callus.

NOTE: it is not easy to distinguish between them the globose Euphorbie like the symmetrica from the obese and the meloformis from the valid. According to some authors, E. obesa carries a flower on each peduncle while in E. symmetrica more than one peduncle emerges from each bud. However, it should be noted that this character is often inconstant. E. valid compared to E. meloformis becomes larger and has larger and more persistent peduncles, which do not fall off immediately after flowering. They have the characteristic of being dioecious and of easily hybridizing with similar species.
Species shown on this CD-ROM: E. abdelkuri, has yellowish latex, grafted onto E. canariensis E. abyssinica E. aerithreae E. aerithreae variegata E. aeruginosa, easy cutting for horizontal branch E. alluaudii E. ambovombensis E. ankarensis E. anoplia E. aphylla, lava soil E. avasmontana E. balsamifera E. bajoensis E. bubalina E. bupleurifolia E. canariensis E. cap-saintemariensis caput-medusae E. clava E. coerulescens E. columnaris E. confinalis ssp. rhodesica E. cooperi E. cylindrifolia E. cylindrifolia var. tubifera E. decaryi spirosticha E. decidua E. didieroides E. echinus crist. E. eilensis enopla E. enopla crist. E. esculenta E. evansii E. fasciculata E. ferox E. fimbriata E. fortuito E. fusiformis E. globosa E. gorgonis E. gottlebei E. grandialata E. grandicornis E. gregaria E. gymnocalycioides E. hadramantica E. hamata E. hedyotoides E. hofstatteri E. horrida E. horwoodii E. inermis E. ingens E. knuthii E. lactea crist. E. lambii E. lindenii E. maleolens E. mammillaris variegata E. mayuranatanni E. meloformis E. milii, Madagascar, acid soil, at least 15 ° C, wet in winter, do not drop leaves E. multiceps E. neohumbertii E. obesa E. obesa crist. E. officinarum E. oncoclada E. pachypodioides E. peramata E. piscidermis E. polyacantha E. pugniformis E. quadrangularis E. rossii E. schinzii E. schoenlandii E. septentrionalis E. squarrosa, caudex E. stapelioides E. stellaspina E. stellata , caudex E. stenoclada E. stolonifera E. submammillaris, garden soil and gravel, reproduction by cutting E. suzannae E. tetragona E. tirucalli E. triangularis E. trichadenia E. trigona montr. E. tubiglans E. tulearensis E. virosa
Some of the many other species: E. angularis E. arida E. atropurpurea, provide some water even during the winter E. atrox E. ballyi E. bambernensis E. berlandieri E. brevifolia E. brioensis E. brunelli E. burmannii E. buruana, caudex E. crispa E. cylindrica E. decepta E. fluminensis E. francoisii E. friedrichiae E. geenwayi E. grandidens E. groenwaldii E. guillemetii E. guingola E. holmisiae E. inaequispina E. incostantia E. joannis E. laikipiensis E. lavranii E. ledienei E. leuconeura E. lignosa E. lindesii E. lophogona E. marlothiana E. millotii, year-round heat E. mitriformis E. moratii E. mosaica E. nerifolia E ornithopus E. pauliana E. persistens E. poissonii E. ponderosa E. pteroneura, Mexico, reduce the water without stopping watering, when the leaves fall, continuing until they reappear E. pulvinata E. ramiglans E. ramipressa E. resinifera E. rigida, also lives on volcanic rocks between 500 and 1400 meters in Sicily, Calabria, Basilicata, Albania, Crimea, Greece, Lebanon, Syria, Morocco, Turkey E. schizacantha E. sepulla E. sipolisii E. tennispinosa E. tuberculatoides E. turbiniformis E. unispina.

Euphorbia hadramautica Euphorbia horwoodii Euphorbia piscidermis

Habitat: south, central and east of Africa Madagascar.
Description: large genus with about 400 species, various in shape and size, from some cm. several meters high. The plants have spiral leaves, acauli, rosette, long, sharp, fat, sometimes serrated, even with thorns, solitary or clusters. Axillary inflorescences near the center of the rosette of red or pink color, forming a raceme, an ear or a panicle. The flowers are numerous, tubular or cylindrical, the color varies from yellow to red. The fruit is a capsule containing winged seeds. They differ from Agaves because they are devoid of fibers, they bloom every year, the teeth and thorns, although present, are soft and the leaves, if broken, emit a transparent liquid. They are also grown for pharmaceutical purposes.
Ground: basic formula. Not demanding.
Exposure: full sun for the larger species, light shade for the smaller ones. They require low air humidity. For all of them, possibly, a few hours of sunshine during the winter.
Temperature: minimum of 8 ° C for subtropical species (see note on next page) 10-12 ° C for tropical ones, a greenhouse for cacti would be too cold.
Water: normal. A little water causes the tips of the leaves to blacken. Do not wet the plants after flowering, they rot in the presence of water in the rosette, especially in winter and at the beginning of the growing season.
Cultivation: not difficult, growth is not rapid. They can live indoors all year round, repotting in the spring every other year. The following species present some cultivation difficulties: ausana, calcairophila, claviflora, palla, dinteri, krapohliana, laeta, longistyla, pearsonii, polyphylla, parvula, sladeniana. Those with winter growth (A. vera, etc.) should be watered thoroughly and fertilized starting from late autumn and throughout the winter, with exposure to bright light. They are prone to scale insects. Multiplication by summer sucker when it has its own roots and the rosette is well formed.
Species shown on this CD-ROM: A. affinis var. nigra A. amudatensis A. antandroi A. arborescens var. foliis variegatis A. arborescens var. frutescens A. aristata A. ciliensis A. claviflora A. concinna A. criptosa A. conifera A. deltoideodontha var. latifolia A. descensii x hawortioides A. dichotoma A. distans A. erinacea A. falcata A. forbesii A. haworthioides A. hereroensis var. red fl. A. humilis A. jacksonii A. jucunda A. juvenna A. kedongensis var. red. fl. A. microstigma A. mitriformis A. mitriformis ago. variegata A. morijensis A. pepe descoingsii x haworthioides A. percrassa A. plicatilis A. prolifera A. rahuii A. richardisiae A. rupicola A. speciosa A. spectabilis A. stricta
Other species: A. albiflora A. bakeri A. brevifolia A. broomii A. descoingsii A. greenii A. hemmingii A. karasbergensis A. lawii A. meloughlinii A. millotii A. peglerae A. pillansii A. polyphylla A. somalensis A. squarrosa A. striata A. suprafoliata A. vera (syn. A. barbadensis, winter growth). The Malagasy species A. compressed, A. erytrophylla, A. parvula, A. parallelifolia require a light soil rich in quartz.

NOTE - Subtropical aloe species.
Affinis, africana, agavefolia, albida, alooides, ammophila, angelica, arborescens, arenicola, aristata, asperifolia, bowiea, boylei, branddraaiensis, brevifolia, broomii, brownii, burgersfortensis, candelabrum, castanea, chlorantha, ciliaris, cinnabarina, claixta comosa, comptonii, cooperi, dabenorisana, dewetii, dewinteri, dichotoma, dinteri, distans, dolomitica, dominella, dyeri, erinacea, falcata, ferox, fosteri, fouriei, framesii, garipiensis, gasterioides, gersteneri, glauca, gracilis, greathii, greeneadii haemanthifolia, hardyi, hereroensis, hlangapies, humilis, immaculata, incospicua, klamiensis, krapohliana, kraussii, latifolia, leptophylla, lettyae, linearifolia, lineata, longibracteata, longiflora, longistyla, macrantha, maculata. saponaria, melanacantha, microcantha, microstigma, minima, modesta, monotropa, mudenensis, mutabilis, namibensis, nobilis, nubigena, obscura, pachygaster, parviflora, pearsonii, peglerae, petricola, petrophensila, pictifolia, pillaturisii, petrophensila, pictifolia, pillaturisii, pineapple pruinosa, purpurascens, ramosissima, rauhii, reitzei, reynoldsii, richtersveldensis, runcinata, saundersiae, simii, sladeniana, soutpansbergensis, speciosa, spectabilis, stans, striata, striatula, succotrina, tenuior, thorndoweiensis, vermalftii, varermato verecunda, vireus, viridiflora, vossii, vryheidensis, wolleyana.

Aloe plicatilis Aloe dichotoma

Habitat: Northern Somalia and the Horn of Africa.
Description: the genus includes very few self-fertile species of very succulent plants, without leaves or branches, short stems, covered with glabrous growths of a more or less light grayish color resembling stones. Umbrella inflorescence with numerous small flowers, with hairs inside, capable of opening simultaneously.
Ground: 3 parts of sand, 2 of field earth, 1 of peat, 2 of lava with a diameter of 3-4 mm., 1 of siliceous gravel.
Exposure: filtered sun.
Temperature: minimum of 13-15 ° C.
Water: in vegetation (from April to October), soak and leave to dry for 20/30 days. While resting, administer a small amount of water every month if the daytime temperature is quite high.
Cultivation: difficile, very succulent plants, subject to rot, mold, and scale insects both along the stem and at the roots. Grafting on Ceropegia tubers is often used.
Species shown on this CD-ROM: P. caput-viperae P. migiurtinus, very difficult, is grafted onto Ceropegia tubers.
Other species: P. cubiformis P. dodsoniana.

Pseudolithos migiurtinus Pseudolithos caput-medusae


Agavaceae Aizoaceae Aloaceae Amarillidaceae Anacardiaceae Apocynaceae Araliaceae
Asclepiadaceae Asphodelaceae Asteraceae Balsamiaceae Bombacaceae Bromeliaceae Burseraceae
Campanulaceae Caricaceae Caudiciforms Commelinaceae Convolvulaceae Crassulaceae Cucurbitaceae
Didiereaceae Dioscoreaceae Doryanthaceae Dracaenaceae Eriospermaceae Euphorbiaceae Fabaceae
Fouquieriaceae Geraniaceae Gesneriaceae Hyacinthaceae Icacinaceae Lamiaceae Menispermaceae
Moraceae Moringaceae Nolinaceae Oxalidaceae Passifloraceae Pedaliaceae Phytolaccaceae
Piperaceae Portulacaceae Rubiaceae Sterculiaceae Urticaceae Vitaceae Welwitschiaceae

Abromeitiella Acanthostachys Adansonia Adenia Adenium Adromischus Aeonium Agave
Albuca Alluaudia Aloe Alloinopsis Anacampseros Antimima Apodanthera Aptenia
Argyroderma Asclepias Aspazoma Astridia Astroloba Avonia Beaucarnea Bergeranthus
Beschomeria Bijlia Billbergia Boophane Bowiea Brachychiton Brachystelma Brighamia
Brocchinia Brownanthus Bulbine Bursera Calibanus Callisia Caralluma Charge
Carpobrotus Ceiba Cephalopentandra Cephalophyllum Ceraria Ceropegia Chasmatophyllum Cheiridopsis
Cissus Cistanthe Citrullus Cleretum Coccinia Commiphora Conicosia Conophytum
Corallocarpus Cordyline Cotyledon Crassula Cryptanthus Cucumis Cucurbita Cussonia
Cyanotis Cyclantheropsis Cylindrophyllum Cynanchum Cyphostemma Dactylopsis Dasylirion Decarya
Delonix Delosperma Dendrosicyos Deuterocohnia Didelta Didierea Dintheranthus Dioscorea
Dipcadi Dischidia Disphyma Dorotheanthus Dorsthenia Doryanthes Dracaena Dracophylus
Drosanthemum Dudleya Duvalia Dychia Echeveria Echidnopsis Edithcolea Erepsia
Eriospermum Erythrina Euphorbia Fascicularia Faucaria Fenestraria Ficus Fockea
Fouquieria Frithia Furcraea Gasteria Gerrardanthus Gibbaeum Glottiphyllum Grahamia
Graptopetalum Graptosedum Graptoveria Greenovia Guzmania Haworthia Hechtia Hereroa
Hesperaloe Hesperoyucca Hoodia Hoya Huernia Huerniopsis Hydrophytum Ibervillea
Ihlemfeldtia Impatiens Ipomoea Jacobsenia Jatropha Jordaaniella Jovibarba Juttadinteria
Kalanchoe Kedrostis Ladebouria Lampranthus Lapidary Larryleachia Lavrania Lenophyllum
Lewisia Lithops Malephora Marah Marlothistella Freemasonry Mesembryanthemum Mestoklema
Meyerophytum Mitrophyllum Momordica Monadenium Monanthes Monilaria Monsonia Moringa
Myrmecodia Namaquanthus Nananthus Nematanthus Neoalsomitra Neohenricia Neoregelia Nidularium
Nolina Notechidnopsis Obetia Ochagavia Odonthophorus Odosycios Operculycaria Ophtalmophyllum
Orbea Orbeanthus Ornithogalum Orostachys Orthophytum Orthoptereum Oscularia Othonna
Oxalis Pachycormus Pachyphytum Pachypodium Pachyveria Pectinaria Pedilanthus Pelargonium
Peperomia Phedimus Phyllanthus Phyllobolus Phytolacca Piaranthus Pilea Pitcairnia
Plectranthus Pleiospilos Plumeria Portulaca Portulacaria Prenia Psammophora Pseudobombax
Pseudolithos Psilocaulon Pterodiscus Pteronia Puya Pyrenacantha Here here Rabiea
Raphionacme Rhadamanthus Rhinephyllum Rhodiola Rhombophyllum Rhytidocaulon Ruschia Ruschianthus
Sansevieria Sarcocaulon Sarcostemma Sceletium Schlechteranthus Schwantesia Sedeveria Sedum
Sempervivum Senecio Sesamothamnus Seyrigia Sinningia Sinocrassula Stapelia Stapelianthus
Stapeliopsis Stephania Stoeberia Stomatium Streptocarpus Synadenium Tacitus Talinum
Tanquana Tavaresia Tetradenia Tillandsia Titanopsis Trachyandra Tradescantia Trichodiadema
Tridentea Trochomeria Tromotriche Tylecodon Tylosema Umbilicus Cute Urginea
Vanheerdea Villadia Welwitschia Whiteheadia Xerosicyos Yucca Zehneria Zygosicyos



• Life of plants and their secrets
• Characteristics and distribution of succulents
• Typicality of cacti
• Epiphytic cacti
• Cultural practices (everything, absolutely everything, what you need to know)
• Cultivation notes (notes and tricks originating from the practice)
• Diseases (prevention, recognition and treatment)
• Minimum winter shelter (to avoid losing plants due to the cold)
• The sowings • The germinator (everything, and more, what you need to know to successfully sow)
• Building the greenhouse (self-construction project)
• Succulents and photography
• International organizations and code of conduct

• Cactaceans:
- Cultivation cards and images (98 genera treated with thousands of new images)
- Index of illustrated species
-Main alternative names
-Recognized genres
• Appendices:
- Map of Cactaceae:
-U.S.A, -Mexico, -Flora of Tenerife,
-Reviewed books
- F.A.Q.
• Acknowledgments

Acanthocalycium spiniflorum thionanthum violaceum violaciflorum
Akersia hybrid
Ancistrocactus cortihamatus crassihamatus tobuschii uncinatus uncinatus v.wrightii conzattii flagelliformi hybrid
Aporocactus mallisonii
Aporophyllum beauty celestine marie moonlight nicola orange glow orange
Arequipa straight
Ariocarpus agavoides bravoanus bravoanus v. guadalcazar confusus fissuratus fissuratus v. bluehend fissuratus v. looyd fissuratus v. hintonii fissuratus v. godzilla fissuratus v. intermedius furfuraceus furfuraceus v. cauliflower furfuraceus v. Zouge furfuraceus intermedius kotschoubeyanus retusus scapharostrus kotschoubeyanus v. elephantidens kotschoubeyanus kotschoubeyanus v. tiny lloydii retusus retusus v. aramberri retusus f. crest. bei matehuala retusus v. elongatus retusus v. rotbluehend aramberri retusus v. rotbluehend bei aramberri retusus v. standort trigonus
Armatocereus ghiesbreghtii lae matucanensis oligogonus
Arrojadoa albiflora aureispina v. sanguinea aureispina canudosensis dinae eriocaulis horridispina horstii multiflora nana penicillata rhodantha segrendensis = cafanauensis
Arthrocereus campos-porto spinosissimus
Astrophytum asterias asterias cv. miracle kabuto asterias cv super kabuto snow type asterias cv super kabuto asterias varieg asterias capricorne v. crassispinum f. varieg capricorne capricorne hyb capricorne v.niveum f. nudum capricorne v. senile hyb. senile v. pink capricorne v. senile x asterias coahuilense, crassispinoides cultivar glabrescens myriostigma varieg. myriostigma v. nudum myriostigma cv. Onzuca myriostigma v. tricostatum myriostigma v. columnare myriostigma varieg myriostigma myriostigma v. huizache myriostigma v. los ebanos myriostigma shown myriostigma v. quadricostatum ornatum
Austrocephalocereus albicephalus (Siccobaccatus) estevesii purpureus
Aylostera fabrisii var. aurei ora (Rebutia) fulviseta heliosa narvacense pseudominuta v. schneideriana pseudominuta spegazzinii
Aztekium hintonii ritteri
Azureocereus hertlingianus
Backebergia militaris
Bergerocactus emoryi
Blossfeldia cyatiformis fechseri formosa liliputana minima pedicellata subteranea
Bolivicereus samaipatanus tenuiserpens f. crest
Borzicactus aureispinus crest aureispinus crest (Cleistocactus) fieldianus roseiflorus samaipatanus crest samaipatanus v. multiflorus sepium
Brasilicactus graessneri crest graessneri haselbergii
Browningia candelaris chlorocarpa (Azureocereus) hertlingiana
Buiningia purpurea
Carnegiea gigantea (Saguaro) gigantea crest
Cephalocereus dybowskii crest hoppenstedtii (Haseltonia columna-trajani) palmeri senilis crest senilis
Cereus aethiops alacriportanus chalybaeus colosseus davosus crest forbesii v. otto forbesii hankeanus huilunchu jamacaru peruvianus crest peruvianus shown peruvianus spiralis peruvianus-hildemann shown. sp knobby form validus or forbesii form
Chamaecereus cp.jessup new cv. pula cv.amico silvestrii (Lobivia) sp yellow
Chamaelobivia spec crest
Chiapasia nelsonii
Cintia knizei napina subterranea
Cipocereus bradei crassisepalus pleurocarpus
Cleistocactus angosturensis areolatus aureispina crest baumannii brookerae candellila compactus crest dependens crest farrarii avispinus icosagonus crest jujuyensis crest jujuyensis margaritizianus crest morawetzianus potosinus ritteri strausii crest strausii monstr crest strausii v. fricii crest strausii variispinus vulpis-cauda winterianus crist
Coleocephalocereus buxbaumianus pluricostatus
Copiapoa atacamensis chianaralensis cinerascens v. large ora cinerascens cinerea albispina cinerea v. columna alba cinerea v. grandiflora cinerea cinerea v. columna-alba crest coquimbana v. vulgata coquimbana wagenknechtii cupreata dealbata charizalensis dealbata desertorum v. rupestris domeykoensis echinoides = cuprea fidleriana haseltoniana v. gigantea haseltoniana humilis c humilis prove humilis hypogae = barquitensis krainziana lembckei longispina crest longispina longistaminea marginata megarhiza minuta mollicula montana multicolor olivana pendicolor serpentisulcata solaris sp el cobre = atacamensis tenebrosa tenuissima tenusissima crest. totoralensis
Corryocactus brachypetalus melanotrichus
Coryphantha bumamma calipensis clavata cornifera daimonoceras durangensis echinoidea elenphantidens crest. elephantidens elephantidens varieg erecta crest erecta gladiispina hesteri jaumavei longicornis macromeris maiz-tablasensis nickelsae pallida pulleineana radians reduncispina retusa sulcolanata maiz-tablasensis
Cryptocereus (Selenicereus) anthonyanus
Dendrocereus nudiflorus undulosus
Denmoza erythrocephala rhodacantha
Discocactus araneispinus boliviensis buenekeri crystallophilus ferricola heptacanthus hybrid horstii insignis latispinus magnimammus placentiformis v. alteolens pulvinicapitatus silicicola subviridigriseus zehntneri v. araneispinus
Disocactus macranthus ramulosa rauhii speciosus v.amecamensis
Dolichothele longimamma sphaerica zephyranthoides
Echinocactus grusonii v. inermis grusonii v. albispinus grusonii v. brevispinus grusonii crest grusonii v. De Herdt grusonii v. inermis grusonii grusonii v. albinus grusonii cv. dawn horizonthalonius v. nigrispinus horizonthalonius ingens v. palmeri ingens platyacanthus polycephalus v. xeranthemoides texensis
Echinocereus aguirri alba amoenus armatus australis baileyi v. albispinus baileyi v. caespiticus crest barthelowianus berlandieri blankii v. berlandieri blankii v. poselgeri brandegeei crest brandegeei bristolii caespitosus chloranthus v. cylindricus crest chloranthus cinerascens cinerascens v.septentrionalis crest coccineus crest coccineus conglomeratus ctenoides crest dasyacanthus crest dubius engelmannii eneacneacanthus v. boyce-thompsonii fendleri rectispinus fendleri var. boyce-thompsonii fendleri v. kuenzleri fendleri v. ledingii fendleri v. rectispinus fitchii fitchii v.kruegeri crest oresii gentryi hempelii knippelianus v. kruegeri crest knippelianus v. kruegeri knippelianus varieg knippelianus kohresii maritimus merkeri moricallii nivosus crest nivosus palmeri pamanesiorum papillosus crest papillosus pectinatus v. rubispinus pectinatus pentalophus v. procumbens pentalophus perbellus polyacanthus v. densus polyacanthus v. gilbertus polyacanthus pulchellus pulchellus v. weinbergii crest pulchellus weinbergii rayonensis reichenbachii ssp.baileyi 'purpureus' reichenbachii v. baileyi crest reichenbachii rigidissimus v. rubrispinus rigidissimus roeteri rosei russanthus crest salm-dyckianus scheeri schmollii crest schmollii sciurus scopulorum sp. Lau stramineus v. occidentalis crest stramineus subinermis tayopensis triglochidiatus gona triglochidiatus triglochidiatus var. mojavensis triglochidiatus v. neomexicanus viereckii crest viereckii moricalli viereckii viridiflorus crest viridiflorus websterianus weinbergii v. albiflora
Echinofossulocactus (Stenocactus) albatus albatus crest anfractuosus arrigens coptogonus (Stenocactus) crispatus dichroacanthus erectocentrus guerraianus crest hastatus ochotereneus pentacanthus phyllac v. grandiflora sp tetraxiphus violaciflorus
Echinomastus dasyacanthus durangensis v. mapimiensis erectocentrus intertextus johnsonii v. lutescens johnsonii lauii macdwelli mapimiensis unguispinus warnockii v. pallidus warnookii
Echinopsis ancistrophora v. polyancistra aurea (Lobivia) calorubra carmineo crest chacoana entre rios eyriesii eyriesii varieg findilinge gelb gold tudiflora cv haku-jo henriette hyb yellow hybrid 'Dolly' hybrid Huranus hybrid miscellaneous Late Nigh leucantha liliana melanopotamicus mirmana multicolori crestxy multiplex ogreplex crestland crest x Pink Panda polancistra crest rhodotricha sp crest sp. spec Guachochid spiniflora tarijensis toralapana
Epicactus akermannii amaretto american v. sweetheart empereus du maroc hybrid hybrid King Midas hybrid Madras Ribbon pegasus
Epiphyllum anguliger birthday Butter y love chrysocardium hyb. hyb yellow hyb red hyb. Ivory Brocade jennifer annasting beauty masada oxypetalum phyllanthus x wild plum
Epithelantha bokei ssp. unguispina bokei greggii micromeris f. crest. micromeris micromeris v. pachyrhiza micromeris v. unguispina pachyrhiza rufispina crest.
Eriocereus tortuosus bomplandii jusbertii platygonus pomanensis tephracanthus tortuosus
Eriosyce andreanus aurata ceratistes crispa subsp.atrovir (Neochilenia huascensis) curvispina ihotzkyanae jussieu laui megacarpa sandillon
Escobaria aguireana alamos de Feria asperispina chaffeyi chihuahuensis conoidea cubensis dasyacantha varicolor hesteri laredoi leei minima missouriensis nelliae orcutii v. albicolumnaria roseana v. laui runyonii variicolor viviparous viviparous colfax
Escontria chiotilla
Exposed a bella blossfeldiorum cantoensis huanucensis hylaea crest lanata crest lanata v. mocupensis lanata lanianuligera crest laticornua v. atroviolacea laticornua longiaculeata crest melanostele crest. melanostele v. rubrispina crest melanostele mirabilis crest mirabilis nana crest procera ritteri crest ritteri ruficeps crest ruficeps senilis superba viligera
Acidic eulychnia questas las cardas breviflora tenuis brevispina caldenarace procumbens ritteri saint-pieana spinibarbis
Facheiroa ulei
Ferocactus acanthodes v. lecontei acanthodes v. rostii acanthodes v. acanth. acanthodes v. tortulispinus acanthodes alamosanus cortihamatus brevispinus monstr carasacanthus chrysacanthus v. rubrispinus coloratus covilei cylindraceus (acanthodes) diguetii diguetii v. carmenensis echidne v. rafaelensis echidne v. echidne. echidne electracanthus emoryii famatimensis avovirens fordii fordii v. fordii gatesii glaucescens glaucescens nudum gracilis v. coloratus gracilis gracilis v. gracilis hamatacanthus v. sinuatus hamatacanthus v. sinuatus papyracanthus hamatacanthus herrerae histrix horridus ingens v. longispinus johnstonianus johnstonii latispinus v. avispinus latispinus v. latisp lecontei macrodiscus peninsulae v. santamaria peninsulae v. viscainensis peninsulae pilosus pottsii v. alamosanus pottsii pottsii v. rectispinus pringlei rectispinus recurvus v. albiflora recurvus reppenhagenii robustus rostii santa-maria schwartzii setispinus sinuatus sp varieg. sp stainesii yellow plug stainesii v. pilosus stainesii townsendianus v. santa-maria townsendianus v. townsendianus townsendianus viridescens wislizenii
Frailea angelensis asteroides buiningiana castanea cataphracta mammifera phaedisca pygmaea grandiflora schukiana
Geohintonia mexicana
Glandulicactus uncinatus uncinatus f. crest
Gymnocactus beguinii booleans v. galeana gielsdorfianus horripilus knuthianus knuthianus v. subterraneus mandragora monvillei saueri v. salamanca subterraneus crest subterraneus subterraneus viereckii (Turbinicarpus)
Gymnocalicium baldianum achirasense alboareolatum amerhauseri andreae anisitsii anisitsii varieg asterium v. paucispinum baldianum crest baldianum bayerianum bicolor bodenbenderianum bruchii v. huge caterpillars calochlorum cardenasianum carminanthum castellanosii catamarcense v. belense chiquitanum damsii damsii-torulosum deeszianum denudatum depressum doppianum eurypleurum ferrarii friedrichii gibbosum glaucum guachinense horridispinum horstii hossei intertextum kurtzianum leeanum marquezii megalothelos mihanovichii cv. black botan mihanovichii v. f.rubra crest mihanovichii multiflorum mihanovichii v. rubrum (Hylocereus) mihanovichii ssp. albiflorum mihanovichii ssp.chlorosticktum mihanovichii v. schwarzii mihanovichii monvillei monvillei v. horridispinum mustii multiflorum neuhuberi nidulans ochoterenae oenanthemum paediophilum papschii paraguayense pflanzii variegated form pflanzii platense crest platense quehlianum ragonesi reductum riogradense ritterianum saglionis saipiniense schatzlianum spegazzini. horyzonthalonium spegazzinii stellatum sutterianum tillianum tominensis triacanthum valnicekianum
Gymnocereus altissimus microspermus
Haageocereus acranthus aureispinus v. fucispinus crest aureispinus cantaensis chosicensis crest chosicensis chrysacanthus densiaculeatus crest dichromus crest elegans fulvus crest multangularis multicolorispinus crest pachystele platinospinus rowleyanus crest salmonoideus sp variispinus crest versicolor
Hamatocactus hamatacanthus setispinus crest
Hamatocereus senilis
Harrisia adscendens bonplandii brookii divaricatiflora earlei eriophora jusbertii martini nashii pomanensis taetra
Hatiora bambusoides gaertneri = Rhipsalidopsis g herminae salicornoides
Helianthocereus huascha hybrid sp.
Heliocereus aurantiacus heterodoxus hybrid sp speciosus
Hildewintera aureispina (Borzicactus) eurispina f. Crestata
Horridocactus geissei
Hylocereus aff. undatus x arturo guatemalensis nopalensis stenopterus trigonus undatus
Islaya bicolor brevicylindrica grandiflorens (Neoporteria) grandis (Neoporteria) islayensis longicarpa maritima minor mollendensis roseiflora
Isolatedcereus dumortieri
Jasminocereus galapagensis howellii sclerocarpus
Krainzia guelzowiana
Lamaireocereus pruinosus dumortieri hollianus stellatus crest
Lepismium sp
Leptocereus ekmanii paniculatus weingartianus
Leuchtenbergia principis
Lobivia albolanata crest allegraiana crest amblayensis arachnacantha arachnacantha v. densiseta aurea crest aurea v. fallax aurea aurea var. shaferi aurea v. mizquensis backebergiana crest x Best Yellow bicolorthorn crest binghamiana bouningiana bruchii crest bruchii cardenasiana carminantha crest carminantha chrisochete densispina crest densispina famatimensis crest famatimensis famous rosarioana ferox ferrugienea flaviflora formosa grandiflora v. crassicaulis grandiflora haematacantha v. amblayensis haematacantha haematacantha v. viridis hertrichiana hertrichiana v. allegraiana hossii crest hybrid jajoana kupperiana crest lateritia crest lateritia maximilliana v. westii memories mizquensis x Mountain Flame obrepanda pectinifera crest pentlandii crest. pentlandii polancistra crest purpureomineata rebutoides saltensis sanguiniflora schieliana v. leptacantha schieliana schneideriana v.carnea crest scoparia crest spec. crest taratensis v. acanthoplena triegeliana v. pusilla uriondensis vatteri winteriana wrightiana wrightiana var. winteriana
Lophocereus gatesii mieckleyanus monstr sargentianus schotti schottii v. australis schottii crest schottii monstr
Lophophora diffuse v. koehresi lutea williamsii v. caespitosa williamsii v. texensis williamsii williamsii crest
Loxanthocereus achanturus eulalianus sextonianus
Machaerocereus eruca gummosus (Stenocereus)
Malacocarpus sp
Mammillaria aff. geminispina affinis crest albicans albilanata angelensis angularis apozolensis applanata aureilanata v. alba crest aureilanata aureilanata v. alba backebergiana backerbergiana ssp. ernestii baiselii baumii baxteriana berkiana blossfeldiana bocasana crest bocasana v. splendens crest bocasana ssp multilanata bocasana bombycina crest bombycina booli brauneana crest brauneana bravoae cadeyterense camptotricha candida crest candida carmenae v. rubrispina carmenae carminea crest casei crest centraliplumosa centricirra centricirrha crest chionocephala crest coahuilensis columbiana tablet crest tablet confused crest cowperae crucigera dealbata deherdtiana densispina dioica dixanthocentron dodsonii duripulpa crest duwei elongia crest egregata crest tenuis crest elongata ernestii crest euthele fuauxiana fuscohamata geminispina v.nobilis crest geminispina gigantea glareosa glassii goldii goodrichii gracilis prove gracilis graessneriana crest guelzowiana (Krainzia) guelzowiana var. robustior (Krainzia) gumifera haageana hahniana crest hahniana haseltoniana haudeana hernandezii herrerae hoffmanniana humboldtii jaliscana crest johnstonii karwinskiana crest knebeliana kunzeana crest kunzeana lasiacantha laui crest laui, v. subducta crest laui lenta leuthyi lindsayi longiflora crest longiflora v. moldferi longiflora longimamma crest: longimamma louisae luethyi macdougallii magnifica crest magnimamma crest magnimamma malaleuca maritima marksiana martinezii matudae mazatlanensis microcarpa microhelia microthele crest morganiana crest muehlenpfordtii mystax crest nanae nanaffortina nanajfortina nanajfortina nanajfortinaensis crest nanaffortiana nanajtrosa crest nu celsiana occidentalis ortiz-rubiona parkinsonii patonii pecheretiana pectinifera (Solisia pectinata) pennispinosa v. auriflora pennispinosa perbella perezdelarosae crest perezdelarosae petersonnii pettersonii longispina pilcayensis pitacayensis v. chrysothele plumosa pointeri crest polythele v. nudum polythele pondii poselgeri pottsii pringlei crest pringlei prolifera crest prolifera var. haitiensis prolifera pseudoperbella pygmea crest rekoi v.leptacantha rhodantha crest rhodantha v. fulvispina crest rhodantha v. rubra crest rhodantha rubograndis ruestii saboae hybrid aboae v. haudeana saboae sanchez v. mejoradae sartori cheidwelleriana skhasi v. aurihamata schiedeana schumannii schwarzii crest schwarzii sempervivi senilis setispina (Cochemia) sheldonii shurliana slevinii sp. sphacelata sphaerica spinosissima crest spinosissima v. unpilo spinosissima standley v. robustispina subducta supertexta surculosa (Dolichothele) tetrancistra tezontle thalocii theresae crest theresae thornberi tolimensis crest toluca uncinata unihamata vagaspina forma nudum vaupelii crest vierekii weingarthiana crest wildii crest wildii wolfi woodi xsizei wrightiina. albiflora zeilmanniana zephiranthoides
Marshallocereus turberi
Matucana aurantiaca crest aurantiaca aureiflora bagalensis crinifera crest enodisca formosa haynei v. comacephala haynei crest haynei v. atrispina haynei huagalensis intertexta v. celendinensis intertexta v. cinerascens intertexta madisoniorum myriacantha oreodoxa pauicostata polzii pujupati ritteri weberbaueri
Mediolobivia costata eos hagei pectinata v. challapata pygmaea
Melocactus aff. zehntneri amoenus amtuziae azulensis azureus bahiensis ssp. amethystinus bahiensis bellavistensis borhidii broadwayi concinnus conoideus curvispinus ernestii erythracanthus estevesii giganteus glaucescens guaricencis harlowii helvolilanatus holguinensis intortus lensselinkianus longispinus macroacanthos matanzanus maxonii melocactoides. cremnophilous oreas pachyacanthus sp. viridis pachyacanthus pedernalensis puicispinus salvadorensis trujilloensis violaceus zehntneri var. viridis zehntneri
Micranthocereus aviflorus ssp. densiflorus auri-azureus densiflorus polyanthus purpureus crest streckeri
Mila nealeana crest
Monvillea alticostata haageana kroenlenii spegazzini crest. spegazzinii
Doelzian Morawetzia
Myrtgerocactus lindsayi
Myrtillocactus areolatus cochal eichlamii crest geomatrizans geometrizans crest monster geometrizans crestschenckii
Peeblesian Navajoa
Neobesseya missuriensis similis wissmani
Neobuxbaumia euphorbioides polylopha scoparia
Neochilenia aspillagae atra calderana fusca huanuscensis intermedia krausi kunzei napina neohankeana odorata paucicostata hab pilispina pygmea ssp. horrida recondita residual rupicola taltalensis transitansis
Neolloydia conoidea crest conoidea grandiflora matehualensis smithii
Neoporteria aspillagae castaneoides (Eriosyce subgibbosa) chiliensis choapensis (Eriosyce curvispina v. Choapensis) curvispinus (Pyrrhocactus) deherdtiana echinus v. floccosa esmeraldana floccosa gerocephala gigantea hankeana (Eriosyce taltalensis) intermedia (Eriosyce taltalensis) jussieu (Pyrrhocactus) krausii litolaris microsperma napina nidus v. senilis (Eriosyce senilis) nidus occulta paucicostata rapifera senilis setosiflora (Eriosyce heirichiana var. setosiflora) setosiflora (Eriosyce heirichiana) simulans (Eriosyce heirichiana ssp. simulans) sociabilis sp. subgibbosa neoclavata var.nigrispina subgibbosa subiki (Eriosyce heirichiana) tuberisulcata (Eriosyce curvispina)
Neoraimondia aerquipensis herzogiana (Neocardenasia) roseiflora
Nopalxochia ackermannii phyllantoides
Notocactus arechavetai buiningii v. longispinus buiningii claviceps concinnus corynodes (Wigginsia) crassigibus ferrugineus floricomus graessneri (Brasilicactus) haselbergi v. stellatus (Brasilicactus) haselbergii (Brasilicactus) herteri horstii leninghausii (Eriocactus) leninghausii crest (Eriocactus) leninghausii magnificus crest (Eriocactus) magnificus mammulosus v. curtinensis mammulosus v rubrispinus mammulosus v. brasiliensis mammulosus megapotamicus minimus crest muegelianus Stuchlik muegelianus muelleri-melchersi muelleri-melchersii crest muelleri-noelleri crest muricatus crest muricatus v monticola floricomus v. relenosum ottonis ssp. tortosus ottonis v. venclusianus ottonis parkeri purpureus roseiflorus Stuchlik roseoluteus crest roseoluteus ruedibuenekeri crest rutilans schlosseri schumannianus (Eriocactus) broom crest broom sp L Sierra Ancasti submammulosus crest: submammulosus ssp minor submammulosus tenpinacetius crest vepmannus vepmannianus tepmannianus crest vepmannianus crest anthonianus warasii (Eriocactus) werdermannianus v. albispinus
Nyctocereus serpentinus (Peniocereus) chontalensis (Selenicereus) guatemalensis serpentinus (Peniocereus)
Obregonia denegrii varieg denegrii
Opuntia moniliformis (Consolea) (Cylindropuntia) bigelowi (Cylindropuntia) imbricata (Cylindropuntia) rosea (Cylindropuntia) tunicata (Grusonia) invicta aciculata austrina bakeri basilaris bergeriana bigelouii brasilensis burageana cintiensis crustal clavarium clavarious (Brasilopuntica cylindrania crindmanic compressal crindmanias crindrica co erinacea v. hystricina crest erinacea estevesii (Tacinga) falcata ficus indica filifera galapageia gosseliniana humifusa v. inermis imbricata inamoena invicta (Corynopuntia) leptocaulis lindheimeri marnierana microdasys v. alba microdasys v. albispina microdasys crest microdasys v. rufida microdasys monacantha palmadora phaeacantha major phaeacantha picardoi platyacantha (Tephrocactus) pycnantha quimilo salmiana (Brasilopuntia) santa-rita sp. spegazzinii subulata sulfurea tuna monster. tuna tunicata undulata dressed crest. dressed f. crest. violacea viperina crest vulgaris weberi spegazzini
Oreocereus celsianus cuchuingenio celsianus v. from Potosi celsianus v. giganteus celsianus v. magnificus celsianus v. fossul celsianus v. maximus celsianus doelziana v. fuscatispina crest erectocylindrica (Arequipa) fossulatus crest fossulatus rubrospinus fossulatus hendriksenianus v.brunispinus hendriksenianus v.densilanatus hendriksenianus v. spinosissimus hendriksenianus rettigii (Arequipa) sericata (Morawetzia) spinosissima (Arequipa) trollii urmiriensis crest urmiriensis variicolor (Morawetzia)
Oroya arenacea baumannii Neoperuviana v. Neoperuvian depressed v. Peruvian neoperuvian tenuispina v. Peruvian gibbous v. gigantea peruviana v. Peruvian pluricentralis
Ortegocactus macdougalii
Pachycereus (Stenocereus) weberi arboriginum v. gaumerii grandis marginatus pecten-aborigenum pringlei crest pringlei
Parodia amblayensis atroviridis crest aureispina crest aureispina ayopayana bachebergiana blancii cabracorralensis camargensis v. camblayana challamarcana chrysacanthion crest. chrysacanthion comosa crucicentra culpinensis dichreacantha crest dichreacantha erythrantha (Echinocactus microspermus erythrantha) escayachensis faustiana formosa frichiana fuscato v. viridis gibbulosa gibbulosoides hausteiniana herzogii higueritas crest lauii lohaniana maasii magnifica mairanana maxima mercedesiana microsperma miguelensis minuta neglectoides ocampoi ottaviana otuyensis penicillata v. yellow thorn penicillata pluricentralis crest punae quechud ritteri rubellihamata rubistaminea crest saint-pieana crest salmonea sanguiniflora crest sanguiniflora schwebsiana setosa crest setosa sotamajorensis sp spec. bisher crest stuermeri subterranea tuberculosis-costata crest turbinata uhligiana var. robustior weberiana crest weberiana v. reojensis crest zecheri
Pediocactus bradyi v. knowltonii despainii nigrispinus v. pebloensis nigrispinus paradinei peeblesianus simpsonii simpsonii v. Robustior FH simpsonii v. robustior crest
Pelecyphora aselliformis pectinata (Solisia) pseudopectinata crest pseudopectinata strobilformis valdeziana
Peniocereus castellae greggi maculatus rosei viperinus
Pereskia aculeata bahiensis grandifolia v. grandiflora grandifolia portulacifolia weberiana
Pereskiopsis velutina
Pilosocereus alensis crest alensis arrabidae aureisetus aurilanatus azureus (Cephalocereus) azureus crest backebergii barbadensis brasiliensis calcisaxicolus chiliensis cyaneus glaucescens crest glaucescens multiflorus crest lanuginosus magnificus maxonii nobilis crestus palmecere crested pachenta supergonomic crestus pachus pach
Polaskia chende chichipe crest chichipe
Pterocactus araucanus decipiens spp tuberosus valentinii
Pterocereus gaumeri (Pachicereus)
Pusilla flaviflora
Pygmaeocereus bieblii bylesianus densiaculeatus
Pyrrhocactus bulbocalyx
Quiabentia pflanzii
Rathbunia alamosensis sonorensis crest
Rauhocereus riosaniensis
. iseliniana crest senilis v. kesselringiana crest tarvitaensis vallegrandensis vatteri crest violaciflora crest violaciflora xanthocarpa var. rib
Rhipsalidopsis Anika Flash gaertneri Leos Pink rosea
Rhipsalis cassutha clavata cruciform v. ruiosurus fasciculata microcarpa paradoxa pentaptera pilocarpa purpusii rhombea sansibarica
Rhodocactus grandifolius
Ritterocereus standleyi
Rodientophila atacamensis
Schlumbergera sp. Bridgeport hyb opuntioides Rocket truncatus x bridgeport x christmas-ame
Sclerocactus crassihamatus (Ancistrocactus) franklinii glaucus nyensis papyracantha (Toumeya) parviflorus polyancistrus pubispinus sp spinosior whipplei crest wrightiae
Selenicereus atropilosus grandiflorus hamatus hybrid macdonaldiae pteranthus testudo (Deamia)
Seticereus chlorocarpus icosagonus
Setiechinopsis mirabilis
Siccobaccatus dolichospermaticus (Austrocephalocereus)
Soehrensia bruchii
Stenocereus beneckei chende fimbriatus fricii griseus gummosus histrix hollianus crest hollianus hybrid laevigatus (Ritterocereus) marginatus crest marginatus montanus pruinosus queretaroensis quevedonus stellatus thurberi (Marshallocereus) victoriensis (Ritterocereus) web
Stephanocereus leucostele luetzelburgii
Stetsonia coryne crest coryne
Strombocactus disciformis
Submatucana balsasoides huaricensis paucicostata turbiniformis
Subpilocereus genadensis (Cereus) margaretensis repandus
Sulcorebutia flavissima alba crest alba albida v. robutispina albissima arenacea bicorispina crest breviflora candiae caniguerali carde crispata crest crispata culizensis frankiana glaneriseta glomerispina kruegerii crest kruegerii lepida markusii v. longispina menesesii mentosa mizquensis crest muschii rauschii crest rauschii santiaginiensis steinbachii crest steinbachii v. gracilior steinbachii steinmannii v. videciflora crest sucrensis taratensis v. minima tiraquensis crest tiraquensis totorensis crest totorensis tuberculata vasqueriana v. albispina zavaletae crest zavaletae
Tacinga brauni
Tephrocactus alexanderi aoracanthus articulatus v. oligogonus articulatus v. papyracanthus atroviridis bruchii corotilla dactiliferus geometricus khol lecoriensis molinensis (Opuntia) sp strobiliformis udonis weberi zehnderi
Thelocactus bicolor v.tricolor crest bicolor v. avidispinus bicolor v. comus bicolor conothelos aurantiacus conothelos v. argenteus conothelos v. conothelos conothelos ehrenbergii gonacanthus heterochromus hexaedrophorus v. lloydii hexaedrophorus huizachensis krainzianus lausseri leucacanthus crest leucacanthus v. schmollii nidulans v. avispinus phymatethele rinconensis v. lephothele rinconensis v. nidulans rinconensis schwarzii setispinus v. setaceus setispinus tulensis wagnerianus
Toumeya papyracantha
Trichocereus argentinensis bridgesii v. monstruosus camarguensis candicans v. gladiatus candida candidans crest caulescens cephalomacrostibas chilensis cuzcoensis deserticolus fulvilavus gracilis (Helianthocereus) grandiflorus huascha (Helianthocereus) hybrid little v. sanguiniflorus hybrid macrogonus nigripilis v. nigrispinus pachanoi crest pachanoi pasacana peruvianus poco = tarijensis (Helianthocereus) randalli (Helianthocereus) santanensis santiaguensis schickendatzii sp. show sp spachianus stellatus crest tacaquirensis taquimbalensis tephracanthus terscheckii thelogonus tortorensis vateri
Trinicarpus polaskii
Trixanthocereus blossfeldiorum jelenkyanus senilis
Turbinicarpus aselliformis bonatzii dickinsoniae crest dickinsoniae faviflorus gielsdorfianus gracilis hoferi jauernigii klinkerianus v. lilinkeuiduus klinkerianus krainzianus v. minor krainzianus v. lausseri krainzianus v .minimus krainzianus laui lophophoroides macrochele panarottoi polaskii pseudomacrochele pseudopectinatus rioverdensis v. nicarpus rioverdensis roseiflorus schmiedickeanus v. panarottoi schmiedickeanus v. flaviflorus schmiedickeanus v. polaskii schmiedickeanus varieg. schmiedickeanus schwarzii subterraneus swobodae valdezianus ysabelae
Uebelmannia flavispina buiningii crebispina gummifera meninensis pectinifera v. multicostata pectiniferawarasii
Vatricania guentheri
Weberbauerocereus albus callanus churinensis cuzcoensis fascicularis johnsonii (Haageocereus) longicomus rahuii seyboldianus weberbaueri v. horridus winterianus
Weberocereus biolleyi
Weingarthia breviflora kargliana lanata neocumingii v. mairanana neocumingii pilcomayoensis pulquinensis riograndensis sp trollii
Wigginsia bezrucii gladiata leprosonum v. check leprosorum leucocarpa neohorstii prolifera pulvinata sessiliflora sp de Herdt tephracantha waras
Wilcoxia australis kroenlenii leucanthus poselgeri schmollii sp nova viperinus
Yungasocereus (Samaipaticereus) inquiseviensis.



2.2 - 99 CARDS


3.1 - ARIOCARPUS Scheidweiller 1838
3.2 - ASTROPHYTUM Lemaire 1839

3.3.2 - RHIPSALIS Gaertner 1788
3.3.6 - WEBEROCEREUS Britton & Rose 1909

3.4 - COPIAPOA Britton & Rose 1922
3.5 - ECHINOCACTUS Link and Otto 1827
3.6 - ECHINOCEREUS Engelm. 1848
3.7 - ECHINOPSIS Zucc. 1837
3.8 - FEROCACTUS Britton & Rose 1922
3.9 - GYMNOCALYCIUM Pfeiffer ex Mittler 1844
3.10 - MAMMILLARIA Haworth 1812
3.11 - MELOCACTUS Link & Otto 1827
3.12 - PARODY Spegazzini 1923
3.13 - REBUTIA K. Schumann 1895
3.14 - TURBINICARPUS Buxbaum & Backeberg 1937


1 SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF NURSERIES Made with the VIS Project - Sustainable Nursery (Project entrusted with public tender - BURT n.38 of the CE.SPE.VI. s.r.l. of Pistoia and financed by the Tuscany Region)

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3 MARCH 2013 SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF NURSERIES Manual created with the VIS Project - Sustainable Nursery Subdivision by topic, partner Institutes and project managers: Task 1 - Rationalization of irrigation and fertilization DBPA (Alberto Pardossi) Department of Biology of Agricultural Plants Task 2 - Control of the infesting flora CIRAA (Andrea Peruzzi) Interdepartmental Center for Agro-Environmental Research E. Avanzi Task 3 - Recovery of green waste DEISTAF (Marco Vieri) Department of Economics, Engineering, Agricultural and Forestry Sciences and Technologies Sec. Ing. Of Agricultural and Forestry Biosystems. Task 4 - Reuse of exhausted substrates DCDSL (Giovanni Vannacci) Dept. Growing and Defense of Wood Species G. Scaramuzzi AGRIUM (Giampiero Patalano) Agrium Italia SpA, Development and material production for biofumigation. Task 5 - Environmental and economic analysis DIPSA (Francesco Paolo Nicese) Department of Sciences of crop production, soil and agroforestry. Task 6 - Dissemination and Task 7 - Coordination CESPEVI (Paolo Marzialetti) Experimental Center for Nursery

4 Contents Presentation. 7 Introduction IRRIGATION AND FERTILIZATION (L. Incrocci, A. Pardossi and P. Marzialetti) 1.1 Introduction The state of the art Horticulture and Nitrate Directive The piloting of irrigation Fertilization with controlled release fertilizers Concluding remarks Essential bibliography TEXTBOX 1.1 Evapotranspiration of crops and crop coefficients TEXTBOX 1.2 Intelligent irrigation systems TEXTBOX 1.3 Slow effect fertilizers TEXTBOX 1.4 The environmental impact of fertilization TEXTBOX 1.5 Deficit irrigation (deficit irrigation) in ornamental nurseries THE CONTROL OF WEED FLORA (C. Frasconi, S. Benvenuti, M. Fontanelli, L. Martelloni, M. Raffaelli and A. Peruzzi) 2.1 The weed flora in the nurseries of ornamental plants Physical control of the weed flora in the open field Control of the weed flora in the container nurseries References cited TEXTBOX 2.1 Weeding with vinegar TEXTBOX 2.2 Thermal control of the flora spontaneous in container plants and moles piazzali RECOVERY OF GREEN WASTE (D. Sarri, M. Rimediotti, M. Vieri) 3.1 Introduction The state of the art Treatment of green waste Concluding remarks Essential bibliography TEXTBOX 3.1 Biodegradable materials for binding plants, alternative to plastic materials

5 4. REUSE OF SUBSTRATES (S. Pecchia, G. Patalano, G. Vannacci) 4.1 Phytopathological problems of recovery substrates in horticulture Biofumigation Future perspectives Essential bibliography TEXTBOX 4.1 Flours and pellets with herbicide action TEXTBOX 4.2 Vegetable flours with bio-fumigant action ANALYSIS ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMICS (G. Lazzerini, FP Nicese) 5.1 Introduction Relations between business and environment Definition and applications of the LCA method Environmental analysis of productive processes in the nursery Example of application of LCA Concluding remarks Essential bibliography TEXTBOX 5.1 Definition of the objective and the field of application of the life cycle analysis (LCA) in the Pistoia nursery sector TEXTBOX 5.2 The Global worming potential (GWP) TEXTBOX 5.3 The tool for calculating the LCA TEXTBOX 5.4 The calculation of carbon sequestration TEXTBOX 5.5 Economic-environmental analysis on the possible introduction of some innovations in container cultivation

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7 Presentation The three-year research project VIS Sustainable Nursery began in 2010 following a public tender promoted by the Tuscany Region, which shared a series of priority issues with the world of nursery businesses and made them the subject of an intense applied research activity. This manual, created as part of the project, far from being a mere scientific exercise, collects a series of experiences in the field and provides useful indications for a nursery production process that is more compatible with the environment. The containment of the consumption of resources, through the introduction of sensors and dedicated software, and the reuse of waste products, the so-called green waste, are two of the main issues addressed during the research and for which alternative solutions have been proposed and effective.The project also tackled new approaches to weeding methodologies that are less and less dependent on chemical synthesis means and to analysis of the production processes typical of Tuscan nurseries with the application of the LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) methodology, a useful tool for assessing environmental impacts in environmental certification paths. From the three years of activity of the VIS project, this manual was born, a useful knowledge tool addressed in particular to technicians and operators in the nursery sector, full of indications immediately applicable at company and district level and of ideas for adaptation and further implementation of the results so far. obtained, in the direction of a Tuscan ornamental nursery ever closer to the environment. Special thanks to researchers, entrepreneurs and all those who, for various reasons, have done their utmost to carry out the project and this manual and a good read to those who want to approach it and put into practice the solutions it proposes. Gianni Salvadori Regional Councilor for Agriculture 7

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9 Introduction (L. Incrocci, A. Pardossi and P. Marzialetti) Horticulture is an extremely strategic sector for the Tuscany Region, if we consider that on hectares, equal to 1% of the agricultural area used, 20% of agricultural production is realized regional. The latest data published by the "Regional Statistical System" and relating to 2007, unfortunately show a contraction in floriculture, which is however counterbalanced by an even greater growth in nurseries. In this scenario, the province of Pistoia consolidates its leading position in the sector, grouping over 70% of the regional nursery area (4,782 hectares). For this reason, a research project for the sector could only focus its attention on this area of ​​Tuscany, also in consideration of the fact that the Pistoia nursery-ornamental rural district was established there in 2005 (L.R. 21/2004). This concentration of nursery activities (the District occupies a square of about 8 km on each side) if on the one hand it constitutes a strong point for the sector, on the other it poses a series of problems, especially of an environmental nature in a highly urbanized area such as Pistoia . All this has given rise to the need for an evaluation of this production system, especially from the point of view of environmental sustainability. The IDRI Project - Rationalization of the use of water resources and fertilizers in horticulture (() and the PROBIORN Project Organic production of ornamental plants (() financed by arsenic, and the Equal FLOVITUR Project Sustainable and Integrated Rural Development () promoted from the Province of Pistoia are some examples of research projects that testify to the growing interest in these topics. The research topics addressed by the VIS Project - Sustainable management of horticultural production systems (concern precisely the issues of limiting the consumption of resources and reducing of chemical inputs, with special reference to the rationalization of irrigation and fertilization, and to the control of infesting flora with means other than conventional herbicides. In addition, the problems of company waste and wastewater, which have recently been the object of the attention of local mass media, require the search for new methods ogie for their correct management and efficient recovery and reuse, in particular with regard to non-renewable components such as peat in soils. 9

10 With regard to energy, on the other hand, unlike floriculture, the nursery sector does not pose particular problems. In fact, nurseries do not use heated greenhouses and tunnels, except for a sporadic winter rescue, or supplementary lighting or other energy-intensive practices. The fuels for processing and electricity for irrigation pumps are the only uses of a certain size, but have little impact on the production process, as emerged from the FLORENER Project. Therefore, the topic of energy had a limited space in the VIS project. The strong interest in environmental issues is not dictated only by the need to comply with current regulations and to make this sector coexist with citizens in a densely populated area. Nursery companies, in fact, are maturing a growing interest in the adoption of environmental certifications that allow them to maintain their leadership on the European market. As is well known, awareness of environmental issues has greatly increased among consumers, not only for food products. From a recent survey carried out in North America by Veriflora, the environmental certification body for the horticultural sector (similar to other Europeans such as MPS), it emerged that almost 90% of consumers are interested in eco-friendly products and about 30% expressly asks for items with an environmental certification. There is no reason to think that the same thing is not happening on the European market (the main market for Tuscan plants) and the domestic one. According to what is reported in the economic insert of Corriere della Serra dated 26/10/2009, more than half of Italians evaluate the environmental impact of the production process before purchasing a product (54%) and consider it important that a product has a so-called eco-label. (56%). After several nursery companies have arrived at the certification of the production process management system (eg ISO 9000), the market is increasingly demanding the adoption of an environmental management system, i.e. the certification of the management of the production process that ensures compliance with environmental standards (EMAS, ISO 14000, MPS etc.). Therefore, in support of this new orientation it is necessary that research and experimentation make available to the sector the greatest number of technical solutions that make it possible to make the production process more sustainable and to achieve the continuously growing objectives of environmental certifications. The VIS Project, as we have seen, is structured in Tasks, some of which are dedicated to the rationalization of irrigation and fertilization of container crops, to the control of spontaneous flora, to the treatment of production waste, to the reuse of recovery substrates and to the economic and environmental analysis of nursery crops. The following chapters illustrate in more detail the state of the art regarding these issues and the results that emerged from the activity of the VIS project. 10

11 1. IRRIGATION AND FERTILIZATION (L. Incrocci, A. Pardossi and P. Marzialetti) 1.1 Introduction Summary The rationalization of irrigation and fertilization of ornamental plants grown on the ground or in containers was the subject of a project (IDRI financed by the Tuscany Region One of the main products of the project was the ARSIA Booklet n. 5 Rational use of resources in horticulture: water, to which we refer the reader. This manual, in fact, deals in detail with many technical aspects of irrigation, fertigation and fertilization in general. From the Notebook we have extracted the structural interventions (Tab. 1.1) and the operating procedures (Tab. 1.2) capable of significantly increasing the efficiency of irrigation and fertilization of horticultural crops In the following paragraphs of this chapter, as well as a brief general treatment of irrigation and fertilization of horticultural crops, we will illustrate some innovative approaches (at least for this production sector) to irrigation control developed and / or tested within the VIS Project (or other projects conducted, more or less simultaneously, by the University of Pisa in close collaboration with the Ce.Spe.Vi di Pistoia and some private companies and with the financial support of the European Commission (Project EU-FP7 FLOWAID, of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies (FLORPRO IRRIFLORVIVA, or of the Tuscany Region itself (VIS Project A paragraph will be dedicated to fertilization with controlled release of the new generation The state of the art Ornamental plants grown in pots, greenhouses or nurseries are generally characterized by a rapid growth and therefore require a considerable supply of both nutritional elements (in particular nitrogen) and water, moreover of good quality (with an electrical conductivity, EC, lower than ms / cm) considering that generally the ornamental species are very sensitive to saline stress. Water and mineral requirements are particularly high in the case of container crops, which are increasingly widespread also in open air nurseries (Figs). 11

12 Fig Container cultivation of ornamental plants in a Pistoia nursery. The irrigation volumes supplied annually to horticultural crops are highly variable: from less than 1000 m 3 / ha in open field nurseries up to 1,000 m 3 / ha in pot crops. During the irrigation season the quantity of water distributed daily to a nursery is between 10 and 20 mm (m 3 / ha). As reported by ARPAT in 2001, only in the Province of Pistoia, with almost 5000 ha of nurseries, 1000 of which in containers, it is estimated an annual consumption of over 12 million m 3 of water, supplied for over 90% by wells. and distributed for 75-80% to the pottery. In the Pistoia area, the potential evapotranspiration (ETP), which roughly corresponds to the effective evapotranspiration (ETE) of the crops, exceeds 1100 mm / year (11,000,000 m 3 / ha from CESPEVI). About 2/3 of the annual FTE is concentrated in the irrigation season (May-October), when the water deficit (difference between FTE and rainfall) amounts to more than 400 mm. In reality, in the case of container crops, due to the poor capacity of interception and retention of rainwater by the substrate, the water deficit is much higher with evident repercussions on seasonal irrigation volumes. 12

13 Fig The experimental nursery built at Ce.Spe.Vi in Pistoia in 2003 with the IDRI project and subsequently used for other research on the irrigation of ornamental potted plants (FLORPRO, FLOWAID, IRRIFLORVIVA and VIS projects). container remain very demanding from the water point of view, irrigation efficiency can certainly improve, solving at least in part some critical points related for example to: 1. the inaccurate estimate of the irrigation needs of plants on a daily basis 2. the use of substrates with a reduced water retention capacity 3. the practice of arranging plants with very different needs in the same irrigation sector (for botanical characteristics, age and size, even of the pots Fig. 1.3) 4. the need in many cases for a fixed shift of irrigation, for reasons related to the extraction capacity of groundwater in nurseries, irrigation is generally carried out automatically by control units on which the schedules and durations of the irrigation interventions (usually no more than 2-4 during the day) The estimate of the irrigation needs is almost always linked to the experience of the nurseryman and furthermore the use of the control units described above does not allow, despite the frequent adjustments of accurately follow the variations during the day and from day to day of the ETE. Furthermore, the cultivation promiscuity leads the technicians in charge to program the irrigation control units on the basis of the ETE of the most demanding plant. 13

14 Fig Container cultivation of ornamental plants in a Pistoia nursery. Note the presence of different species in the same irrigation sector. Therefore, there is a widespread tendency in nurseries to over-irrigate potted crops with a surplus of water that on average is around 20-30% with peaks of up to 50% and more with consequent losses of both water and nutrients and pesticides (added to substrate before transplanting or during the growing season, by hand or by fertigation) with an increase in production costs and pollution of deep and superficial water bodies. According to some studies conducted in the Pistoia area, the quantities of water and nitrogen lost by leaching from container crops can reach, respectively, 2,000-4,000 m 3 / ha and kg / ha, when the nursery is not equipped for recovery. of drainage water. The phytopathological risks associated with over-irrigation are at least partially reduced by the use of highly draining substrates. 14

15 Tab Interventions for the rationalization of irrigation and fertilization in horticultural crops, divided according to the technological content and costs (source: Quaderno ARSIA, no. 5/2004, Interventions with reduced technological content and / or limited cost 1) Design optimal irrigation systems. 2) Spatial organization of crops (subdivision of cultivated plants according to water requirements). 3) Care of the irrigation intervention: cyclic irrigation morning irrigation use of timers with device for excluding irrigation in case of rain. 4) Treatment of irrigation water (filtration and acidification). 5) Monitoring of the crop (drainage water analysis). 6) Systematic recording (for example, through the use of simple liter counters, of the quantities of water and fertilizers distributed and dispersed (runoff monitoring). Interventions involving technological content and / or relatively high cost 1) Introduction or greater use of drip irrigation. 2) Introduction or greater use of fertigation. 3) Use of automatic irrigation control systems based on ETE estimation. 4) Collection and storage of rainwater. Interventions with high technological content and particularly onerous cost 1) Computerized control of air conditioning (greenhouse) and irrigation / fertigation interventions (including the application of expert systems). 2) Use of soilless cultivation systems (for ground cut flower crops). 3) Recovery and reuse of drainage water (closed or virtually closed systems, in greenhouses or nurseries). 4) Water desalination treatment (reverse osmosis). 15

16 Tab Some useful agronomic measures for the rationalization of irrigation and fertilization in horticultural crops (source: Quaderno ARSIA, n. for a more efficient spatial organization of the greenhouse or nursery. 2. Take care of the design of irrigation systems to obtain the maximum possible water efficiency for that particular irrigation system (objective: maximum uniformity of supply). 3. Provide the necessary refinement treatments irrigation water, in particular filtration and acidification. 4. Use plant components (filters, drippers, sensors,.), fertilizers and substrates of quality (certified). 5. Provide regular maintenance of the equipment and devices used for the irrigation and fertigation (feed and metering pumps, filtration systems, sense park re. ), including periodic verification of the uniformity of water supply from the systems 6. Precisely define the irrigation regime, i.e. the watering volume on the basis of the hydrological characteristics of the soil / substrate and the quality of the irrigation water (leaching fraction), and the frequency (shift) on the estimate of the actual evapotranspiration of the crop. 7. Fractionate the nutrient supply of the crop as much as possible. 8. Reduce the ETE and more generally water waste as much as possible through morning irrigation, cyclic irrigation, mulching the soil, use of windbreaks, suspension of irrigation in the presence of strong wind and rain, etc. 9. In container crops, regularly monitor volumes and salient chemical characteristics (ph and EC) of drainage water. 10. Regularly record the volumes of water and fertilizers distributed to crops. 1.3 Nurseries and the Nitrates Directive Summary It is important to remember that nurseries could fall into the so-called Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) under the Nitrates Directive of the European Commission. The Nitrates Directive was issued in 1991 with the aim of protecting human health, protecting aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and safeguarding the legitimate uses of water. According to the Nitrates Directive, in order to reduce water pollution caused by nitrates of agricultural origin, specific measures are necessary regarding the use of nitrogen fertilizers and, more generally, the management of crops and livestock. The Nitrates Directive intended to encourage the adoption of good agricultural practices and asked Member States to identify the NZVs, i.e. the areas of territory that directly or indirectly discharge nitrogen compounds into already polluted waters 16

17 (nitrate concentration higher than 50 mg / l) or which could be as a consequence of such discharges. The Nitrates Directive provided for the definition of the agronomic techniques to be applied in each ZVN and the drafting of specific Programs / Action Plans, which include the so-called Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) which include, for example: prohibition , in some periods, the application of certain types of fertilizers limits to the doses of fertilizers distributed to crops obligation to prepare fertilization plans and to keep records on the applications of fertilizers limits in the application of fertilizer to steeply sloping and / or adjacent land to water courses instructions for irrigation and fertigation in order to prevent water pollution due to the flow and percolation of water beyond the layer explored by the roots in irrigated crops Italy implemented the Nitrates Directive on 11 May 1999 with the DL n. 152 Provisions on the protection of water from pollution and implementation of Directive 91/271 / EEC concerning the treatment of urban waste water and of Directive 91/676 / EEC relating to the protection of water from pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources. The D.L. it was updated in 2000 (D.L.n.258/2000) extending the provisions of the Nitrates Directive to all types of water and pollution, and then in 2006 (D.L. 52/06).On the basis of the Nitrates Directive, the Italian government has drawn up the manual of good agricultural practice (Ministerial Decree of 19 April 1999) and has delegated to the Regions the designation of the ZVNs and the preparation of action programs. Every four years the Regions review or complete the designations of the NVAs to take into account changes and factors not foreseen at the time of the previous designation. The Action Programs and the provisions of the GAPs must be implemented in the NZVs. Tab. 1.3 reports some information on the application of the Nitrates Directive in Tuscany. With regard to nitrogen fertilization of horticultural crops, the Action Program of the Tuscany Region, mandatory as mentioned in the ZVN, refers to the Disciplinary for Integrated Agricultural Production (LR Regione Toscana 25/1999), which also contain some measures concerning irrigation ( Tab.1.4). 17

18 Tab Application of the Nitrates Directive in Tuscany: legislative reference, WEB address where the documentation and agronomic measures envisaged by the action programs concerning the fertilization of horticultural crops are available. Legislative reference: Various resolutions of the Regional Council starting from 2003 for the determination of sensitive areas (with eutrophic or nitrate-rich waters) and vulnerable areas. DPGR n.32 / r of 13 July 2006 Regulation defining the mandatory action program for vulnerable areas and subsequent amendments (DPGR 16 February 2010, n. 13 / R DPGR 21 April 2008 n. 17 / R). Integrated Production Regulations or PPE (L.R. 25/1999, with technical data sheets updated every year). Documentation (WEB): Vulnerable Areas: 1. Lake of Massaciuccoli: territories surrounding the Lake of Massaciuccoli, within the Provinces of Lucca and Pisa and includes the Municipalities of Lucca, Massarosa, Vecchiano and Viareggio. 2. Coastal area between Rosignano Marittimo and Castagneto Carducci: territories of the coastal strip of the Provinces of Livorno and Pisa and includes the Municipalities of Bibbona, Casale Marittimo, Castagneto Carducci, Castellina Marittima, Cecina, Guardistallo, Montescudaio, Riparbella, Rosignano Marittimo and San Vincenzo. 3. Coastal area between San Vincenzo and Fossa Calda: territories of the coastal strip of the Province of Livorno and includes the Municipalities of Campiglia Marittima and San Vincenzo. 4. Coastal Zone of the Orbetello Lagoon and Burano Lake: territories of the coastal strip of the Province of Grosseto and includes the Municipalities of Capalbio, Monte Argentario and Orbetello. 5. Area of ​​the Maestro della Chiana canal: territories of the area surrounding the Maestro della Chiana canal, within the provinces of Arezzo and Siena and includes the municipalities of Arezzo, Castiglion Fiorentino, Chianciano Terme, Chiusi, Civitella in Val di Chiana, Cortona , Foiano della Chiana, Lucignano, Marciano della Chiana, Monte San Savino, Montepulciano, Sinalunga and Torrita di Siena. Agronomic measures: For companies that use N mineral, there is the obligation of a fertilization plan that determines the quantities of N to be distributed on the basis of the balance between the needs of the crops and the nitrogen supply coming from atmospheric precipitations, from the soil (nitrogen deriving from the mineralization of the organic reserves of the soil) and from fertilization (zootechnical effluents, organic and mineral fertilizers). The removals of N foreseen for flower crops, which in fact represent the maximum doses of N to be distributed, are indicated in the DPI and range from 200 (cut leaves of broadleaf and coniferous lawns grown on the ground) to 700 (flower crops in pots or soilless in the greenhouse). Prohibition to fertilize the day before the irrigation intervention, in the case of irrigation by flow and non-buried fertilizers. Prohibition to fertilize from 1 December for ninety days. For crops, with the exception of permanent crops, which are sown or transplanted in the autumn-winter season (e.g. horticultural crops), the ban period can be anticipated or delayed at farm level up to a maximum of thirty days compared to 1 December , provided that a total suspension of 90 days is respected. In open field horticultural crops that use the N significantly even in the autumn-winter season, it is possible to stop the ban from 1 to 15 December and from 15 to 30 January. In this case, the 90-day suspension period must take into account the number of days the ban has been terminated. 18

19 Tab Technical regulations concerning irrigation and fertilization of horticultural crops contained in the Integrated Production Regulations of horticultural crops approved by the Tuscany Region (LR. 25/1999). In ground crops, a soil analysis is mandatory every 5 years and every square meter, while in potted crops it is necessary to know the composition of the substrate. In any case, the fertilization plan must be signed by an accredited technician. The fertilization plan must refer to 1000 square meters of surface and it is sufficient to determine only the level of nitrogen fertilization. In the case of organic fertilization, only the nitrogen supply must be considered for the calculation of the maximum quantities of fertilizing units. The units of phosphorus and potassium added are to be considered in the counts of the fertilization plans, so if with the organic fertilization the thresholds admitted by the cultural data sheets are exceeded, mineral additions are not allowed, otherwise they are possible until the admitted thresholds are reached. In field crops, irrigation by flow is prohibited. Drip irrigation is mandatory for pots with a diameter> 24 cm or a capacity> 10 liters. Overhead irrigation is allowed as an intervention to regulate the microclimate of the crop. The maximum quantities of fertilising units allowed vary according to the crop (see table below). The values ​​refer to a period of twelve months, therefore in the case of cultivation cycles less than one year the indicated value must be reduced proportionally and in consideration of the season. In the case of organic fertilization, each nitrogen contribution must be considered for the calculation of the maximum permitted quantities of fertilizing units. NP 2 O 5 K 2 O kg / ha kg / ha kg / ha Flower and cut frond in greenhouse on soil Flower and cut frond in greenhouse on substrate (soilless) Greens in pot in greenhouse Flowering pot in greenhouse Flowering pot in open air Cut flower in open air Cut foliage in open air Conifers on ground Broadleaves and shrubs on ground Conifers in pots Deciduous trees and shrubs in containers Perennial herbs in containers Turf

20 1.4 Irrigation piloting Summary With the term irrigation piloting or scheduling we mean the regulation of irrigation interventions, in practice the determination of the irrigation volume (how much water to give to each irrigation) net (VI N) and effective (or gross, VI L) and the irrigation shift or frequency (how often the crop is irrigated). Irrigation volume VI N (expressed in mm, L / m 2 or m 3 / ha, remember that 1 L / m 2 = 1 mm) depends on water retention and the volume of the soil or substrate explored by the roots. Water retention depends, in turn, on the physical characteristics of the growth medium while the volume is proportional to the depth of the roots, in ground crops, or roughly corresponds to the volume of the pot, in the case of potted crops. In reality, in the second case, the actual volume of the substrate is about 90% of the total volume of the pot, due to the imperfect filling of the pot itself and the phenomenon of shrinkage, which occurs after transplantation. Generally, VI L is 10-40% higher than VI N: this percentage (also defined as safety factor) tends to increase when using relatively saline waters (in order to avoid the accumulation of salts in the substrate) and / oc is a discreet difference in the flow rate of the individual dispensers and / or in the water needs of the plants. It is advisable to reduce the safety coefficient as much as possible by using good quality water and well-designed irrigation systems made with quality materials, and grouping in the same irrigation sector plants with water consumption as much as possible the same. Table 1.5 shows the indicative values ​​of the VI N of different types of soil according to the root depth of the crop, and for different types of containers filled with a mixture of peat and pumice (1: 1, by volume), one of the substrates most common in Pistoia's nurseries. For types of pots and / or substrates not considered in the, the software developed by C. Bibbiani and L. Incrocci of the University of Pisa can be used (calculator VI available free of charge on the page The water content available in the substrate can be determined empirically by weighing some pots with the plants at the end of the natural dripping after an abundant irrigation, and weighing them again when the plants begin to show the first symptoms of withering. A value equal to half or two thirds of the difference between the two weighings provides a good indication of the VI No. 20

21 Tab Net irrigation volume (in L / m 2 or mm) for different types of soil according to the root depth of the crop. The values ​​were calculated assuming that 50% of the water available in the soil (determined using the software used by the agrometereological service of the Sardinia region is easily absorbed by the roots. Type of soil% sand% clay% silt Apparent specific weight (gr / cm 3 ) Available water (% volume) Net irrigation volume (VI N, mm) Root depth (m) Sandy Loam Clayey Tab Net irrigation volume (VI) for some types of pots filled with a peat / pumice substrate (1: 1 by volume The irrigation volume corresponds to the water readily available in the pot, equal to the difference between the water present in the pot at the so-called container capacity, (the amount that the system is able to retain after an abundant and uniform irrigation and subsequent drainage) and that present at the voltage of 50 hpa on the base of the container. The calculations were made with the VA Calculator program assuming that, due to the shrinkage, the effective volume of the s substrate is equal to 90% of the volume of the vessel. Pot type (bottom diameter x top diameter x height cm) Pot volume (L) Substrate volume (L / pot) Net irrigation volume (VI N) (L / pot) (% substrate volume) 11.9x 14x % 12.1x16x% 14.7x18x% 16.6x20x% 18.2x22x% 21x24.2x% 22.5x26x% 22.4x28x% 24.4x30x% 23.7x32x% 34x35x% 35.6x45x% 34.9x50x% 21

22 Irrigation frequency The irrigation frequency, expressed as days (or hours) between one intervention and the next, is given by the ratio between the daily ETE and VI N, or the inverse ratio if the frequency is expressed as the number of interventions per day (or per hour). ). Since VI N and VI L are fixed and the ETE varies from day to day, the frequency should be varied accordingly based on the estimate of ETE. The method of estimating the TEE most easily applicable in nurseries, where hundreds or thousands of different plants are grown, is based on the determination of the FTE and on the use of a so-called crop coefficient, which is a function of the leaf area of ​​the crop and the type of cultivation technique adopted: ETE = ETP x KCL ETP is a data that can be provided, even in real time and on an hourly basis, by very common company weather stations, the cost of which is a few thousand euros, or distributed automatically in various way (via Internet or SMS on mobile phones) from consortium or regional agrometeorological services to registered users. On the other hand, the estimation of the KC of crops is more problematic. These coefficients are known for many agricultural crops (ranging between 0.3 and 1.5) while they are not available for many ornamental crops, considering that they depend not only on the botanical species, but also on the size of the single crop. plant, crop density, cultivation technique (on the ground or in container). Table 1.7 shows, indicatively, the values ​​of the average Kc for some ornamental species, grown on the ground in the typical environments of North America. Although not perfectly applicable to our conditions and, especially to container crops, they still provide useful information, for example for the grouping of different species in the same irrigation sector. For a more precise determination, fairly complex experimental tests are necessary which must be carried out for the entire irrigation season and for several years, in order to establish relationships between the seasonal variation of Kc and climatic trends and / or identify parameters that are easy to determine that are correlated to Kc. Pardossi and collaborators, for example, found a good relationship between plant height and Kc in some species of ornamental shrubs (Textbox 1.1). In the absence of more accurate values, operators can use those reported in Tab. 1.7 remembering that: 1) the values ​​tend to increase with the progress of the growing season. For example, Pardossi and collaborators observed that the Kc varied between the beginning (May) and the end of container cultivation (October): from 0.5 to 1.3 in Forsythia intermedia from 0.2 to 0.8 in Photinia x fraseri from 0.2 to 0.7 in Prunus laurocerasus from 0.2 to 0.5 in Viburnum tinus. 22

23 2) Pruning interventions reduce the leaf area and therefore the Kc. 3) Periodic monitoring of the drainage fraction (i.e. the ratio between the volume of drainage water and the irrigation volume) makes it possible to establish whether, for a given (relatively short) phase of the crop, the Kc is excessive (too much drainage fraction higher than desired) or on the contrary too small (drainage fraction too low). In nurseries with a limited capacity to draw ground water and, at the same time, a large number of irrigation sectors (up to a few hundred in larger farms) it may be necessary to adopt a fixed-shift irrigation and, in many cases, not it is possible to water the same sector more than once or twice a day. In these conditions, to improve irrigation efficiency it is necessary to adjust the irrigation volume, within certain limits and obviously according to the daily ETE. The method developed within the IRRIFLORVIVA Project by the Department of Biology of Agricultural Plants, by Ce.Spe.Vi. and from Nuova A. Guastapaglia of Pescia (PT) presupposes an automatic correction of the irrigation volume set on the control units: it would be unthinkable for the irrigation operator to reprogram dozens of timers every day. The method involves three steps: 1) The irrigation plan is defined on the basis of: Maximum daily ETE (ETE max) of the crop throughout the irrigation season VI N, which is determined according to the pot and substrate and which in fact defines the maximum number of daily interventions (N), with N = ETEmax / VI N safety factor and therefore VI L, which determines the duration of the N irrigation interventions. 2) Periodically (every 7 10 days), starting from transplantation, the operator activates or deactivates the various irrigation interventions, possibly also varying their duration on the basis of the estimate of the maximum ETE of the crop in the period considered, trying to set VI L close to that optimal. 3) To take into account the variability from one day to another of the climate and therefore of the FTE and ETE, the VI L (therefore, the duration of irrigation) distributed at the preset times are automatically corrected with a corrective coefficient, which is equal to ratio between the FTE of the previous day and the average of the maximum values ​​of FTE recorded in that week (or decade) in the last 20 years. Obviously, step 3 must be automated. The IRRIFLORVIVA project has allowed the development of an irrigation control unit capable of receiving the corrective coefficient via GPRS, which is calculated on the basis of the FTE provided by a consortium or company weather station and the weather data for the period in the Pistoia area (data provided by Ce.Spe.Vi.). Of course, the system can use other climate databases for other zones. The software supplied with the control unit also offers the possibility of building a database with the irrigation regimes (irrigation times and durations) carried out during the entire cultivation season in each of the irrigation sectors under control, appropriately identified (for example with species and varieties, type of pot and substrate, date 23

24 transplant, etc.). Data of this type are obviously very useful for a better definition of the parameters to be set in steps 1 and 2. Crop coefficients tab for different types of ornamental species. (source: WUCOLS 2000, Water Use Classification of Landscape Species Trees with very low water consumption (KS 25 Eucryphia lucida, Eucryphia X intermedia, Euphorbia cotinifolia, Ficus auricolata, Ficus barteri, Ficus carica, Ficus florida, Ficus macrophylla, Ficus micro carp, Ficus rubiginosa, Franklinia alatamaha, Fraxinus americana, Fraxinus griffithi, Fraxinus latifolia, Fraxinus moraine, Fraxinus oxycarpa, Fraxinushalsylsylvanica, Fraxinus u velutina, Geijera parvi flora, Ginkgo biloba, Harpephyllum caffrum, Harpullia arborea, Hymenosporum flavum, Jacaranda mimosifolia, Jubaea chilensis, Juglans major, Juglans nigra, Juglans regia, Juniperus scopulorum'tolleson ', Koelreiauteriauteriauteria bipolar paniculata, Laburnum X watereri, Leucadendron alpini, Ligustrum lucidum, Liquidambar styraciflua, Lithocarpus edulis, Livistona australis, Livistona chinens is, Lophostemon confertus, Macadamia spp., Magnolia grandiflora, Magnolia hybrida, Magnolia stellata, Magnolia X soulangiana, Magnolia X veitchii, Malus hybrid, Malus spp. (edible), Markhamia lutea, Maytenus boaria, Melaleosuca viridiflora, Meryta sincoslaideri , Michelia champaca, Michelia doltsopa, Michelia X foggi, Morus alba, Nageia nagi, Neodypsis decaryi, Nyssa sylvatica, Olmediella betschleriana, Oxydendrum arboreum, Pachycormis discolor, Pachypodium lamerei, Paulownia kawakamii, Pauleaownia tomentosa, Phoenix ro Phoenix rupicola, Picea abies, Picea glauca, Picea mariana, Picea omorika, Picea pungens, Pinus contorta, Pinus densiflora, Pinus febili, Pinus muricata, Pinus nigra, Pinus parvi flora, Pinus patula, Pinus pinaster, Pinus radiata, Pinus roxburghii, Pinus strobus, Pinus sylvestris, Pinus thumbergii, Pinus X attenuradiata, Pisonia umbellifera, Pittosporum phillyraeoides, Platanus occidentalis,Platanus racemosa, Platanus X acerifolia, Podocarpus henkelii, Podocarpus latifolius, Podocarpus macrophyllus, Podocarpus totara, Populus alba, Populus balsami fera, Populus fremontii, Populus nigra, Populus trichocarpa, Prunus sargentii. , Pyrus kawakamii, Quercus coccinea, Quercus kelloggii, Quercus palustris, Quercus robur, Quercus rubra, Quercus shumardii, Quercus texana, Quercus virginiana, Ravanea rivularis, Rhaphiolepis majestic, Sabal spp., Sapium sebiferum, Schusifoli latinus molle, Sciadopitys verticillata, Sequoiadendron giganteum, Sophora japonica, Sorbus aucuparia, Sparmannia africana, Spathodea campanulata, Stenocarpus sinuatus, Strelitzia nicolai, Styrax japonicum, Syagrus romanzoffiana, Tabebuia impetiginosa, The Taxodium distichumii, Taxodium distichumii thevetioides, Tilia americana, Tilia cordata, Tipuana spp., Toona sinesi, Trachycarpus fortunei, Trachycarpus takil, Tristaniopsis laurina, Ulmus americana, Ulmus parvifolia, Ulmus pumila, Umbellularia cali fornica, Villebrunea peduncolata, Vitex agnus-castus, Washingtonia filifera, Washingtonia robusta, Zkova juata high consumption =) Acer palmatum, Acer platanoides, Acer rubrum, Alnus glutinosa, Alnus oregona, Alnus rhombifolia, Betula fontinalis, Betula nigra, Betula pendula, Betula platyphyla japonica, Betula utilis, Caryota mitis, Cornus florida, Corynocarpus laevigata, Fagoniaus sylvillatica , Gordonia lasianthus, Liriodendron tulipifera, Metasequoia glyptostroboides, Platanus wrightii, Populus 'Mohavensis', Populus X canadensis, Schefflera pueckleri, Sequoia sempervirens, Tsuga canadensis. Shrubs with very low water consumption (KS 26 Fremontodendron spp., Furcraea spp., Garrya eliptica, Garrya flavescens, Garrya fremontii, Gaultheria mucronata, Graptopetalum spp., Grevillea spp., Gutierrezia sarothrae, Hakea laurveolena, Halmian lauren X wintonensis, Hamelia patens, Helianthemum appenium, Hesperaloe funifera, Hesperaloe parvi flora, Hesperantha spp., Heteromeles arbutifolia, Jasminum nudiflorum, Jasminum parkeri, Justicia spicigera, Lambertia intermis, Lantana camara, Floraus nobilisppena. formation , Malacothamnus fremontii, Malosma laurina, Melaleuca wilson ii, Mimulus spp., Myoporum parvifolium, Myrica cali fornica, Myrica rubra, Myrsine africana, Nerium oleander, Nolina recurvata, Nolina spp., Opuntia spp. Phlomis cashmeriana, Phlomis fruticosa, Phlomis italica, Phlomis tuberosa, Pinus mugo, Plumeria rubra, Prostanthera rotundifolia, Prunus ilicifolia, Prunus lusitanica, Prunus lyonii, Psilostrophe tagetina, Psorothamusnus Rifornrifolia, Crosshamnus Rifornrifolia, Rushamnus Rifornrifolia, Croce , Rhus ovata, Rhus trilobata, Rhus virens, Rhynchelytrum neriglume, Ribes aureum, Ribes indecorum, Ribes malvaceum, Ribes sanguineum, Ribes speciosum, Rosa cali fornica, Ruellia cali fornica, Salvia apiana, Salvia argentea, Salvia clevelandii, Salvia greucrggii , Salvia leucantha, Salvia leucophylla, Salvia mellifera, Salvia microphylla, Salvia munzii, sambucus spp., Senecio flaccidus, Senna artemesioides, Senna bicapsularis, Senna didymobotrya, Senna multiglandulosa, Senna odorata, Senna phyltabilis Splendid Senna sturtii, Shepherdia argentea, Styrax officinale, Swainsonia galegifolia, Symphoricarpus albus, Symphorica rpus mollis, Tanacetum coccinium, Tecoma stans, Teucrium fruticans, Teucrium marum, Teucrium scorodonia, Trichostema lanatum, Ungnadia speciosa, Viburnum X pragense, Viguiera laciniata, Westringia fruiticosa, Westringia longifolia, Westringia ralebusyntiighi .. average water consumption (KS =) Abelia chinensis, Abelia floribunda, Abelia sherwoodii, Agapetes Ludgvan, Agapetes serpens, Amorpha fruiticosa, Anisodontea scabrosa, Anisodontea X hypomadarum, Arenga engleri, Athanasia acerosa, Aucuba japonica, Azaliadendara integizer hard , Azara microphylla, Bambusa spp., Banksia integrifolia, Banksia speciosa, Barleria obtusa, Bauhinia alpini, Boronia spp., Brugmansia spp., Buddleja alternifolia, Buddleja davidii, Buxus microphylla, Buxus sempervirediens, Caesalpinea pulchiancepato halopinea, Callicdrae hapatius twins bodinieri, Callicarpa dichotoma, Callicarpa japonica, Callistemon salignus, Callistemon specios us, Callistemon vicinali, Calluna vulgaris, Calothamnus quadrifidus, Calycanthus occidentalis, Camellia japonica, Camellia sasanqua, Cantua buxifolia, Capparis spinosa, Carissa spp., Carpenteria cali fornica, Caryopteris incana, Caryopteris X clandonensis, Caryostigota urens, Ceratithma urens Ceratostigma willmottianum, Cercis chinensis, Cercis siliquastrum, Cestrum elegans, Cestrum fasciculatum, Cestrum nocturnum, Chaenomeles spp. Chamaecyparis spp., Chamaerops humilis, Chamelaucium uncinatum, Chimonanthus praecox, Chimonobambusa marmorea, Choisya ternata, Citrus spp., Clematis integrifolia, Clerodendrum trichotomun, Clerodendrum ugandense, Clethraumus alnusoleice, Culusianema, Culusianema, Culusolusoleice, Culusianema, Culus julusoleice Coprosma petriei, Coprosma repens, Cordyline stricta, Cordyline terminalis, Corokia cotton aster, Corokia X virgata, Corylus avelleana contorta, Cotoneaster spp., Crotalaria agatiflora, Cuphea micropetela, Cycas revoluta, Cytisus spp., Daboecia friarias imperial Dalea lutea, Dalea pulchra, Dalea versicolor, Daphne caucasica, Daphne odora, Daphne X burkwoodii, Deutzia spp., Dioon spp., Dombeya spp., Drepanostachyum hookerianum, Duranta erecta, Duranta stenostachya, Epacris gunii, Eremophila spp. Euonymous alatus, Euonymus japonicus, Euonymus kiautschovicus, Euphorbia milii, Euryops pectinatus, Fabiana imbricana, Fatsia japonica, Felicia amelloides, Felicia fruticosa, Ficus benjamina, Ficus elastica, Forsythia X intermedia, Fothergilla gardenii, Galvesia juncea, Galvesia speciosa, Gardenia spp., Gaultheria shallon, Genista spp., Grewida occidentalis, Griselinia lucoralis virginamelis , Hebe spp., Hibbertia cuniformis, Hibbertia vestita, Hibiscus mutabilis, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Hibiscus syriacus, Holodiscus discolor, Howea forsterana, Hydrangea pani culata, Hydrangea serrata, Hymenoclea monogyra, Hypericum beaum friarum, Hypericum empetrinii, Hypericum empetrinii ', Hypericum olympicum, Hypericum' Rowallane ', Hypericum X inodorum, Hypoestes aristata, Ilex aquifolium, Ilex cornuta, Ilex crenata, Ilex dimorphophilla, Ilex vomitoria, Ilex X altaclarensis, Ilex X meserveae, Iochroma cyanea, Iochroma fucholia il coccinia, Jasminum angulare, Jasminum azoricum, Jasminum floridum, Jasminum humile, Jasminum mesnyi, Jasminum nitidum, Jas minum officinale, Jasminum sambac, Justicia brandegeana, Justicia cali fornica, Justicia candicans, Justicia sonorea, Kerria japonica, Kolkwitzia amabili, Kunzea spp., Lagerstroemia indica, Lagerstroemia spp., Lavatera hybrida, Lavatera maritarmata, Lepechersperinia ha , 26

27 Ligustrum japonicum, Ligustrum ovalifolium, Ligustrum X vicaryi, Lobelia laxiflora, Lobostemon fruiticosus, Lonicera nitida, Loropetalum chinense, Luma apiculata, Lupinus arboreus, Lycianthus rantonnetii, Lysiloma aquaria candida, Mahifonia bella, Mama bolia , Mahonia fortunei, Mahonia Golden abundance ', Mahonia lomariifolia, Mahonia nervosa, Mahonia pinnata, Malvaviscus arboreus, Mandevilla splendens, Melaleuca armillaris, Melaleuca decussata, Melaleuca elliptica, Melaleuca fulgens, Mont Melaleuca huegelii, Melaleuca incana, Meliantho major figlano , Murraya pani culata, Myoporum laetum, Myoporum x pacificum, Myrica pennsylvanica, Myrtus communis, Nandina domestica, Ochna serrulata, Odontonema strictum, Osmanthus spp., Otatea acuminata, Ozothamnus rosemarinifolius, Pavonia praemorsa, Perityskisi. Philadelphus mexicanus, Philadelphus X virginalis, Philodendron bip innatifidum, Phormium hybrids, Phormium tenax, Photinia serratifolia, Photinia X fraseri, Phygelius X rectus, Phyllostachys spp., Pieris formosa, Pieris japonica, Pimelea ferruginia, Pimelea prostrata, Pistacia lentiscus, Pittosporum e crassifides Pittosporum tobira, Platycladus orientalis, Plecostachys serpyllifolia, Plumbago auricolata, Plumbago scandens, Podocarpus nivalis, Polygala spp., Potentilla fruticosa, Prunus caroliniana, Prunus lauroceracus, Pseudopanax lessonii, Psium pinhamasa, Punorala joralava, alaternus, Rhaphiolepis indica, Rhaphiolepis umbellata, Rhapis excelsa, Rhopalostylis baueri, Ribes thacherianum, Rosa hybrida, Rosa minutifolia, Rosa rugosa, Rosa woodsii, Rosmarinus officinalis, Rubus lineatus, Rubus pentalobus, rubus rubus ursellis peninsula , Salvia confertiflora, Salvia elegan s, Salvia fulgens, Salvia gesneriflora, Salvia iodantha, Salvia karwinskii, Salvia mexicana, Salvia muelleri, Salvia officinalis, Salvia penstemonoides, Salvia regla, Salvia spathacea, Sarcococca confusa, Sarcococca hookerana humilis, Sarcococca ruscifolia, Schafflissima elegant, Scheffasa s actinophylla, Serissa foetida, Sinarundinaria nitida, Skimmia reevesiana, Solanum crispum, Spiraea spp., Strelitzia reginae, Streptosolen jamesonii, Styrax officinale, Symphoricarpus orbiculatus, Symphyandra spp., Syringa patula Xinthia vulgaris, Syringa vulgaris, Syringa hygaris persica, Syzygium paniculatum, Syzygium smithii, Tabebuia chrysotricha, Taxus cuspidata, Taxus meyeri, Taxus X media, Tecoma Orange Jubilee, Tephrosia grandiflora, Ternstroemia gymnanthera, Tetraneuris acaulis, Thousuja triuchella occidentalis, Terryuuchina occidentalis, Terryuuchina occidentalis, Tibiaromalla occidentalis Vaccinium moupinense, Vaccinium ovatum, Vaccinium parvifolium, Vaccinium vitis-id aea, Vauquelinia cali fornica, Viburnum Anne Russel ', Viburnum awabuki, Viburnum carlesii, Viburnum davidii, Viburnum japonicum, Viburnum' Mohawk ', Viburnum odoratissimum, Viburnum opulus, Viburnum plicatigerum, Viburnhylltigerum, Viburnhylltigerum, Viburnhylltigerum, Viburnhyllt trilobum, Viburnum X bodnantense, Viburnum X burkwoodii, Viburnum X rhytidophylloides, Viguiera deltoidea, Weigela coraeensis, Weigela florida, Westringia glabra, Xylococcus bicolor, Xylosma congestum, Zamia pumila. Shrubs with high water consumption (KS =) Abutilon X hybridum, Andromeda polifolia, Breynia nivosa, Brunfelsia pauciflora, Chamaedorea spp., Cornus stolonifera, Cryptomeria japonica, Dicksonia antartica, Enkianthus campanulatus, Ensete ventricosysum, Gamibolepsumas Hydrangea arborescens, Hydrangea aspera, Hydrangea macrophylla, Hydrangea quercifolia, impatiens uguensis, Indigofera decora (incanata), Isopogon formosus, Justicia aurea, Justicia carnea, Lobelia ricardii, Metrosideros collinia, Rhodes Skimmia japonica, Tibuchina urvilleana. Climbing vines with very low water consumption (KS 28 Petrea volubilis, Pithecoctenium crucigerum, Podranea ricasoliana, Pseudogynoxys chenopodiodes, Pyrostegia venusta, Rhoicissus capensis, Rosa banksiae, Rosa hybrida, Solandra maxima, Solanum jasminoides, Solanumhan cilanthemapi, spec , Tecomaria capensis, Tetrapanax papyrifer, Thunbergia alata, Thunbergia battiscombei, Thunbergia grandiflora, Thunbergia gregorii, Thunbergia mysorensis, Trachelospermum asiaticum, Vigna caracalla, Vitis cali fornica, Vitis girdiana, Vitis labrusca. KS =) Actinidia arguta, Actinidia deliciosa, Beaumontia grandiflora, Fatshedera X lizei, Sollya parvifolia Perennial species (including ferns, grasses and bulbous plants) with very low water consumption (KS 29 Campanula spp., Canna spp., Carex spp., Catananche caerulea , Catharanthus roseus, Centaurea cineraria, Centaurea dealbata, Centaurea gymnocarpa, Centra therum punctatum, Chaenorhinium glareosum, Chasmanthium latifolium, Chondropetalum tectorum, Clerodendrum bungei, Clivia miniata, Colchicum agrippium, Cosmos atrosanguineus, Craspedia globosa, Crinum spp., Cuphea hyssophyla, Cyclenum hyssophyla, Cuph falcatum, Dalechampia dioscorifolia, Dampiera trigona, Delphinium spp., Deschampsia caespitosa, Dianella intermedia, Dianella tasmanica, Dianthus spp., Diascia spp., Dicentra spp., Dichelostemma capitatum, Dichroa febbrifuga, Diclipictama spp. Dietes bicolor, Dietes iridioides, Digitalis lutea, Digitalis X mertonensis, Doronicum oriental, Dryopteris arguta, Dryopteris dilatata, Dryopteris erythrosora, Dryopteris felix-mas, Dyssodia pentachaeta, Echinacea spp., Echinops exaltus, Encelia cali fornica, Epilobium suchpperia. , Erigeron divergens, Erigeron formosissimus, Erigeron glaucus, Erigeron karvinskianus, Erodium reichardii, Erysimum 'Bowles Erysimum cheiri, Eupatorium spp., Evolvulus pilosus, Festuca cali fornica, Festuca cinerea, Festuca glauca, Festuca muelleri, Francoa ramosa, Francoa sonchifolia, Gaillardia grandiflora, Gaura lindheimeri, Gentiana scabra, Geranium jpp. Geum spp., Gladiolus hybrida, Goniolimon tataricum, Gypsophila cerastioides, Gypsophila paniculata, Gypsophila repens, Habranthus robustus, Habranthus tubispathus, Hakonechloa macra, Helenium bigelovii, Helichrysum bracteatum, Helichrysumviris. , Heuchera maxima, Heuchera micrantha, Heuchera sanguinea, Hibanobambusa tranquilano, Hibiscus moscheutos, Hibiscus trionum, Hippeastrum spp., Homeria spp., Hosta spp., Houttuynia cordata, Hunnemannia fumarifolia, Hypericum kelleri, Hyranum mosperisum Xpt. Ilex integra, Imperata cylindrica 'Rubra', Iris spp., Isolepis cernua, Ixia spp., Juncus spp., Kirengeshoma palmata, Koelaria glauca, Lachenalia spp., Leontopodium alpinium, Leucanthemum X superbum, Leucojum aestivum, Lewisia cotyledon, Leymus spp., Liatris spicata, Libertia spp., Lilium (garden hybrids), Limonium perepurzi, Limonium perepurzi , Linum spp., Liriope spp., Lithodora diffuse, Lobelia richmondensis, Lomandra longifolia, Lupinus spp., Luzula nivea, Luzula sylvatica, Lychnis alpina, Lychnis chalcedonica, Macleaya spp., Manfreda spp., Mentha spp., Microlepiliia strigosa effusum, Mirabilis california, Mirabilis jalapa, Miscanthus sinesi, Miscanthus transmorrisonensis, Monarda didima, Monardella linoides, Monardella macrantha, Monardella odoratissima, Monardella villosa, Monochaetum volcanicum, Moraea spp., Morina longifolia, Muhlenbergia capillaris, Muhlenbergi , Muhlenbergia pubescens, Muhlenbergia rigens, Myosotis scorpioides, Neomarica caerulea, Nepeta spp., Nephrolepis cordifolia, Nephrolepis exaltata, Nierembergia hippomanica, Omphalodes cappadocica, Onoclea sensibilis, Ophiopogon clarkii, Ophiopogon jaburan, Ophiopogon japonicus, Ophiopogon planiscapus, Orthosiphon labiatus, Orthrosanthus multiflorus, Ophiopogon jaburan, Ophiopogon japonicus, Ophiopogon planiscapus, Orthosiphon labiatus, Orthrosanthus multiflorus, Patholobium sip pilosum, Parahebe spp., Pattersonia drummondii, Pelargonium cordifolium, Pelargonium domesticum, Pelargonium peltatum, Pelargonium tomento sum, Pelargonium X hortorum, Pellaea mucronata, Pellaea rotundifolia, Penstemusseon hybrido, Phalaris spp., Ph. Phlox subulata, Physostegia virginiana, Pinellia ternata, Platycodon grandiflorus, Pleioblastus spp., Polemonium spp., Polygonatum odoratum, Polystichum californicum, Polystichum munitum, Protea spp., Prunella spp., Pseudosasa vulpponica, Pulteris spponica. , Ratibida columnifera, Rehmannia elata, Rhodohypoxis spp., Rhodophiala bifida, Rohdea japoni ca, Roscoea purpurea, Rudbeckia spp., Rumohra adiantiformis, Ruscus spp., Salvia blepharophylla, Salvia buchananii, Salvia cacaliaefolia, Salvia coahuilensis, Salvia coccinea Salvia discolor, Salvia dorisiana, Salvia farinacea, Salvia glechomae ', Salvia koyaschino', Salvia koyaschino ' Salvia patens, Salvia pratensis, Salvia reptans, Salvia sinaloensis, Salvia sonomensis, Salvia uliginosa, Salvia verticillata, Salvia X superba, Saponaria ocymoides, Satureja douglasia, Scabiosa spp., Schizostylis coccinia, Scilla peruviana, Selliera radicans, Semiacarundiaruosa, Semiacarundiargia fast Sesleria spp., Setaria palmifolia, Shibatea kumasasa, Sidalcea spp., Sideritis syriaca, Silene spp., Sisyrinchium californicum, Sisysrinchium striatum, Stachys byzantina, Stenomesson variegatum, Stokesia laevis, Tagacetes flaveanissima, Tanthios lucida specimens , Thalictrum polycarpum, Thamnocalamus spathaceus, Thymus spp., Thysanolaena maxima, Tod ea barbara, Trachelium caeruleum, Tradescantia fluminensis, Tradescantia pallida, Tradescantia spp., Tritonia spp., trollius spp., Tropaeolum majus, Tulbaghia fragrans, Tulbaghia violacea, Velthemia bracteata, Verbascum bombiciferum, Verbena hyppena bonariensis. , Veronicastrum virginicum, Viola adunca, Viola cornuta, Viola japonica, Viola sempervirens, Watsonia spp., Woodwardia fimbriata, Zantedeschia aethiopia, Zantedeschia spp., Zephryranthes spp., Zexmenia hispida, Zinnia grandiflora, Bulbous species (including ferns, grasses and ferns) with high water consumption (KS =) Aconitum napellus, Acorus gramineus, Adenophora bulleyana, Adiantum spp., Alocasia spp., Alpinia zerumbet, Anagallis monellii, Asplenium bulbiferum, Astilbe hybrids, Athyrium filix-femina, Baumea rubiginosa, Bergenia 29

30 cordifolia, Bergenia crassifolia, Beschorneria yuccoides, Western Blechnum, Brunnera macrophylla, Cautleya spicata, Chusquea coronalis, Cibotium glaucum, Cotula lineariloba, Cotula spp., Cyathea cooperii, Cyperis spp., Cyperus albostriatus, Dahidesall trillion spp. , Epidendrum spp., Equisetum spp., Farfugium japonicum, Fascicularia pitcairnifolia, Filipendula vulgaris, Fuchsia spp., Galium odoratum, Gunnera magellanica, Hedychium coccinium, Hedychium coronarium, Hedychium flavescula, Hedyenium greedyi spp., Lobelia 'Brightness', Lobelia fulgens, Maianthemum dilatatum, Matteuccia struthiopteris, Mimulus spp., Molinia caerulea, Musa spp., Osmunda cinnamomea, Osmunda regalis, Polypodium spp., Polystichum polyblepharum, Polystichina X subigerum, Sagina subulata, Sagina , Saxifraga spp., Schoenoplectus lacustris, Setcreasea pallida, Spathiphyllum spp., Thalictrum delavayi, Th alictrum rochenbrunianum, Woodwardia radicans, Xeronema calistemon Ground cover plants with low water consumption (KS =) Acacia redolens, Achillea tomentosa, Aptenia cordifolia, Aptenia spp., Baccharis 'Centennial', Baccharis pilularis, Berberis spp., Carpobllphy spp. Cistus spp., Dalea greggii, Dalea forcuti, Delosperma spp., Dodonaea procumbens, Drosanthemum spp., Dymondia margaretae, Iva hayesiana, Keckiella antirhinnoides, Keckiella cordifolia, Lampranthus spp., Lantana montevidensis, Mahrocotherora spp. Oenothera speciosa, Oenothera stubbei, Osteospermum spp., Pelargonium sidoides, Pyracantha spp., Ribes viburnifolium, Sedum spp., Sollya heterophylla, Teucrium chamaedrys, Teucrium cossonii, Verbena gooddingiana, Verbena liluvena, Verbena peruistaii. Ground cover with medium water consumption (KS =) Abelia X grandiflora, Arctotheca calendula, Armeria maritima, Artemisia spp., Berberis X stenophylla, Calyophus hartwegii, Campanula poscharskyana, Carissa macrocarpa, Ceanothus spp., Cerastium tomento sum, Ceratma nobile, Chaumbemino nobile Coprosma X kirkii, Cornus canadensis, Cotoneaster spp., Cuphea llavea, Cytisus X kewensis, Dalea capitata, Dampiera diversifolia, Dichondra argenta, Dichondra micrantha, Duchesnea indica, Epimedium grandiflorum, Erica spp., Euonymus fortunei, Fragaria spp. Gazania spp., Genista lydia, Genista pilosa, Glechoma hederaceae, Herniaria glabra, Hibbertia peduncolata, Hypericum calycinum, Lamiastrum galeobdolon, Lamium maculatum, Laurentia fluviatilis, Lonicera japonica, Lotus corniculatus, Melissa glabra, Mechlenbeckos complex, Mbiota dechl hybrida, Pachysandra terminalis, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Parthenocissus tricu spidata, Phyla nodiflora, Plectranthus spp., Potentilla neumanniana, Rhagodia deltophylla, Sasaella masamuniana, Scaevola aemula, Scaevola 'Mauve, Senecio mandraliscae, Tetrastigma voinieranum, Trachelospermum jasminoides, Trifolium sipenaum, Verbena str. Vinca major, Vinca minor, Viola hederacea, Wedelia trilobata, Zoyzia tenuifolia Ground cover with high water consumption (KS =) Ajuga reptans, Anemopsis californica, Ardisia japonica, Asarum caudadum, Cymbalaria muralis, Festuca rubra, Lysimachia spp., Mazatia angus reptulataans , Soleirolia soleirolii, Trifolium repens, Viola labradorica, Viola odorata. The frequency of irrigation can also be determined automatically through the use of soil or substrate humidity sensors. There are now devices on the market that activate irrigation when the humidity voltage rises above a certain threshold, indicatively, from 5 to 10 kpa in the case of crops on substrate and from kpa in the case of crops on the ground. It should be remembered that, from a physiological point of view, the plant responds to tension rather than volumetric water content and that, on the other hand, the relationship between volumetric water content and tension is typical for any growing medium and can be easily determined in laboratory. For example, for two mixtures widely used in the nursery sector, the following values ​​can be used: 1) peat and pumice (1: 1 by volume): 5 kpa = 37% vol. 10 Kpa = 33% vol. 2) peat and perlite (1: 1 by volume): 5 kpa = 40% vol. 10 Kpa = 35% vol. 30

31 Fig Some examples of sensors for measuring soil and substrate moisture: hydraulic tensiometer (left), which measures the water potential dielectric sensor SM200 (Delta-T Devices, Burwell, UK), which measures the volumetric water content sensor WET, (Delta-T Devices, Burwell, UK) able to measure, in addition to the volumetric water content, the temperature and salinity of the substrate. Dielectric sensors are very common in irrigation control, since they are less expensive and less demanding in terms of maintenance than tensiometers (Fig. 1.4). Some of these sensors, such as eg. the WET sensor, are also able to measure the temperature and salinity (EC) of the growth medium (Textbox 1.2). Dielectric sensors react very quickly to humidity changes and could also be used to modulate the irrigation volume: in practice, irrigation is activated when a humidity threshold falls and deactivated when it rises above another threshold, clearly above the threshold. intervention. Such an approach is very interesting in the case of fixed-shift irrigation, but the practical implementation is not as easy as it might seem. However, the use of humidity sensors in nurseries presents some difficulties. At least two sensors are required for each irrigation sector, under mutual control (one of the two could stop working). All the sensors installed in the tens or hundreds of irrigation sectors must be connected to the central computer in a wireless network, it would be unthinkable to think of interfacing them to the control system via cable. Finally, a control software is needed that includes a whole series of safety measures and alarms, to prevent malfunctions of various kinds from causing severe water stress to crops. Progress in this area is however 31

32 very fast and nowadays there are several companies, including Italian ones, able to install wireless sensor networks to control irrigation in the field and in the nursery. 1.5 Fertilization with controlled release fertilizers Summary The objective of fertilization is to maintain a constant and adequate quantity of nutrients in the circulating solution (in the soil or in the container) to support optimal plant growth and reduce as much as possible the losses due to leaching of nutrients for obvious reasons. economic and environmental reasons. Achieving this goal is not easy. In fact, the need to irrigate often, especially in container plants, causes a continuous washout of nutrients, producing a condition of deficiency in the circulating solution, a deficiency that is prevented by administering large (sometimes excessive) doses of fertilizer. This technical approach reduces the efficiency of use of fertilizers, determines the pollution of the aquifers especially with nitrogen (in the case of container crops also with phosphorus) and can cause damage to crops, due to the increase in salinity in the root zone ( Fig. 1.5) and / or a vegetative imbalance (in the case of flowering plants). Fig Leaf desiccation caused by water stress in Prunus laurocerasus. 32

33 The introduction of fertigation in the nursery certainly has many practical advantages deriving from the fact of using the irrigation system to convey the fertilizing products to the plants. However, its efficiency is a direct function of irrigation efficiency, which is often quite low: for example, in the case of fertigation coupled with overhead irrigation systems, the loss of fertilizing products can reach up to 70%. It is clear how difficult it is to manage the fertilization of plants in the nursery, caught between the need to maintain high nutrient levels in the solution circulating in the growth medium and the need not to lose product with the drainage water. The use of slow release (CRL) or controlled (CRC) (Textbox 1.3) fertilizers, possibly coupled with fertigation, is probably the best answer to the above mentioned problems. In nurseries, especially those in containers, CRC fertilization is carried out at the beginning of the growing season: they are added to the substrate before potting or on the surface of the pot if potting is not done. Generally, during the vegetative season, we intervene again with additional top-dressing or supplement the basic fertilization with fertigation. For most of the species raised in nurseries, the CRCs are added to the substrate in quantities ranging from 2-3 kg up to 5-6 kg per cubic meter of substrate, granular products are used with macro and microelements that have a duration of 5-6 months at least, or CRC blends with different release times (eg 3-4 months months). CRCs are very expensive but their use has a number of advantages, making fertilization easier (especially if you use long-release products that therefore avoid top-dressing) and significantly reducing the leaching of nutrients (in particular nitrates and phosphates). ) with drainage water (Textbox 1.4). Furthermore, the CRC can constitute a residual reserve of nutrients for the plant even after marketing, thus preserving the quality of the plants for a few months after sale, even without fertilization. 1.6 Concluding remarks Summary The strategies to increase irrigation efficiency in nursery crops and to reduce dependence on good quality water - which is increasingly lacking - are different and consist, briefly, in the exploitation of rainwater and in the use of waste water of various origins , including drainage in so-called closed systems and, last but not least, the use of technologies capable of estimating the water and mineral needs of plants. Closed systems can allow water savings of up to 30-50% (Tab. 2), but require a considerable financial commitment (especially in greenhouse crops) and greater professional preparation of growers. In some cases, moreover, there may be legislative constraints 33

34 to hinder the use of closed systems. For example, an important constraint for open air nurseries in some areas of the Pistoia plain is the respect of the so-called soil waterproofing index (i.e. the maximum percentage of the farm surface that can be waterproofed with asphalts, anti-algae sheets or mulch), evidently necessary for the recovery and subsequent reuse of drainage water. Unlike the closed cycle, the introduction of other techniques are able to significantly reduce water requirements (up to 30%) and the losses of fertilizers for leaching without increasing production costs, without upsetting the company organization and without requiring operators a particular know-how: drip irrigation, automatic irrigation control or, even more simply, the use of cyclical and / or morning irrigation, the application of the so-called deficit irrigation (Textbox 1.5) and the simple use of devices that shut off irrigation in case of rain It is also true, on the other hand, that sprinkler irrigation is sometimes difficult to replace with drip irrigation, as in the case of small pots or for those crops that take advantage of the air-conditioning effect of sprinkling . 1.7 Essential Bibliography Summary - Balendonck J FLOWAID brochure. - Baroncelli P. Landi S., Marzialetti P., Rational use of resources in horticulture: fertilizers. ARSIA Journal 2/2004. ISBN: Incrocci I., Incrocci G., Pulizzi R., Malorgio F., Pardossi A., Spagnol S., M Marzialetti P. (2009). More efficient irrigation with dielectric sensors. L Informatore Agrario 40, Pardossi A., Incrocci L., Incrocci G., Malorgio F., Battista P., Bacci L., Rapi B., Marzialetti P., Hemming J., Balendonck J. (2009). Root Zone Sensors for Irrigation Management in Intensive Agriculture. Sensors 9, Pardossi A., Incrocci L., Marzialetti P., Rational use of resources in horticulture: water. Quaderno ARSIA 5 / University of California Cooperative Extension, Irrigation Water Needs of Landscape Plantings in California. The Landscape Coefficient Method and WUCOLS III. 34

35 TEXTBOX 1.1 Summary Evapotranspiration of crops and crop coefficients As part of the European project FLOWAID (Farm Level Optimal Water Management: Assistant for Irrigation under Deficit), Pardossi and collaborators conducted a study to verify the possibility of controlling irrigation in the nursery on the basis of ETE of the crop estimated as a function of the FTE and a specific crop coefficient, which in turn is determined by simply measuring the height of the plants (H). The study was conducted in 2008 on four species (Forsythia intermedia, Photinia x fraseri, Prunus laurocerasus and Viburnum tinus) grown in pots (diameter 24 cm) filled with a mixture of peat and pumice (1: 1 v: v) and with a crop density of 2.4 p / m 2. Statistical analysis of the data allowed to obtain the following relationships between H and KC: Forsithia: KC = (1.09 x H) 0.10 Photinia: KC = (1.29 x H) 0.36 (1.96 x H) Prunus: KC = 1.11 x exp Viburnum: KC = (1.64 x H) 0.22 Pardossi and colleagues used the four equations to estimate the KC and therefore the daily ETE of the same species in other experiments conducted during the summer (June-September ) of 2009 and the aim of these experiments was to evaluate the possibilities offered by an irrigation control system based on the automatic estimation (via computer) of the hourly ETE and therefore of the irrigation frequency in comparison with the practice currently widespread in nursery farms to use of the simple t emporizers, therefore to water the plants with a fixed frequency. The experiments included two treatments in comparison: in the first treatment, irrigation was carried out automatically when a quota was reached when the cumulative value of the hourly ETE equal to VI N was reached in the control treatment, the plants were irrigated once or twice a day at set times . The control based on the estimate of ETE reduced the number of irrigation interventions and the seasonal irrigation volume by about 40% compared to the treatment with the timer, without significant effects on the growth and commercial value of the plants evaluated at the end of the season. 35

36 TEXTBOX 1.2 Summary Intelligent sprinklers As part of the European research project FLOW-AID (Farm Level Optimal Water Management: Assistant for Irrigation under Deficit), the private company Spagnol Greenhouse Technologies (Vidor, TV), the Department of Agricultural Plant Biology ( later merged into the Department of Agricultural, Food and Agro-environmental Sciences) of the University of Pisa and the CESPEVI of Pistoia have developed a computerized fertigation system which, thanks to dielectric sensors (WET, Delta-T Device), is able to modulate both the frequency of irrigations (carried out at a predetermined humidity threshold of the substrate) and the EC of the water or nutrient solution supplied to the plants. The EC is modulated by the fertigation system by mixing the available irrigation water sources (well, rain and / or waste water) in different proportions and varying the concentration of the water-soluble fertilizers injected into the water. The fertigation system was tested by simulating the availability of purified urban wastewater (EC = 1.5 ds / m) and well water (EC = 0.5 ds / m) for the irrigation of yards with four ornamental species (Forsythia intermedia, Photinia x fraseri, Prunus laurocerasus and Viburnum tinus) with excellent results. In fact, compared to the control irrigation regime (irrigation with well water under the control of a simple timer), the new fertigation system has allowed water savings of over 30% or 45% if we consider the reduction in well water consumption. (partially replaced by waste water). In 2010 and 2011, as part of the VIS project, the experiment was repeated on Photinia x fraseri by inserting in the experimental scheme a treatment that provided for a control of the irrigation frequency on the basis of the estimate of TEE, as previously described, and of the EC of the fertigation water based on the measurement of the EC of the drainage water (made with standard EC probes installed in the drainage water collection pit). This experiment also demonstrated the possibility of significantly reducing water consumption and environmental pollution linked to fertilizers dispersed with the drainage water through a more precise estimate of the irrigation frequency, which is not allowed by the use of simple timers. 36

37 TEXTBOX 1.3 Summary Slow-acting fertilizers In the case of fertilizers, the terms slow release (CLR) or controlled release (CRC) refer to their ability to delay the release in soluble forms of nitrogen (N), the most important for plants but also the most mobile (at least in the nitric form, the one generally preferred by plants) and very dangerous from an environmental point of view. In common use, the terms CRL and CRC are often used interchangeably to indicate the same fertilizer. In reality, in CRLs the release of the nutrient is dependent on mechanisms that are not easily controlled (eg low solubility, need for microbiological attack), while in CRCs the release times are more easily predictable. The use of this type of fertilizer is constantly growing, even if, compared to the total use of fertilizers in agriculture, these are negligible percentages, well below 1%. However, it is equally true that most of the CRLs and CRCs are mainly used in the nursery sector. Among the CRLs we find: 1) inorganic products with low solubility, little used in nurseries due to the low N content 2) products with synthetic organic N, solubilized following biological (eg urea-formaldehyde) or chemical (eg. iobutylidene urea or IBDU crotonylidene urea (CDU) 3) organic nitrogen fertilizers of animal or vegetable origin. These products have a less predictable release proportional to the ambient temperature than products of chemical origin.Among the CRCs we find fertilizers coated with a semi-permeable polymeric membrane capable of allowing the fertilizer to escape slowly and relatively constantly. Unlike CRLs, controlled release affects all nutrients and not just the N. The main types of polymers used for CRCs are alkyd type resins (e.g. Osmocote) or polyurethane (e.g. Plantacote, Multicote) or thermoplastic compounds (eg Nutricote). The thickness and composition of these resins determine the shelf life of the product. The permeability of resin-based coatings increases with temperature. In the case of Nutricote type fertilizers, a mixture of polymers with different water permeability is sprayed on the fertilizer granule, making the release of nutrients less affected by temperature than other types of CRC. 37

38 TEXTBOX 1.4 Summary The environmental impact of fertilization In 2011, as part of a collaboration between EVERRIS and the Department of Biology of Agricultural Plants of Pisa and with the support of the VIS project, some tests on photinia and cherry laurel were carried out at the CESPEVI to compare fertilization with CRC and fertigation in terms of growth and commercial quality of plants, production costs and environmental impact. The plants were grown in 24 cm (10 L) pots with peat and pumice (density of 3.9 p / m 2) for 28 weeks starting in mid-April. The treatments compared were the following: 1) Continuous fertilization with water-soluble fertilizer at a concentration of 0.33 g / l 2) Fertilization with CRC Hi.End (12-14 months), added to the substrate before transplanting (6 g / l) 3) Fertilization with CRC Exact (8-9 months), added to the substrate before transplanting (4 g / l) and in September (top-dressing 2 g / l). The average daily air temperature in the period was about 21 C. The season was rainy on average with about 270 mm distributed over 27 days, out of a total of 203 test days. The fertilization regime did not affect the growth of the plants or their commercial value, however, the use of CRCs significantly reduced the loss of nitrogen and phosphorus with the drainage waters. This result is very interesting considering the need to reduce the environmental impact linked to the fertilization of nurseries to comply with any environmental constraints (eg those imposed by the Nitrates Directive) and / or to obtain an environmental certification. Fertigation has also resulted in a luxurious absorption of nutrients by plants. The use of Hi.End also made it possible to avoid the costly top-dressing operation towards the end of the summer. Table. Nitrogen and phosphorus balance in photinia and cherry laurel cultivation in pots carried out with different fertilization systems. Osmocote Osmocote Parameters Fertigation Exact Hi.end Exact N distributed (Kg / ha) N leached (kg / ha N absorbed * (kg / ha) P supplied (kg / ha) P leached (kg / ha) P absorbed * (kg / ha) ha) * Includes the quantities actually absorbed by the culture and those residual in the substrate at the end of the test

39 TEXTBOX 1.5 Summary Deficit irrigation (deficit irrigation) in ornamental nurseries An interesting technique for the undoubted advantages in terms of efficiency of irrigation water use is the so-called deficit irrigation (DI), i.e. the possibility of reducing the irrigation volume (up to 50% less than a normally irrigated crop), only partially replenishing the TEE. The experimental works on DI applied to ornamental species are few, but generally demonstrate the positive effects of this technique both from the point of view of the efficiency in the use of water and the aesthetic quality of plants at the end of the cycle (the moderate water stress, in fact, makes plants more compact and branched). The technique appears particularly interesting if applied to the warmer months (July and August), when the FTE is very high (up to 6-7 mm / day) and the growth rate of plants is often not optimal due to the high temperatures of the air and substrate in the pots. At the end of summer and early autumn, when temperatures and radiation levels are still favorable to the plants but the FTE values ​​are decidedly lower, it is possible to return to the normal irrigation regime. As part of the VIS project, the Department of Biology of Agricultural Plants (recently merged into the Department of Agricultural, Food and Agro-environmental Sciences) of the University of Pisa and CESPEVI conducted some experiments with Photinia x fraseri and Prunus laurocerasus and Viburnum tinus) for the purpose to verify the effects of the DI, applied in the period July-September. In this case, the DI was achieved in two ways: 1) by raising the cumulative ET threshold that activated the irrigation by 25%, while maintaining the irrigation volume delivered in the control thesis (2.1 L m -2) 2) by decreasing the 25% the irrigation volume, while maintaining the same frequency of the control. In both species, the two DI regimes reduced seasonal water consumption by 20-25% as a result of a reduction in the TEE of the crop and above all in drainage losses. In Photinia x fraseri, DI had no major effect on the growth and commercial value of the plants at the end of the season. On the contrary, the plants of Prunus laurocerasus irrigated less or less frequently than the control grew less and, at the end of the cycle, had a very high incidence of foliar desiccation, which reduced their commercial value. 39

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41 2. THE CONTROL OF WEED FLORA (C. Frasconi, S. Benvenuti, M. Fontanelli, L. Martelloni, M. Raffaelli and A. Peruzzi) 2.1 The weed flora in ornamental plant nurseries Summary The correct management of spontaneous flora is also essential in nursery production. In fact, weeds compete directly with cultivated plants for light, water and nutrients. In addition, weeds are very aggressive and can adapt well to the environmental conditions of nurseries, eg. they can also develop without problems on the anti-algae sheets, which maintain the humidity necessary for the germination of the seeds. Some species, such as the quadrello (Cyperus esculentus L.), even manage to emerge from the ground by piercing the sheets. In some researches on various ornamental tree species it has been observed how the correct management of the spontaneous flora on the surface of the soil around the trees has positively influenced their development, resulting in an increase in the diameter of the stem (Boyd and Robbin, 2006). Uncontrolled weed growth can also indirectly damage the open field farming of ornamental plants, creating microclimatic conditions conducive to the development of diseases from phytopathogenic microorganisms or to the infestation of harmful arthropods (Kuhns et al., 2007). In ornamental nurseries, the problem of weed control is also felt in container crops. In fact, the presence of weeds in the yards and especially inside the pots has numerous economic and environmental implications, causing a slowdown in the growth of cultivated species and a worsening of their aesthetic and commercial value (Fig. 2.1). Fig Qualitative decay of potted plants caused by the presence of numerous weeds. 41

42 It is not easy to calculate exactly the economic damage caused by the unwanted presence of weeds in ornamental nurseries, but according to some studies it could amount to several thousand euros per hectare. The difficulty of this economic quantification derives from the fact that, while in open field herbaceous crops the damage is easily identifiable with the decrease in yield (in addition to a possible qualitative depreciation), in the case of ornamental plants in pots the damage is not only constituted from the reduction of growth but also from its qualitative decay (aesthetic value). The marketed product must in fact be free of any defect, including the presence of weeds (Benvenuti et al., 2009). The absence of weeds is also important considering that, during the growing season, the nurseries are often visited by customers. From the point of view of the interaction between the cultivated plant and the weeds (very often, two or more individuals of different species are found in the pots), the container culture represents a particular microagroecosystem being characterized by the limited volume of a very fertile substrate, abundantly irrigated and without an initial seedbank (the natural supply of readily germinable or dormant seeds), at least in container-grown crops (different is the case of sod crops). Furthermore, compared to a field condition (periodically worked), in the container culture there is no inversion or mixing of the soil and consequently the germination of the seeds present on the surface of the containers is favored. These particular conditions aggravate both the competition for nutrients and water between the cultivated plant and the weeds and the phenomena of allelopathy. Many weeds, in fact, produce and release allelopathic substances in the growth substrate capable of inhibiting the growth of the surrounding vegetation. The characteristics of the pot culture lead to the spatio-temporal evolution of very particular floristic associations. Although, in theory, all the spontaneous species can infest the containers, there are actually few that do. In general, we are faced with species with dissemination mechanisms suitable for reaching the surface of the vessels, such as: i) anemocoria (dissemination through the wind), typical of many Asteraceae (or Composites) ii) ballistic self-dissemination, which characterizes species such as Oxalis corniculata and Cardamine hirsuta iii) myrmecocoria or dissemination mediated by ants. Some species, such as euphorbiaceae (for example Euphorbia maculata, E.helioscopia and E.peplus) have seeds with an appendix, called elaiosome, which is not necessary for germination and which, rich in lipids and other nutrients, serves to attract animals, such as ants or more rarely birds, responsible for the dispersion horizontally and / or vertically (just think of the dissemination of caper seeds on the old city walls). 42

43 These mechanisms are fundamental in the contamination of the heaps of substrate present in the nurseries waiting for repotting, even before direct infestation in the pots in the yards. In nurseries it is also necessary to keep in mind the dissemination defined as raindrop dispersal, which arises from the kinetic energy of the raindrops that are able (especially during intense precipitation) to throw the seeds of the weeds in the environments immediately adjacent to the containers. This is one of the strategies for the dissemination of species defined as barocore, that is, without particular dissemination mechanisms. Furthermore, the selective pressure carried out by herbicidal products which benefit the species of weeds resistant to that particular active principle must not be forgotten. The herbicides registered for nursery activities are in fact few and their repeated use has contributed to the development of an aggressive and not very diversified weed flora. Knowledge of weeds and infestation dynamics is crucial for the development of an effective containment strategy. As part of a project funded by the Tuscany Region (ERBEVIVE Project, the University of Pisa has conducted, in collaboration with Ce.Spe.Vi of Pistoia and the Pistoia Nursery Association, a study that has made it possible to clarify, at least in part, the complex interactions among the biological factors (physiological needs and mechanisms of dissemination of the various weed species) and agronomic factors (weeding, irrigation, cultivation operations, etc.) that favor the spread of weeds in ornamental plant nurseries, especially in container crops. a series of inspections in various nurseries in the Pistoia area, around 100 species of weeds have been identified. Some of them are occasional, while others are very important in the nursery world, such as the anemocora species belonging to the Asteraceae family The infesting flora of sod crops, that is, made by transplanting grown plants into pots for a few years in the field, it is different from crops grown exclusively in containers. In the first case, the clods of earth bring with them the typical seedbank of the open field. In the second case, the seedbank - at least the initial one of the substrate is almost zero, as already mentioned above. Therefore, in sod crops, in addition to the typical container weeds, there are also those that infest crops in the field, there are mainly annual cycle species and monocotyledons, represented almost exclusively by Graminaceae. In container crops, perennial species are found much more frequently than in field crops. Some of these, such as Oxalis corniculata and Cynodon dactylon), are able to persist almost continuously over time in the containers. In field crops, the tillage tends to favor the presence of annual species that reproduce by seed. The seed, in fact, is a propagation organ not very vulnerable to 43

44 mechanical processing as opposed to the vegetative organs (eg rhizomes and tubers) with which perennial species propagate more easily. Another datum that emerged from the survey is the small number of botanical families. About 99% of the sampled species belong to eight families only, listed below in descending order of diffusion: Asteraceae, Onagracee, Cruciferae, Portulacaceae, Cariofillaceae, Euphorbiacee, Oxalidaceae and Graminaceae. The most important species are only a dozen: Cardamine hirsuta (Cruciferee meadow cress) Euphorbia maculata (spotted spurge, Euphorbiacee) Oxalis corniculata (Oxalidaceae field sorrel) Epilobium hirsutum (Onagracee water carnation) Portulaca oleracea (Portulioacacee porcelain grass) (Composite common senecione) Sonchus oleraceus (Composite cicerbita) Eclipta prostrata (Composite eclipta) Stellaria media (centocchio Cariofillaceae) Sagina probumbens (sagina Cariofillaceae). This narrow botanical spectrum is similar to that of nurseries located in geographic areas very far from Italy (e.g. USA and Australia) and clearly indicates the presence of a very specialized phytocoenosis, including species capable of colonizing, growing and spreading (by dissemination) in containers very easily even in very different environmental conditions. Normally the management of weeds in the nursery sector is carried out with chemical herbicides, which represent an important pollution factor in the case of container crops, the very expensive manual weeding is also often used. The average annual consumption of agropharmaceuticals in the Pistoia nursery area is around 40 kg / ha and 75% (almost 30 kg / ha) is represented by synthetic herbicides (Kovacic, 2008). The most widely used formulations are characterized by active ingredients with residual or systemic action, and are used both in the case of open field nurseries and in the case of plants in containers and yards that house the pots (Kovacic, 2008). These substances, during and after the treatments, are subject to dispersion due to drift, leaching and percolation and represent a high risk of environmental contamination, with serious repercussions on the health (acute or chronic poisoning) of the operators, of the citizens who reside in the vicinity of the nursery companies. and in general of all those people exposed to accidental contact (buyers or visitors) (Kovacic, 2008). It is therefore necessary to identify alternative methods for the control of weeds with the aim of improving the environmental sustainability of the production processes of the Pistoia nursery sector. In the case of container nurseries, the control of the weeds must involve both the individual vaults and the cultivation areas. 44

45 2.2. Physical control of weed flora in the open field Summary The definition of a correct weed control strategy must include a preliminary floristic analysis, aimed at identifying the types of adventitious plants that occur most frequently during the crop cycle. In this way it will be possible to determine their biological cycle by characterizing the most sensitive phenological stage. Then follows the identification of the most appropriate treatments and operating machines for the cultivation context under consideration (Kuhns et al., 2007). Furthermore, an effective program for the management of spontaneous flora in an open field nursery must also take into account the control of weeds present in the areas adjacent to the plot where the ornamental species are grown (borders, headlands, ditches, etc.) (Kuhns et al. ., 2007). In general, the non-chemical control of weeds provides (Peruzzi et al., 2005 2006): - preventive methods aimed at reducing the emergence of spontaneous plants in the field - indirect methods aimed at improving the competitive ability of the crop - direct methods aimed at devitalizing adventitious plants that have already emerged or at least to reduce their competitive ability. An effective strategy for the management of spontaneous flora should provide for a synergistic interaction between the various techniques with the aim of containing the presence of adventitias below the damage threshold for the crop. Preventive methods The preventive methods of non-chemical control of weeds are aimed at reducing the density of the real flora (represented by the adventitias actually present on the ground) by reducing the potential flora (represented by the set of seeds and vegetative reproductive organs present in the profile of arable land and potentially able to develop). In open field herbaceous and horticultural crops, false sowing can be included among the various preventive techniques (Peruzzi et al., 2005 2006), but this methodology does not seem applicable to open field nurseries due to the length of the crop cycles. The crop rotation is also one of the preventive methods of non-chemical management of weeds. In this regard, in fact, a correct rotation can not only elude all those phenomena attributable to the so-called fatigue of the soil, but can also avoid the establishment of a specialized and highly competitive spontaneous flora.Always in a preventive perspective, attention must be paid to the choice of soil tillage techniques carried out before planting. Plowing and burglary are common techniques for the 45

46 soil preparation of the propagation and cultivation areas. These types of work involve the inversion of the soil layers and are therefore able to effectively bury the emerged weeds and their germinable seeds present in the most superficial layers of the soil. In relation to the species to which they belong, the depth of tillage and the permanence in deep layers of soil, the buried seeds may lose their germination capacity or keep it more or less unchanged until the layer of soil that hosts them is brought back. new on the surface, thus restoring the conditions suitable for their germination. In the long term, these processing techniques can determine the maintenance of an appreciable stock of potentially germinating weeds and an unacceptable loss of organic matter (Peruzzi et al., 2005 2006). An alternative to this type of operators is represented by discissers and cultivators, who carry out a more limited control of the emerged weeds, but allow a reduced burial of their seeds, stimulating, in some cases, their germination. The emerged adventitias can then be subsequently devitalized with direct methods. For the pre-planting of the soil, a passage with a rotary hoe is usually provided, which allows the clods created with the previous work to be shredded (Beretta et al., 2007). However, the operators operated by the power take-off (such as rotary hoes and rotary harrows) by chopping up the vegetative organs of the weeds (rhizomes, tubers, bulbs, etc.) can favor their propagation, thus transforming a localized infestation into a widespread infestation throughout the plot (Altland, 2005). Therefore, the use of this type of operators is recommended only if, after a careful floristic analysis, the presence of weed species that propagate vegetatively is excluded. Another preventive method is represented by the use of cover crops. These are crops of herbaceous species (belonging mainly to the Graminaceae, Brassicaceae and Leguminosae family) that are able to control the development and spread of weeds by inhibiting their germination (through the production of allelopathic substances) and entering into competition with them for factors such as light, water and nutrients. In the case of open field nurseries, these herbaceous essences must be sown between the rows of the plant, leaving a strip of soil free on the row of cultivated ornamental plants (Zeleznik and Zollinger, 2004). The width of the strip of bare soil on the row of the crop varies in accordance with the type and size of the cultivated ornamental species and the planting layouts adopted. In addition to controlling weeds, cover crops perform multiple positive functions: they protect the soil from erosion, they bring organic substance, they improve traffic conditions, allowing you to enter the plot even with wet ground. The development of cover crops must be managed with periodic mowing leaving plant residues on the surface of the soil. The action of allelopathic compounds can last for a period ranging from 30 to 46

47 to 75 days, depending on the species adopted and the quantity of plant biomass produced (Zeleznik and Zollinger, 2004). On the other hand, cover crops have the disadvantage of having a highly variable effect on the infesting flora and of representing an explicit cost for the nursery (Peruzzi et al., 2005). A (low cost) alternative to cover crops is represented by natural grassing between the rows of the plant. This technique should allow to obtain advantages similar to those of a cover crop with a decidedly contained expense (Kuhns et al., 2007). However, for the containment of the spontaneous species used for grassing it is necessary to intensify the mowing interventions: in fact, many of these species are equipped with stolons or other vegetative propagation organs and are able to invade the strip of soil on the row of the crop. ornamental, which instead must remain free (Kuhns et al., 2007). Indirect methods Indirect methods have the purpose of improving the competitive ability of the crop towards adventures. The agronomic factors that can be taken into consideration for the indirect control of spontaneous flora in open field ornamental nurseries are planting, irrigation and fertilization. The suitable planting layouts and the forms of training to be adopted in a nursery should be identified, when possible, as a compromise between various factors, trying to: favor the shading of the soil, avoid a high competition between the individuals of the cultivated species , consider the dimensions of the mechanized construction sites for the main cultivation operations and in particular for the direct control of the spontaneous flora. Targeted application of irrigation and fertilization can contribute to weed containment. In fact, by distributing these factors close to the cultivated plant, a more efficient use of these resources by the crop is achieved, making them more difficult to use for weeds (Beretta et al., 2007). Direct methods Physical methods of direct weed control involve the use of mechanical or thermal means. Mechanical means Mechanical means represent one of the most ancient strategies for the containment of weeds and their aim is to reduce the competitiveness of adventitious plants by uprooting them, separating the epigeal portion from the root system, tearing their tissues. In the case of nurseries of 47

48 ornamental tree species the mechanical management of weeds between the rows of the crop can be carried out by using machines that perform mowing or light tillage (technique similar to weeding). The mowing equipment is common shredders which must be characterized by a working width suited to the layout and the morphology of the ornamental plant, so as not to cause damage to the crop. In this regard, in the case of the adoption of strategies that involve the use of cover crops or natural grassing between the rows, an innovative type of mulchers produced by the company Nobili S.p.A, (BNE-SDS models), appears very interesting. These operators perform the mowing and shredding of weeds, pruning residues, cover crops and unload the shredded vegetable biomass in swaths under the stems of the plants, constituting a real mulch that allows you to control the spontaneous flora even on the crop row (Fig.2.2). The transport and unloading of the shredded plant material is ensured by one or more augers present inside the casing of the operator and activated by hydraulic motors in such a way as to allow a precise adjustment of the rotation speed according to the quantity of biomass present and the speed. advancement of the operator (Pagni et al., 2010). Fig BNE-SDS chopper-swather operator of Nobili S.p.A. at work in an orchard. The mechanical control of the weeds between the rows of the tree crop is achieved by means of a superficial tillage of the soil. For this purpose, operators can be used that are not driven (rotary hoes and harrows) or not (light cultivators) by the power take-off. However, as already highlighted above, in some cases the use of equipment that works the soil dynamically is not recommended. 48

49 The operators for the mechanical control of the weeds that develop on the row of the crop must be designed in such a way as not to damage the stem of the cultivated plants. These machines are also able to work near the crop, allowing to mow the adventitia or devitalize them by working the soil and avoiding damaging the trunk by means of hydraulic mechanisms that allow the tools to be retracted with direct movement towards the inside of the inter-row area (Fig. 2.3 ). The working parts of these machines can be fixed or activated (deriving the motion from special hydraulic motors). Fig Operator for intra-vine processing of the Clemens company at work in a vineyard. The various constructive solutions existing on the market offer different types of tools (blades, elastic teeth, large diameter wires made of plastic material, brushes) which must be correctly identified and chosen on the basis of the specific herbological context. In most cases the presence of the crop is identified by means of special mechanical devices (feelers) (Fig. 2.4). Many of these operators have been designed for fruit growing, but they appear suitable to be effectively used also in open field nurseries. Some of these machines are set up in such a way as to be able to operate simultaneously between the rows and on the row of the crop, allowing the management of weeds with a reduced number of passages (Fig. 2.5). There are also equipment specially designed for mechanical control on the market 49

50 of the weeds on the row of nursery crops, such as the Finger-weeder (finger weed killer) widely spread in the cultivation of Christmas trees in Northern Europe, but also adaptable to other contexts of ornamental nursery and horticultural crops (Fig. 2.6). Fig Detail of the working member and the feeler device of the operator for intra-stump processing produced by the Clemens company. Fig Operator produced by the Damcon company able to carry out, in a single step, the tillage of the soil between the rows and on the row of tree plants. 50

51 Fig Model of a finger weeder by Kress at work in a nursery. The working parts of this type of operator can have different conformations (Fig 2.7). Generally, however, they are composed of rotating metal plates mounted idly on an axis inclined with respect to the ground surface and connected to the main frame by means of adjustable arms. The motion of the finger weeder is guaranteed by the resistance offered by the ground during the advancement of the operator towards specific metal spikes, mounted on the lower part of the plate so as to penetrate the soil for a few centimeters. The flexible elements (fingers) made of plastic material are mounted along the outer circumference of the rotating plates so as not to damage the stem of the crop. It is precisely these tools that, by moving the ground, carry out a mechanical control action on the adventitious ones. These operators may encounter difficulties when used in heavy soils with a high level of compaction. Fig. 2.7 Schemes of different construction types of finger weeder. 51

52 The innovative range of Rotosark operators produced by the Oliver company is based on the same principle of action (idle mounted rotating parts) (Fig 2.8). The working part is made up of a series of hook-shaped plowshares welded together in order to obtain a circular element, which can be tilted in various positions according to different needs. These elements operate the inter-row processing reaching very close to the trunk of the plants, but the operators can be equipped with a numerous series of accessory tools, which can guarantee the mechanical and selective control of the weeds also on the row. Furthermore, models are available with frames suitable for being coupled to self-propelled overhead vehicles, i.e. with a high free span, able to operate also in the sphere of ornamental species with bushy habitus and in any case in all those cases where the planting distances are more dense and there is the impossibility of using common tractors (Fig 2.9). In this regard, it seems appropriate to point out how tractors and straddle carriers are very common in nursery farms in Northern Europe (Fig 2.10). These operators allow you to operate easily and in a short time, in all those contexts of the nursery where usually self-propelled vehicles with an operator are used (eg motor cultivators). Fig Rotosark operator produced by the Oliver company at work in a fruit nursery. 52

53 Fig Rotosark operator of the Oliver company suitable for straddle tractors. Fig Overhead tool carrier from Damcon at work in a Christmas fir nursery. 53

54 Such equipments are very expensive, but it must be considered that they allow to contain the labor costs necessary not only for the control of weeds, but also for all the other operations necessary for the cultivation of ornamental plants in the open field. Thermal media Thermal media represent a valid tool for the direct control of weeds and can be used alternatively or in an integrated manner with mechanical means, with a view to non-chemical management of the spontaneous flora. All the equipment for thermal control (or fire weeding) base their principle of action on the use of heat to induce a rapid increase in the temperature of the green parts of the plants, which in turn determines a more or less rapid drying of the affected organs. At a physiological and metabolic level, the exposure of plants to heat causes dehydration of the tissues, the denaturation of proteins, the change in the conformation of the cell membranes with consequent increase in permeability, the alteration of stomatal conductivity and therefore of photosynthesis, as well as the alteration of respiratory processes and cell division (Peruzzi et al., 2009). In practice, the heat causes a sort of scalding or boiling of the green parts and the effect produced by the thermal media on the vegetation is very similar to that of a chemical herbicide with a drying action on the aerial part. The difference between the various types of equipment for the thermal management of weeds lies in the means used to transmit heat and raise the temperature of the treated area. The most common methods used in agriculture are: a) open flame b) steam c) hot water (Peruzzi et al., 2009). Operating machines have been tested that are able to use other means than those listed above (e.g. infrared rays, microwaves, lasers) but these have a high energy expenditure, a reduced work capacity, an insufficient rinse action and, as in the case of microwaves, including potential health risks for operators. To date, one of the most efficient applications, also from an energy point of view, for the control of infesting flora in open field nurseries seems to be free flame weeding, which consists in exposing the plant tissues to temperatures of about 1500 C for a few tenths of a second. In this case the tissues are devitalized due to a thermal shock. Contrary to popular belief, fire weeding control of adventitia is not a recent application. The first patent of an open flame operator dates back to 1852, by John Craig in Arkansas. Towards the end of the 1930s, machines equipped with burners powered by liquid or gaseous fuels obtained from the fractional distillation of petroleum (kerosene, gasoline, LPG) spread in the southwestern states of the USA. These machines 54

55 were used to manage the spontaneous flora on embankments, railway embankments and other non-agricultural areas. In 1935 Colonel Price C. McLemore began to use flame weeding in his cotton plots in Alabama and, over time, he also adopted this technique on other crops by filing a patent in 1939 which was approved in During this period many machine patents were filed. for flame weeding, in consideration of the fact that this technique had become a common practice for cotton and other crops. Most of the operators were powered by LPG, which had completely supplanted the use of liquid fuels. This change naturally also affected the design of burners and fuel systems. The fire weeding technique underwent a sharp decline at the end of the sixties of the last century, due to the increase in the cost of petroleum products, the concomitant increasing availability of synthetic herbicides with selective action. In recent years, the growing concerns related to the environmental impact of agropharmaceuticals, the high cost of herbicides, the onset of resistance phenomena by many weeds and the growing development of organic farming, has led the world of research and operations to a rediscovery physical methods of controlling the spontaneous flora. The need to find alternative solutions to the use of herbicides has led the researchers of the University of Pisa to carry out, over the last twenty years, numerous studies on the non-chemical control of weeds. In this regard, in the course of specific research projects, a series of equipment (manual, backpack, trolley, or self-propelled and carried by the tractor) have been studied, designed, built, tested and optimized, fully suitable for carrying out fire-weeding treatments in different contexts. Italian agricultural workers. All the operators were built by assembling the different components with modular technique, starting from the burners to get to the heat exchanger. The different parts of the machines were therefore made following a single design idea, but with shapes and sizes that fit in with the constraints and needs associated with the construction of the various equipment designed to carry out heat treatments efficiently and appropriately in conditions. very different operational ones. All prototypes are equipped with rod burners and an external mixer equipped with a nozzle that exploits the Venturi effect to allow the entry of primary air. Subsequently, following in-depth studies of fluid dynamics, the conformation of the burners was modified, adding specific openings in the external casing, in order to also use secondary air and therefore improve LPG combustion.This type of burner allows to obtain a brushed flame that flattens on the surface of the ground and is able to guarantee a high heat transfer and therefore a considerable effectiveness of the heat treatments. The main elements of a modern operating machine for fire weeding are: tank frame 55

56 of the fuel heat exchanger (not present on backed equipment and in general also on all manual ones) adjustment and safety devices burners devices for igniting the burners devices to allow the maintenance of the correct distance between the burner and the ground (not always present on manual equipment) devices for regulating the flow of LPG. The heat exchanger is used only in self-propelled machines or machines carried by the tractor and its function is to supply energy to the cylinders during the treatment, favoring the passage of state and the correct flow of LPG to the burners even when high operating pressures are used ( 0.3-0.5 MPa). A particular design solution was adopted in the motorized and carried prototypes made by the University of Pisa, which allows to use the exhaust gases of the endothermic engine to heat the water which in turn gives energy to the LPG, allowing to operate continuously and to use all the gas contained in the tanks. The safety devices usually consist of a thermocouple connected to a solenoid valve located in the power supply circuit of each burner, with the function of blocking the LPG leakage in the event of the absence of a flame. The manual equipment obviously does not have all these devices, but they are however equipped with a pressure regulator and a pressure gauge, while the quantity of gas at the outlet is regulated by means of the maximum and minimum taps and the trigger on the handle of the lance. In 2009 a collaboration began between the University of Pisa and the company Maito S.r.l. of Arezzo, as part of a specific project called PIROGESI, financed by the Tuscany Region with funds from the European Union. The main purpose of the project was the industrialization and commercialization of the prototypes made by the University of Pisa for flame weeding with open flame, in consideration of the advantages offered by this technique in terms of protecting the environment and citizens' health and reducing time intervention and costs related to the control of spontaneous flora. The optimized and industrialized manual equipment are the PiroBag-One (backpack equipment) and the Pirotrolley (trolley equipment). The other two machines that complete the range are the Pirotruck (self-propelled operator with operator in tow) and the Pirotractor (mounted operator), both equipped with a completely automated burner ignition device. The Pirotractor series of mounted operators is particularly suitable for carrying out treatments in the open field tree nursery sector, also in consideration of the fact that the modular structure and the high versatility guarantee the adaptability of the models to the different plant layouts. In particular, this equipment has been made in such a way as to be able to rotate laterally the frames that support the burners, thus obtaining two distinct conformations and allowing to operate both between the rows and on the row of ornamental tree crops (Fig 2.11). In this case the criterion of 56

57 selectivity of the open flame fire weeding carried out on the row is based on the fact that the lignified tissues that make up the stem of the plant are characterized by a much higher resistance to heat than the herbaceous tissues of the adventitia. Fig Possible conformations of the Pirotractor operator of the Maito company: for treatments between the rows (left) or on the row (right). In the case of ornamental species with sapling training forms, the heat treatments carried out on the row of the crop can also allow to devitalize the young suckers that develop from the base of the stem (pyro-sucking). Without a suitable cover of the burners, the free flame heat treatments carried out on the row would be discouraged, in those species characterized by an easily flammable stem (eg Chamaerops humilis L.) and in those forms of farming that require the presence of the apparatus. leaf very close to the soil surface in these cases, fire weeding could cause aesthetic damage to the product. Mulching The mulching technique aims to create a physical barrier on the surface of the soil that hinders the emergence of weeds, limiting their competitive capacity. From the point of view of the classification of weed control methods, this agronomic practice can be included in both preventive and direct techniques. In the case of open field ornamental nurseries, mulching should be applied close to the cultivated plant, and in many cases an entire strip of soil is covered right on the row of the plant (Beretta et al., 2007). Mulching in addition to control 57

58 of weeds can also bring other agronomic advantages such as (Zeleznik and Zollinger, 2004): conservation of soil moisture through the reduction of evaporation reduction of the risk of soil erosion increase of infiltration of rainwater into the soil maintenance of temperature levels higher ground levels in the autumn-winter period. For mulching for open field nurseries, incoherent materials (mainly of organic nature) or water-permeable fabrics made with plastic fibers of synthetic origin can be used. Mulching with organic materials The most commonly used mulches of organic origin are straw, wood chips, grass clippings, coniferous bark, compost overlay. The use of these materials, which over time undergo a slow degradation, seems to positively influence the chemical, physical and biological characteristics of the soil, increasing the organic substance, improving its structure, increasing the microflora of the soil and in particular of all those microorganisms that have antagonistic action towards pathogens (Amoroso et al., 2007). However, the effects of organic mulch depend on the type of material used, its quantity and its degree of refinement. For example, the use of substances with a high lignin content (high C / N ratio), can lead to the immobilization of nitrogen, reducing its availability for plants. From this perspective, the use of compost over-range, a by-product of the green composted soil improver production chain, appears very promising. This material, after being subjected to composting processes, is separated from the actual compost by screening. The compost overrange is characterized by a sub-alkaline pH and a relatively high C / N ratio (usually between 50 and 100), but in any case much lower than that of coniferous bark or wood chipped materials. The mulching effect of the over-interval, which costs around 15 m -3, lasts about two years (Amoroso et al., 2007). The thickness of the organic mulching layer must be carefully evaluated to obtain the maximum effectiveness of control of adventitias and to minimize the risk of hypoxia and / or root rot. Generally the height of the material layer oscillates between 7 and 10 cm higher values ​​can be adopted in the case of materials with a high granulometry (Zeleznik and Zollinger, 2004). Mulching with plastic materials Mulching with inorganic materials can be used for the control of weeds on the row of the plant and can be made with plastic films or with synthetic fabrics (geotextiles). In 58

59 open field nurseries the use of plastic films does not appear to be fully suitable, since in most cases these materials have a significantly shorter duration than the entire crop cycle of ornamental tree species. The geotextiles are composed of polypropylene fibers resistant to ultraviolet rays, they are characterized by a high mechanical resistance and a good permeability to water and oxygen, with positive effects on the root system of the crop. These characteristics and their much longer useful life compared to plastic films make these products particularly suitable for controlling spontaneous flora in the open field. The polypropylene fabrics intended for nursery use are marketed in rolls of variable width and length and their spreading in the field takes place with special operating machines equipped with lateral plowshares, which bury the edges of the sheet securing it stably to the soil surface. In open field nurseries, the arrangement of the geotextiles must be carried out before transplanting and it is necessary to create special openings where the ornamental plant will subsequently be placed. The cuts can be of different shapes (C to J to L or cross) and must have suitable dimensions to allow easy growth of the cultivated species (Zeleznik and Zollinger, 2004). These products generally guarantee effective weed control for relatively long periods of time and are commonly used in yards where container-grown ornamental plants are kept, but their use in the open field is severely limited by the high purchase costs. 2.3 Control of weed flora in container nurseries Summary Preventive measures and unconventional herbicides. In nurseries, the control of weeds, both annual and perennial, is normally entrusted to the distribution of the few herbicidal products registered for this agricultural sector which are based on pendimetalin, oxifluorfen, oxadiazon and isoxaben (often mixed with each other). In addition to these herbicides to be applied in pre-emergence, sometimes in slow-release formulations, glyphosate (non-selective post-emergence herbicide) is also widely used for its high efficacy against many species of weeds. This product is distributed shielded on the surface of the containers or over the entire surface in the areas of the yards not directly covered by the pot. For easily understandable reasons, also considering that nurseries are often close to inhabited centers, the development of spontaneous vegetation control strategies alternative to the use of classic herbicides or in any case capable of significantly reducing their use is of primary interest. 59

60 Tab. 1. Preventive measures against weeds in container nurseries Covering or storage in covered rooms of the substrates before transplanting. Elimination (chemical and / or mechanical) of the weeds spread in the areas adjacent to the aprons. Use of windbreaks to limit anemocora dissemination from cultivated or uncultivated areas adjacent to nurseries. Use of mulching discs for pots, of various materials (coconut fiber, paper, etc.). Elimination of water stagnation in the yards to prevent hydrocore dissemination (by floating and horizontal movement in the water) of the seeds. Timely elimination of self-disseminating weeds, ie before the ripening of the seeds. Management of infesting flora in ground crops intended for repotting (crops in sod containers), especially as regards perennial cycle species (Convolulus arvensis, Calystegia sapium, Cyperus esculentus, etc.). In addition to the preventive measures aimed at limiting the contamination of the substrates with seeds or propagules of the various species of weeds (Table 1), it is possible to resort to unconventional herbicides such as acetic acid (vinegar). This substance is industrially produced at relatively low cost and is easy to apply (Fig. 2.12). This product appeared to be very effective for the control of spontaneous vegetation not only in urban areas but also in the case of industrial crops (eg cotton) and horticultural crops. Vinegar has a caustic action and its effects on weeds are evident just a few minutes after application (Fig. 2.13). The costs of applying vinegar are about ten times higher than those of applying glyphosate, according to an American researcher (Young, 2004). However, it should be emphasized that Young's study was conducted to test the product in an urban environment and therefore in a very different context from that of an ornamental plant nursery. A recent study carried out by Benvenuti and colleagues (2012) conducted tests and demonstrated the efficacy of a product based on 20% acetic acid on many of the weed species present in ornamental plant nurseries (Textbox 2.1). 60

61 Fig Distribution of vinegar for natural weeding by means of a screened spray of the product (Minimantra) Fig Rapid withering of Taraxacum officinale seedlings just a few minutes after the distribution of the vinegar. 61

62 Fig Evident bleaching of Stellaria media seedlings (on the right, while the control is shown on the left) a few days after the distribution of the vinegar. The use of essential oils is also particularly promising. In some tests conducted as part of the VIS Project by the University of Pisa, essential oils extracted from mint proved to be particularly effective. Their cost, however, makes them currently only feasible for interventions in urban environments against particular species such as those with allergenic action such as Parietaria officinalis and Ambrosia artemisiifolia. The experimental protocol provided for the same methods for essential oils already described for the tests carried out with vinegar (same micro-distributed dosages with a backed equipment equipped with a centrifugal nozzle driven by an electric motor, called mini-mantra on seedlings at the first stages of development). Also in this case the phytocidal activity was very rapid, in fact, the toxicity symptoms were highlighted just a few minutes after the treatment. Compared to vinegar, essential oils exert their phytotoxic action on many species and also on adult plants as their effectiveness is little influenced by the waxiness and / or tomentosity characteristics of the leaves and by the stage of development of the plants. As already mentioned, the very high costs of the products currently prevent the opportunity to register a commercial formulation based on essential oils. Essential oils extracted from easy-to-grow medicinal plants (eg Mentha piperita, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Thymus vulgaris, Satureja hortensi Tworkoski, 2002) or spontaneous (eg. Artemisia verlotorum, Artemisia annua, Xanthium strumarium, Inula viscosa) or from industrial waste food (for example, from residues from the processing of citrus fruits and medicinal herbs) could be much cheaper and allow their use on a commercial scale as bio-herbicides (Benvenuti et al., 2010). 62

63 Thermal management of weeds in containers Even in the case of ornamental plants grown in containers, thermal means can represent a valid alternative to the use of synthetic herbicides for the management of weeds. In this context it is necessary to identify the strategies, methods and operators with the aim of maximizing the effectiveness and efficiency of the treatments and avoiding damaging the crop. The equipment must be characterized by reduced dimensions and high manageability. In particular, for the management of the adventitias that develop on the surface of the substrate inside the vessels, manual equipment must be used that transfer heat to the plant tissues by means of an open flame or steam. The open flame treatments, if correctly performed, are characterized by very low exposure times, therefore they do not cause damage to containers made of plastic materials. However, if there is a localized irrigation system, there is the risk of being able to damage the drippers and especially the tubes to which they are connected. To overcome this problem, it is sufficient to temporarily remove these devices before the weeding treatment, otherwise it is possible to opt for forms of heat associated with lower temperature levels such as steam. The machines for the thermal control of weeds using steam consist of a water tank, a steam generator and lances with special diffusers. Also in this case, the equipment must be compact and easy to handle. Furthermore, it is possible to use electric steam generators in nurseries that are connected to the electricity grid. To avoid damage to the foliar apparatus of ornamental plants, during heat treatments, the burners and steam diffusers can be fitted with casings in order to contain the heat only on the treated surface. In any case, it seems appropriate to highlight how the selectivity criteria of the heat treatments presented above are perhaps even more important in the specific context of plants grown in containers, therefore they are definitely not recommended in the case of herbaceous ornamental essences or with forms of cultivation that involve a high proximity of the foliar apparatus to the surface of the substrate. Heat treatments can also be used to contain the spontaneous flora that develops in the nursery squares. These interventions can be carried out with the same equipment that is used for the control of weeds in urban areas on hard surfaces and considering the limited free spaces between the rows of containers, it is advisable to adopt self-propelled machines with an operator in tow. As part of the VIS project, the Enrico Avanzi Agro-Environmental Research Center (CIRAA) of the University of Pisa is conducting various experimental activities on heat treatments in the nursery sector of container-grown plants (see Textbox 2.2). 63

64 2.4 References cited Summary - Altland, J Weed Control in Nursery Field Production, Oregon State University Extension Service EM 8899-E, pp Amoroso G., Fini A., Frangi P., Piatti R. (2007). Innovative techniques for sustainable management of horticulture and ornamental greenery. Quaderni della ricerca della Regione Lombardia, n 75, Spazio Stampa (Cantù) Como, pp Benvenuti S Weed seed movement and dispersal strategies in the agricultural environments.Weed Biology and Management, 7, Benvenuti S., Grassia M.E., Flamini G., Cioni P.L Bioherbicides for the control of weeds in the urban ecosystem. Acts Phytopathological Days Cervia (RA) 9 March 2010, vol.1, Benvenuti S., Stohrer M., Marzialetti P., Pardossi A Herbicidal efficacy in the nursery of a vinegar-based product. L Informatore Agrario 25, Benvenuti S., Stohrer M., Marzialetti P., Pardossi A Manual of recognition of the main weeds of container nursery activity. Pistoia, April 2012, 85 p. - Benvenuti S., Stohrer M., Pardossi A., Marzialetti P Mulch the plants in pots to combat weeds. L Informatore Agrario 28, Beretta, D., Vavassori, A., Favoino E Cultivation techniques of ornamental plants crop systems, Agricultural School of the Monza park, Lombardy Region, pp Boyd, J., Robbin J Effect of Weed Control on the Growth of Field-grown Shade Trees in Central Arkansas after Four Years, Proceedings of the Southern Nursery Association Research Conference, Volume 51, p Kovacic LI results of monitoring the use of chemicals, Regional Conference on Prevention, Hygiene and Safety in the horticultural sector. Results of the Regional Targeted Plan, October 2008, Pistoia. - Kuhns L. J., Harpster T., Selmerr J., Guiser S Controlling Weeds in Nursery and Landscape Plantings, The Pennsylvania State University Extension Bulletin # UJ236. pp Pagni PP, Montanari M., Vieri M Nobili BNE-SDS, sustainable grassing in arboriculture, Agricultural Machinery and Motors, 9, p Peruzzi A., Ginanni M., Mazzoncini M., Raffaelli M., Fontanelli M., Di Ciolo S., Verna P., Casaccia D., Recinelli E Physical management of weeds on organic carrot and other typical crops of the Fucino Plateau, Editoriale Pisana, Pisa pp

65 - Peruzzi A., Ginanni M., Mazzoncini M., Raffaelli M., Fontanelli M., Di Ciolo S Physical control of weeds on spinach in organic and integrated cultivation in the Lower Serchio Valley, Editoriale Pisana, pp Peruzzi A. , Lulli L., Raffaelli M., Del Sarto R., Frasconi C., Ginanni M., Plaia C., Sorelli F., Fontanelli M. Physical management of spontaneous flora in urban areas. Felici Editore, Pisa pp Tworkoski T Herbicide effects of essential oils. Weed Science 50, Young S.L Natural Product Herbicides for Control of Annual Vegetation Along Roadsides. Weed Technology 18, Zeleznik J., Zollinger R Weed Control in Tree Planting, North Dakota State University pp 1-4, 65

66 TEXTBOX 2.1 Summary Weeding with vinegar As part of the VIS Project, the Department of Biology of Agricultural Plants of the University of Pisa tested a product (kindly supplied by Acetificio Scaligero di Verona) containing 20% ​​acetic acid (the vinegar used for food contains about 5%) and with a pH of 2.25. The test took into consideration 26 different species of weeds, including all those most common in Pistoia nurseries: Anagallis arvensis, Aster squamatus, Cardamine hirsute, Cerastium glomeratum, Conyza Canadensis, Cynodon dactylon, Digitaria sanguinalis, Eclipta prostrata, Eleusine indica, Epilobium hirsutum , Euphorbia celioscopia, Euphorbia maculata, Euphorbia peplus, Fumaria officinalis, Galinsoga parvi flora, Lamium amplexicaule, Mercurialis annua, Oxalis capreolata, Poa annua, Polygonum aviculare, Sagina procumbens, Senecio vulgaris, Sonchus oleraceus, Stellaria personica media, Tactile officinalica media. The product was distributed on plants one month after the emergence using a backed equipment equipped with a centrifugal nozzle driven by an electric motor (Minimantra Plus, kindly supplied by the company Agricenter of Verona) and two dosages: 1 or 3 g per m 2. The vinegar showed complete effectiveness at both dosages, but acting by contact did not prevent some species from recovering over time after the damage suffered (resilience). Significant resilience was shown by six species at the lowest dose (Aster squamatus, Cynodon dactylon, Eclipta prostrata, Eleusine indica, Epilobium hirsutum, Mercurialis annua and Polygonum aviculare, Sonchus oleraceus and Taraxacum officinalis) and only by three species (Cynodon dactylon, Sonchus oleraceus and Taraxacum officinalis) at the highest dose. Vinegar acts by contact (as a synthetic chemical desiccant) and quickly: ten minutes are enough to kill or seriously damage the treated plant. Therefore, the effectiveness of vinegar is independent of the washing action of any rain after treatment, as in the case of conventional herbicides to be applied in pre-emergency. 66

67 TEXTBOX 2.2 Summary Thermal control of spontaneous flora in plants in containers and in yards The experiment conducted by CIRAA to evaluate the effectiveness of heat treatments on weeds typical of container nurseries was carried out on Photinia fraseri grown in pots of 25 cm in diameter in an artificially infested peat-based soil at the end of winter with portions (4 per pot) of Oxalis corniculata L .. The different treatments that have been compared are: - Open flame heat treatment carried out with wheeled equipment equipped with a lance manual and a small rod burner with a width of 10 cm - Heat treatments carried out by means of a steam generator with a power of 2.4 kw, equipped with a boiler capable of providing a flow rate of 3.12 kg h -1 and a special diffuser. For both types of fire weeding, two different treatment frequencies were compared (6 treatments year -1 and 3 treatments year -1). A second test was conducted at the Baron Carlo De Franceschi State Professional Institute for Agriculture and the Environment to verify the effectiveness of open flame fire weeding on weeds of gravel surfaces similar to those of cultivation areas in Pistoia's nurseries. The fire weeding treatments were carried out with a prototype of a self-propelled operator equipped with a four-stroke Otto cycle engine with a maximum power of 4.5 kw, a five-speed mechanical gearbox (plus reverse) and a speed between 1 and 5. km / hour. This operating machine has five rod burners 25 cm wide and powered by two LPG cylinders (inserted frontally on a small frame). The operator is also equipped with a lance for manual finishing treatments in particularly difficult areas. The lance is equipped with a 15 cm wide rod burner. Also in this case two different treatment frequencies were compared: 6 and 12 treatments per year. The data obtained during the experimentation conducted at the Barone Carlo De Franceschi institute were very positive and seem to have confirmed the results achieved in previous research on the thermal control of spontaneous flora in urban areas on similar types of hard surfaces (Peruzzi et al., 2009 ). The results of the research on the non-chemical management of weeds in ornamental plants grown in containers appear very promising, highlighting that the thermal control of adventitias by steam seems to have excellent potential, however further long-term checks would be necessary in order to be able to rigorously define the type of management connected with the highest renouncing effectiveness and the lowest number of interventions. It is also necessary to develop steam equipment for the thermal control of weeds specific to this particular context, in order to obtain higher levels of efficiency, while reducing operating times and operating costs. 67

68 Figure. Fire weeding in container nurseries: open flame (A) or steam (B) treatments. 68

69 3 RECOVERY OF GREEN WASTE (D. Sarri, M. Rimediotti, M. Vieri) 3.1 Introduction Summary The progressive evolution of nursery management from ground cultivation to pot cultivation has determined an increase in the needs of production factors, first of all all substrates. Peat is the most widely used raw material in the nursery sector, but the growing sensitivity of the sector towards new sustainable solutions and the need to contain costs has pushed towards the identification of alternative materials that, properly managed and treated, can be used in substitution, partial or total, of the peat without inducing qualitative deterioration of the final product. One of these solutions relates to the recovery of green waste and its reuse in the production process. The state of the art Nursery companies produce a series of waste, scraps and by-products that can be managed in different ways. Green waste, that is unsold salable plants (for various technical or commercial reasons), flaring and pruning, constitute an important quantity of organic material obtained from nursery activity. Current management provides for different processing methods according to their composition. In fact, in farms characterized by open field crops, the waste is mostly made up of dead plants and by-products of pruning in those where container cultivation prevails, the main components are instead the soil and the flaring. Generally, most of the wood waste is burned nowadays, however, there are severe regulatory restrictions and direct burning in the field is prohibited (Municipality of Pistoia, Hygiene Regulations, 2007). Furthermore, pruning residues are considered by-products of crops (Law 13 August 2010, n 129). With the expansion of container cultivation and the consequent increase in waste produced, some companies have begun to set up construction sites for the management of the material accumulated in the company through the shredding and subsequent burial, or through the recovery of the soil, reused for cultivation in mixture with virgin substrates. However, it is necessary to consider that almost all nursery companies cultivate both on the ground and in containers and separately manage the waste coming from the field or yards, for economic and logistical reasons. Therefore, the storage of green waste is currently managed by piling up earth, woody parts of plants, soil from the flaring, dry plants and pruning. The land part 69

70 of the clods and the soil of the flares, which is predominant in the pots where the highest quantities are produced, could be around 75-80%, considering that dry plants, prunings and vegetation in general, once dehydrated, they greatly reduce both in weight and in volume. Therefore, most of this waste material is made up of earth and topsoil, i.e. materials that do not require composting and are therefore easily reused. In fact, their separation from the mass is not too difficult and is achievable, for example, through a coarse crushing / grinding followed by a screening. The remaining woody part, or in any case of dried dried plant material, could be sent for composting or bio-shredding for energy purposes. The first solution is certainly more difficult and complex. The woody matrix as such takes very long times if it is not mixed with other easily fermentable organic materials (therefore more humid). Furthermore, composting requires additional operations (humidification, aeration, recovery and recycling of the liquids that drain from the heaps) and structures designed for this purpose. Finally, composting plants produce bad odors (released by fermentation processes) and therefore their localization in a highly urbanized area is very difficult. The reduction of putrescibility during composting is an essential essential condition for the construction of these plants (Centemero M., 2001). Currently, highly technological systems are used, completely isolated from the outside, with controlled atmosphere and conditions that drive the composting process, speeding it up in a shorter time. However, these installations have very high costs when compared with the reduced commercial value of the compost, and they also have a low yield, approximately 40-50%. The second solution is certainly simpler and provides for the passage of the vegetable residues in a shredder and, possibly, a drying of the material thus obtained, when used for energy purposes. In this regard, we remind you that the production of energy from crop residues represents a potential resource for companies and in recent years has been the subject of numerous researches (Spinelli., 2004 Spinelli et al., 2006 Recchia., 2006). The use of woody biomass as fuel is increasingly widespread thanks to the advent of innovative solutions capable of optimizing the energy produced. The solutions already available range from the simple burner for the production of hot water (with average energy yields) to the cogeneration plant which, with the help of a turbine, simultaneously generates hot water and electricity, maximizing energy yield. There are also technologically more advanced biomass gasification plants, with even higher yields, but these are large, very complex and expensive structures that require large quantities of material. Large nursery companies could set up their own green waste recycling plant thanks to the greater availability of green material and greater investment capacity. 70

71 Small and medium-sized nursery farms, on the other hand, find it more difficult to manage such an activity, even if they use third-party equipment and services, since the quantities of waste and the space to be allocated for this activity are limited. Therefore this activity could be managed more profitably by a consortium co-operative. 3.3 Treatment of green waste Summary The technologies currently available for the recovery and enhancement of the by-products of nursery activities can be divided according to the type of waste, the volumes to be managed and the necessary investments. Specifically, the following solutions have been identified: 1. Small mobile construction sites 2. Industrial construction sites 3. Company mobile construction sites The small mobile construction sites are applied for the recovery of pruning by-products for energy purposes. The type of recoverable materials are vegetable residues that can be destined for combustion in dedicated boilers with fireboxes designed to manage cylindrical round balers or damaged material with solutions for optimizing the continuous feeding phase of the plant and the combustion process. These systems are characterized by the use of shredder-loader, baler, chipper and defibrator machines. The shredder-loaders are an evolution of the traditional shredders, modified with the aim of recovering the shredded material. For this purpose, the machines are equipped with material accumulation tanks with capacities ranging from 1 to 7 m³, which can be hydraulically elevated to facilitate unloading onto trailers (height over 2500 mm). 71

72 Fig Examples of machinery for shredding and recovery of pruning residues. 72

73 Fig Round-baler for the management of pruning residues of tree crops, on the right round bale of olive branches produced by the machine. 73

74 The forage harvesters can be carried or semi-carried and equipped with pivoting or fixed wheels. The shredding elements vary between manufacturers, but in any case with configurations ranging from traditional rotors with hammers or oscillating hammers to solutions that provide rotating cylinders equipped with fixed blades and comb counter-blades. It is driven by means of the tractor power take-off (PTO) with 540 or 1000 r.p.m. rotation speed. with a required average power of kw. The maximum workable diameters are 50 mm. The packing machines represent a further solution for the collection of prunings in cylindrical bales. These machines, dimensionally reduced compared to the original round-balers, adopt the same operating principle as the standard ones thanks to the miniaturization of all their components. The mass of the tool is reduced and therefore presents fewer problems of passage and soil compaction. Small tractors with power from kw are sufficient for the drive. The by-product is packed in round balers with average dimensions of 600 x 400 mm (width, diameter) with weights from 25 to 35 kg making it easy to handle and store. Defibration machines are machines that adopt the principle of irregular shredding. The market offers solutions for the management of all production contexts. In this type of machinery the shredding system is formed by a rotor with toothed blades designed to cut the wood in the direction of the fibers, differently from the configurations of the chippers, in which the cutting of the wood takes place perpendicular to the fibers. This translates into less power required and greater speed of operation. Furthermore, the configuration of the rotor with multiple blades limits damage in the event of accidental introduction of impurities such as stones and earth, compared to a chipper equipped with a drum with knives. Therefore, two solutions can be adopted for recovery: -1) shredding with shredder-loaders, defibration machines and recovery of wood chips in big-bags, bins or trailers (Fig.3.2) -2) packaging with modified collecting-balers high productivity industrial construction sites consist of: 1) dedicated facilities for the acceptance of heterogeneous material (earth, peat, green waste), preliminary processing and storage 2) machinery for the handling and treatment of large quantities of waste organic products for composting or waste-to-energy. These technologies are suitable for large nursery companies, subcontractors, cooperatives and / or disposal consortia. These sites are also capable of shredding woody materials up to about 600 mm in diameter with a working capacity between 200 and 350 m³ / h. The product obtained can be diversified in terms of size by means of mesh grids. The work sites consist of machinery for loading hoppers such as wheel loaders or excavators equipped with spider clamps, machines for the shredding of green waste and separators. The operational logistics of the yard consists of main and ancillary processing phases. 74

The first 75 are represented by the loading of the raw material inside the shredder, its shredding and then the separation of the different fractions. The accessory phases consist of operations for the optimization of logistics, which involve moving the piles near the work site, and for the qualitative and quantitative maintenance of the wood fractions with aeration of the storage deposits. The initial shredding of the material is carried out with an adjustable shredder according to the specific needs of the requested product. The subsequent separation makes it possible to obtain: 1. a coarse fraction consisting of logs approximately cm long and 3-4 cm in diameter, usable for the construction of biofilters 2. heterogeneous chips due to dimensional characteristics, intended for the supply of automatic industrial boilers high capacity 3. substrate, to be reused for container cultivation or as a soil improver for field crops. As regards the problem relating to the management of contamination from metallic, mineral and plastic materials, technologies are available that can guarantee a high level of separation. For example, it is possible to use an induction separator on the conveyor belt equipped with a magnetic rotor. The induction rotor, turning very quickly on itself, generates a powerful magnetic field: when the non-ferrous metal (aluminum, copper, brass, etc.) comes close to the magnetic field, it is lifted and ejected away from the machine, while the materials aggregates (stones and mineral elements) fall following the normal trajectory into a different collection container. Ferrous metals, on the other hand, are held back by the magnetic field. For the separation of the plastic components, on the other hand, a wind separator can be used. This system allows to separate the lighter materials from the heavier ones through a vibrating system and two air currents in succession: a longitudinal lifting and a transversal expulsion. By adjusting the flow rate and direction of the air produced by the fans and the intensity of the vibration, it is possible to carry out the separation operation by extracting the lighter material directly from a side door. The light material (paper, plastic or nylon) is extracted from the side door and collected on a suitable container, the heavier material is expelled by means of a conveyor belt and collected in heaps or in suitable containers. The work capacity of the t / h plant The need for solutions for the management of green waste at company level has led to the identification of innovative construction sites developed as part of the VIS project. These solutions arise as a result of the need to overcome, on the one hand, the technical limitations of small mobile sites, represented by the impossibility of recovering the soil from potted plants, on the other hand by the inability to support the investments necessary for industrial sites. The components 75

76 which can be recovered on industrial sites, following the bio-shredding process, take on characteristics that make it difficult to obtain two qualitatively optimal fractions. On the basis of these considerations, the research unit of the University of Florence has conducted a study for the identification of solutions aimed at separating the soil from the plant component with processes that do not involve their interaction. The analysis carried out led to the identification of a component separation system based on the vibration inflicted on the trunk of the plants to be disposed of. The concept is based on the observation that in order to be treated the plants must in any case be moved. Therefore, they can be effectively grasped by means of a pincer that is able to give the trunk a powerful vibration capable of detaching the earthy material from the roots of the plant. By doing so, we tend to exploit the homogeneity of the plant to separate it from the clod by means of a vibration applied to the trunk. The two components can thus be managed separately, as green waste and as soil that can be reused in the production process. In order to accomplish the aforementioned purposes, two shaking heads have been identified with characteristics such as to be able to be used effectively on plants weighing up to 800 kg. For small nurseries and for plants weighing no more than 100 kg, a shaking head was identified derived from the Andreucci gripper, in turn made and used for the first time in the SR12 machine, the first historical example (1967) of an integrated mechanical construction site for the olive harvest. Fig Shipyard DEISTAF-UNIFI 76

77 Fig Machinery for loading (top) and shredding (low rotating drum separator), placed in series 77

78 Fig On the left heap of green waste, on the right construction site under construction 78

79 Fig Construction sites set up for the management of green waste: on the left a small tracked vehicle equipped with Andreucci gripper on the right a tractor with vibrating gripper by the company A. Spedo. 79

80 Fig A.Spedo yard for the management of potted plants. 80

81 Fig Operational sequence of the construction site for shaking potted plants set up and developed in collaboration with the company A.Spedo 81

82 Fig Prototype developed during the working phase: vase recovery, picking and shaking of the plant to separate the soil from the root system. 82

83 The gripper body weighing about 150 kg is coupled to the closing jaw and allows plants with a trunk up to 200 mm in diameter to be processed. The vibration system is of the eccentric mass type and is driven by a hydraulic motor powered by the mini-track system in the configuration with a 16 cm 3 hydraulic motor, the centrifugal force of the vibrating device is approximately dan and the frequency is 69 Hz. operation requires a hydraulic system with a flow rate of 45 l / min 1. Furthermore, the site is set up with a shaking unit consisting of a steel frame with the function of support and positioning adjustment, and the vibrating gripper. The movements of the vibrating caliper are made possible by an arm with manually adjustable horizontal extension fork, coupled by means of a hydraulic piston to the lifting columns, which are also hydraulically controlled by levers. This configuration allows a positioning adjustment of the clamp from 300 up to 1000 mm in height with respect to the ground level and another 500 mm with the inclination adjustment. The drive unit of the module consists of a small tracked vehicle, equipped with a hydraulic lift for the use of attached tools, a power take-off for operating tools and a hydraulic pump with an oleopneumatic system independent of the other functions of the machine. , for the control of equipment. The mini-track is a multifunctional drive unit for the mechanization of multiple production sectors. The versatility of the mobile power unit and its small size make it the ideal tractor for operating numerous operating machines. For the management of plants with masses greater than 100 kg, a vibrating gripper has been developed in collaboration with the company A. Spedo and Figli of Badia Polesine (RO), capable of handling plants with a mass up to 800 kg and with a diameter limit. operating of 400 mm. The technical specifications of this site allow to deal with all types of discarded plants that can be found in a nursery company. For this purpose, a construction site was set up consisting of a 110 kw tractor equipped with a front loader having the grapple instead of the bucket. This construction site is configured as an adoptable solution for medium-large nurseries or for third-party activities. The vibrating head, of the double opposed jaw type, is driven by a hydraulic motor. The design configuration adopted allows a wide range of rotation (60), allowing easy gripping and handling of the grasped plants. The micro-vibration, adjustable in amplitude and frequency, is managed autonomously by the shaker according to the diameter of the grabbed plant, guaranteeing the complete detachment of the ground bread. The gripper can be maneuvered from the tractor cab by means of a joystick easily by the operator with precision and safety or by radio control and electro-hydraulic devices that allow movements at proportional speed. This ensures the accuracy and safety of the operation. The clamp closing jaws have been modified compared to the original configuration with 83

84 l addition of steel profiles and spurs in relief such as to allow constant tightening during the shaking phase. Operational logistics include the following phases: i) grabbing of the plant ii), recovery of the pots iii) shaking iv) stacking of the biomass. Apparently the management by single plant is onerous, however it should be pointed out that this operation does not involve any subsequent step while in the current management each plant is grabbed and lifted with forklifts for the recovery of the pottery. The first tests carried out have shown for plants of the Cedrus atlantica pendula species, for about 5 years in pots (240 to 300 liters) and with a height of 4.5 m, average values ​​of 40 kg of green waste and 250 kg of substrate . In the case of plants of the species Cupressocyparis leylandii reared in containers of 50 l and with a height of 3.5 m, an average of 18 kg of green plant material and 34 kg of substrate are obtained. 3.4 Concluding remarks Summary The adoption of innovative technologies for the recovery of green waste described above can allow on the one hand the enhancement of a by-product (pruning residues) which until now is not considered a resource but a cost for the company, on the other hand to obtain significant benefits in terms of environmental protection thanks to the recovery of biomass for energy purposes. The advantages that can be obtained by nursery companies that operate an optimal management of green waste can be schematically summarized in the following points: reuse of non-renewable resources such as peat and soil production of clean energy from renewable resources and recovery reduction of production costs increase of business opportunities with the possibility of creating business networks for the enhancement service. The valorisation of green waste can be carried out with different methods and equipment, therefore it is necessary to carefully consider the site most suitable for the company production context. In particular, it is necessary to examine the following factors: the spaces available in the company and economic sustainability: the sizing of the construction sites depends on the structural and organizational conditions of the nursery company, but also on its investment capacity and on the quantity of waste produced annually. waste, in terms of botanical species and plant size, which condition the choice of machines. 84

85 The scenario of Italian nursery companies is facing a difficult period in which it is necessary to identify solutions that increase productivity and efficiency through new management practices. Parallel to the development of new technologies and machinery, the aggregation of investments and their use on areas sufficient to amortize them is essential with solutions such as the creation of business networks, the training of experts and technical operators and territorial aggregation 3.5 Essential bibliography Summary - Avirovic L. and J. Dodds (993) (edited by), Proceedings of the International Conference "Umberto Eco, Claudio Magris. Authors and translators in comparison" (Trieste, November 1989), Udine, Campanotto. - Baroncelli P. Landi S., Marzialetti P., Rational use of resources in horticulture: fertilizers. ARSIA Journal 2/2004. ISBN: Marzialetti P., Pardossi A., Pozzi A., Progetto Probiorn - alternative materials to peat for the preparation of growing substrates used in professional nurseries - Sarri D., Rimediotti M., Lisci R., Vieri M., Progetto biocord: preliminary study for the use of innovative materials for eco-sustainable binding in agriculture, EIMA Bologna, November Vieri M. Cresti G., Gucci R., Omodei Zorini L., Polidori R., 2009 MATEO project technical and economic models for reduction of production costs in the olive farms of Tuscany Ed. Cantagalli srl, Siena. July Vieri M., Remediotti M. (2005). Technologies for the transport and distribution of quality compost. ARSIA Seminar Initiatives for testing suitable techniques for the use of quality compost in agriculture Florence, February 25

86 TEXTBOX 3.1 Summary Biodegradable materials for plant binding, alternative to plastic materials The need to make nurseries more sustainable and of quality has led research towards the identification of alternative materials of an organic nature, biodegradable not coming from fossil sources for operations binding, with technical characteristics very similar to the synthetic materials used in most production contexts. Nowadays the ties used in nurseries are mainly made of plastic and only a small part of natural materials due to their very high costs in any case, they are disposable threads, of limited resistance, with decomposition times varying from a few years up to over 50 years. A problem connected with the use of synthetic yarns is the need to manually remove them before disposal. Common impurities of plastic materials found in green waste (top). Paper yarns used for plant binding operations (bottom) The study carried out within the Vis project for the identification of alternative materials led to the identification of threads made of biodegradable paper (pure cellulose), such as: Biocord 3x35: three-ply, external diameter 4 mm Biocord 2x35: two-ply cord, external diameter 2.5 mm Biocord 3x35 (old): three-ply cord, external diameter 4 mm, already used for a year in a vineyard for the paling of the wall foliar. 86

87 These three types of bindings were compared with a traditional nylon thread in a series of mechanical tests conducted at the experimental laboratory of Agroforestry Biosystems Engineering of the Faculty of Agriculture of Florence. Each test required the use of a 50 cm sample of wire suitably stretched between the two anchors of the acquisition system. Five tests were carried out on each type of tie using both dry and wet yarns, in order to simulate the effect of rain. While the nylon thread recorded a breaking load of 72.2 kg, in the case of biodegradable threads the values ​​of this parameter were between 29.2 and 37.2 kg in the case of dry tests, and between 8.9 and 21.1 kg in the case of tests with wet threads. The best result, i.e. the highest value, was obtained with the Biocord 2x35 (new) thread. The first data obtained from the mechanical tests demonstrate the good versatility of use of the paper yarns for the most common binding operations and also a good longevity, considering that the breaking load values ​​of the yarns already used were not much lower than those of the new threads, at least in the case of tests conducted with dry materials. 87

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89 4. REUSE OF SUBSTRATES (S. Pecchia, G. Patalano, G. Vannacci) Summary 4.1. Phytopathological problems of recovery substrates in horticulture. The typical substrate used in ornamental nurseries in Tuscany is composed of peat (fossil material, therefore a non-renewable resource) and pumice (draining material) which are increasingly scarce and expensive components. Being able to reuse the substrate recovered from production waste (unsold plants) therefore appears to be a very interesting operation due to the evident repercussions on production costs (substrates have costs that are around euro / m 3) and disposal in landfills and more. in general on the consumption of peat in the nursery sector. Since the most common process for the recovery of production waste consists of a shredding of the waste (followed by a screening), the recycled soil generally has a very fine grain size and is quite compact. Therefore, it may be necessary to provide in the mixture a greater quantity of draining material (pumice) and / or to modify the irrigation regime ad hoc (irrigating, for example, less frequently). In the literature there are not many works conducted to evaluate the effects of a relatively long cultivation (many months, as happens in the case of ornamental plants in the nursery) and there are no known works on substrates subjected, at the end of cultivation, to relatively drastic mechanical treatments such as those indicated above. The modifications of the physico-chemical properties in the system are caused by irrigation, fertilization, root growth and thermal excursions. These transformations generally consist in compaction, in the loss of the material, in the alteration of the particle size, in the modification of the volumetric ratios between the different materials (drift down of the smallest particles), in the decrease of the air capacity (decrease of free porosity) and in the consequent increase in water retention capacity. In peat-based substrates there is, over time, a considerable decrease in the capacity for the air, especially in the case of low-fibrous materials, with the risk of root asphyxiation for the plant. There are also chemical modifications, generally consisting of an increase in pH and salinity, which are however easier to correct through appropriate corrections of the irrigation or fertigation water. One of the critical points identified in the production process of the horticultural supply chain is that relating to the substrates of plants grown in containers. In fact, these substrates, before their eventual reuse, should be regenerated and sterilized to prevent the onset of numerous phytopathological problems and spontaneous flora. 89

90 Many phytopathogenic fungi survive in the soil and in the plant residues present with chlamydospores, sclerotia or other propagules resistant to climatic adversities. These structures increase in the soil with the repetition of the crop, or with the use of recycled substrates not properly sterilized and damage, over time, increasingly serious attacks.The damages can therefore be endemic in a nursery and become very serious in particular years, when the climatic trend is favorable to one or more of the pathogens and unfavorable to the plants. The main environmental factors that influence the development of diseases are soil pH, humidity and temperature. The effects of these factors vary with the prevailing pathogens in the individual nursery and with the species cultivated in it. Generally, the pathogens with telluric habitus have the greatest activity when the soil pH (pH between 5.2 and 5.8) is higher than the plant growth optimum. Furthermore, cold and humid soils slow down the development of plants, prolonging their susceptibility and favoring the development of many pathogenic fungi with a considerable increase in damage. The texture of the soil and its content in organic matter and mineral salts also influence the development of the disease. Heavy soils, with a high content of finer particles, warm up more slowly in spring, while organic fertilizers improve this aspect and also bring useful microflora, which competes with pathogens and slows down their action. Even small local variations in soil characteristics, especially those affecting surface drainage, have a significant impact on the spread and severity of the disease, explaining the evidence of patchy mortality. Among the pathogens that live in the soil or in growing substrates, some are root or collar rot agents, others cause vascular diseases. In a quick list, it can be considered that the main genera or species of pathogens that settle, act and perpetuate themselves in a nursery are the following: Phytophthora spp., Pythium spp., Fusarium spp., Rhizoctonia solani, Verticillium dahliae and V albo-atrum, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, Macrophomina phaseolina, Sclerotium rolfsii. Pythium. To the genus Pythium belong species whose diffusion occurs starting from sporangia of different shapes (elongated, globose or spherical) which can produce a mycelium (direct germination) or emit zoospores, mobile in water due to the presence of flagella. The species of interest to plants survive in the soil and in plant residues thanks to oospores, sporangia or chlamydospores. Pythium species (more than 120) have enjoyed variable consideration at different times. As nursery pathogens Pythium ultimum, P. irregular, P. aphanidermatum and P. debaryanum are the most frequently reported species in the bibliography. They develop in the presence of high atmospheric humidity and free water in the soil. The land 90

91 heavy and poorly drained, stagnant water, wetlands and storm rains are all favorable conditions for the attacks of the disease. In young plants the pathogen penetrates through the tissues of the collar and spreads rapidly in the root system producing soft rot, both at the root and collar level. Infected plants wilt, bend to the ground and die producing large failures. On adult plants, however, the fungus infects the apexes of the roots, producing root rot. Fig Damage from Pythium sp. on Poinsettia (source: Phytophthora. Most species attack the root system causing rot and necrosis of the collar, with consequent withering and wilting of the crown. The symptoms depend on the stage of development of the host plant, in the juvenile stages the symptoms are very similar to the alterations caused by Pythium spp. On adult plants, Phytophthora spp. can cause rot of the buds or fruits, more often they cause wilting of the foliage and buds, rarefaction of the crown, microfillia, leaf yellowing, cupping of the leaf blade, or Apoplexy. Generally, the disease presents with symptoms of general suffering, which is often attributed to nutritional or water deficiencies, or to phenomena of asphyxia, thus giving rise to untimely diagnoses that allow the spread of the pathogen with consequent serious damage.

92 Ideal environment for the establishment and diffusion of Phytophthora spp. it is the nursery, due to the presence of material of various origins (eg geographic) raised in rather confined spaces with sharing of irrigation and drainage water. There are several species of Phytophthora reported in our country in a nursery environment. Mostly they are heterotallic polyphagous species. Among the most commonly isolated ones, for example, P. nicotianae on pittospore, forsithia, myrtle, eucalyptus lavender P. palmivora on pittospore ivy, myrtle, lavender and other ornamental species P. cryptogea on mastic tree P. cinnamomi on Chamaecyparis and on viburnum P. ramorum (pathogen considered to be quarantined) on rhododendron. Among the homotallic species we remember P. cactorum on viburnum and as sporadic reports P. italica on myrtle and P. hedraiandra on viburnum. The treatment of the hosts and the damages related to infestations of polyphagous species of Phytophthora could be much longer and also include P. cactorum, and P. citricola, in addition to the already mentioned P. cinnamomi, among the species most commonly present on the nursery material of the our country. In fact, the potential spread of these species on new hosts, or in areas still unscathed, as well as the risk of hybridization between different species in an environment such as the nursery, so rich in plant species, often from different countries, bred with high density and often over-irrigated, is an alarming issue that should be kept in mind, in order to avoid widespread and serious deaths of the national green heritage originating from the simple marketing of infected material. Both in pots and in open fields, the most serious attacks occur in the presence of high thermohygrometric values ​​(typical of greenhouses) and in excessively humid soils with frequent water stagnation. The first infections are produced by the oospores present in the soil while the spread of the disease occurs, by means of other forms of spores, through the irrigation water and the rains. The pathogen present in the soil settles on the host plant through the wounds created in the neck region during transplantation or during cultivation operations. Affected plants wither and die in a short time. Verticillium dahliae and V. albo-atrum. These are two species that are characterized by the production of abundant conidia on conidiophores carried in whorls. Of the two tracheomycotic pathogens, V. dahliae is the most thermophilic and produces microsclerotia, µm diameter survival organs in soil. V. albo-atrum occurs in cooler climates and does not form microsclerotia but only durable, thickened and dark mycelium. Pathogens infect many species, causing decay and wilting, being agents of tracheomycosis. The penetration into the plant occurs through the root system and also through wounds caused in the neck area. Nematodes can also 92

93 spread the disease during their trophic activity always at the level of the root system. Both fungi, once they penetrate the lymphatic vessels, slow down or prevent the movement of the water flow, as they occlude the woody vessels. They also cause alterations in the hormonal balance and in the production of metabolites by the plant. Fig Phytophthora sp. on rhododendron (source: Fig Tracheoverticilliosis on maple (source. 93

94 Fusarium. At least one hundred species are described, some with host or geographical area specificity, others polyphagous and ubiquitous. There are countless news and reports on Fusarium spp. present in nurseries. Among the main species are listed: F. avenaceum, F. equiseti, F. moniliforme, F. oxysporum, F. poae, F. proliferatum and F. sambucinum. The species in question may be present in the soil, such as chlamydospores or masses of conidia in plant debris, and are able to colonize seedlings not yet lignified, remaining then active on the root systems, where they cause necrosis that compromise the absorption capacity. Excluding the rot of the collar, the symptoms of the attack by Fusaria are similar to damage from drought (reduced growth, drying of the apical parts, wilting of part or all of the foliage, death of the plants in the summer period), but they instead derive from necrosis present on the roots, especially in the apexes, and the seedlings often have lesions and areas with altered color and consistency in the basal part of the stem Tracheofusariosis caused by numerous special forms of Fusarium oxysporum, a vascular pathogen responsible for tracheomycosis on over 100 species of plants, are among emerging diseases in nurseries. Symptoms of the disease consist of loss of leaf turgor, yellowing, wilting and drying of the aerial part of the plant and browning of the vascular tissue. The penetration of the pathogen occurs passively, through wounds, and once inside the plant it is localized in the woody vessels in which it spreads. Sometimes new special forms of Fusarium oxysporum can also be found in nurseries. The possible causes are essentially attributable to: i) increase in cultivated species which involves the presence of more hosts susceptible to the pathogen ii) globalization of markets which increases the probability of importing infected material iii) evolution of cultivation techniques with the use of irrigation systems closed cycle, such as the flow and reflux, which favor the spread of these diseases iv) climate changes such as the increase in CO 2 and temperature which can modify the geographic distribution of diseases. Rhizoctonia solani. It is one of the most widespread and known pathogens among the different Basidiomycetes with telluric habitus. In particular, the species that appears as a sterile mycelium called R. solani is further subdivided into groups of anastomoses, with different pathogenetic capabilities. It is a polyphagous pathogen that is very active in causing damage to the roots and the stem of the most disparate species, even with considerable mortality. The most typical symptom is observed at the collar, with browning that also spreads to the stem, which then becomes rot. 94

95 The roots may have brownish necrotic spots and, in the final phase of the disease, they too are rotten. This type of fungus mainly affects young plants, after transplanting and is favored by excesses of humidity, dense cultivation, excess of salts in the substrate. In the nursery, such phenomena can be noticed on groups of plants, with the formation of failures, due to the rapid expansion of the fungus from one plant attached to the other, especially in correspondence with increases in temperature and without the need for large quantities of water. The pathogen rapidly produces large numbers of dark, gray-brown sclerotia on attacked plants. They are the main means of survival, in the cultivation residues that remain in the soil, and of diffusion, through movements of infected soil and with the use of contaminated tools for working. Fig Collar rot caused by Rhizoctonia solani on Poinsettia (source: 95

96 Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. The fungus is a microorganism capable of attacking numerous species of plants in the horticultural sector. S. sclerotiorum lives in the soil: sclerotia are highly resistant structures thanks to which the fungus can remain dormant for several years (up to 9-10). On the contrary, an alternation of dry and wet periods induces the devitalization of the sclerotia present on the soil surface. The pathogen affects plants cultivated in humid areas more frequently, causing rot of the collar and is favored by lower temperatures and frequent irrigation. Under these conditions, the sclerotia germinate producing a mycelium capable of directly attacking the tissues of the host plant or differentiating the sexual form, consisting of yellow-brown apothecia in the shape of a pedicelated cup. Ascos are formed on the apothecia, each containing eight ascospores which, when they reach maturity, are released and diffused into the environment by the wind. The formation of the apothecia and the subsequent release of the ascospores are generally favored by low temperatures. The affected tissues lose their natural green color and take on a whitish tint. The presence on the infected part of white mycelium interspersed with black small bodies (sclerotia) is a characteristic sign of the disease. The absence of rotations or rotations with other crops susceptible to S. sclerotiorum increases the potential for inoculation, as does the presence of host plants in the weed flora. Confirming the gradual change in soil pathogens in response to the increase in average temperatures observed over the last 15 years, there are some examples of telluric pathogens which, considered emerging in Italy and Europe and in the temperate regions of the United States, at the beginning of the years 90, became economically important after 2000, among them: Sclerotium rolfsii. It is a remarkably polyphagous phytopathogenic mycete, capable of infecting over 200 species of plants, mainly angiosperms, both herbaceous and shrubby and arboreal, but also gymnosperms, pteridophytes and bryophytes. Among the plants of agricultural interest, horticultural crops are affected in particular, but also cereals, fruit trees and ornamental plants. Infections generally establish themselves at ground level and then extend for a few centimeters (maximum fifteen) above and below the point of penetration. Being a fairly thermophilic fungus, which prefers summer temperatures between 25 and 35 C, it is harmful especially in tropical and warm temperate areas, although there are reports of infections in colder areas. For example, in the United States, S. rolfsii moved to typically colder areas than years ago, when it was an economically important pathogen only in southern, subtropical or hot-arid states. In addition to high temperatures, other predisposing factors for infection are a high content of organic matter and high soil moisture. The fungus perpetuates itself in the form of mycelium on 96

97 weeds and in the form of sclerotia on crop residues. Its diffusion occurs mainly through the dissemination of sclerotia operated by water, wind and cultivation practices. Fig Sclerotium rolfsii on viburnum (source: Macrophomina phaseolina. M. phaseolina (synonym Sclerotium bataticola) is a fungus that attacks more than 300 species of plants, including species of agricultural interest, spontaneous herbaceous plants and forest plants in the early stages of development, both coniferous and broad-leaved trees and can survive in the soil for over 15 years as a saprophyte. It is a thermophilic fungus of tropical origin, a carbonaceous rot agent, which is becoming an economically important pathogen in Spain and in the temperate areas of the United States. The pathogen is present and causes considerable damage only in areas with a warm-temperate climate, such as in our central-southern regions, and possibly in colder areas in protected conditions (greenhouses): in the hot period of summer, the root system is gradually destroyed, the plants have a reduced growth and evident chlorosis and in many cases the vitality of the plants is compromised. Even with only a magnifying glass 10 is p It is possible to observe the microsclerotia of M. phaseolina, formed under the bark and epidermis of the lower part of the stem and in the roots of the attacked plants. Together with the pycnidia, which produce hyaline unicellular conidia, they are the main means of spreading the pathogen. 97

98 The horticultural sector, moreover, is particularly exposed to the risk of emergence of new diseases as a consequence of the dynamism, the wide range of products, the continuous process and product innovation and the use of intensive cultivation techniques that characterize it. Other peculiar aspects of the nursery sector are the rapid replacement of varieties to adapt to the needs of the market and the use of mono and oligogenic resistance to diseases, which favors the onset of new special forms and races of pathogens. Finally, the sudden and almost simultaneous appearance in various continents of diseases of ornamental plants can be traced back to structural reasons. In fact, in this production chain, the propagation material is produced in a few large nurseries that supply small nurseries located in other regions or in distant countries. To reduce the risk of the spread of new diseases, it would therefore be necessary to intercept the pathogens at the nodal points of the supply chain. 98

99 Tab Main phytopathogenic fungal species with telluric habitus described in the text: type of disease caused, conservation methods in the soil, adoptable phytoiatric strategies, active ingredients allowed for flower and ornamental species and their limitations of use (modified by "National Guidelines for integrated crop production: phytosanitary defense and weed control ", Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, 2012). Phytopathies Propagules Intervention criteria Phytophthora spp. Pythium spp. Sclerotinia spp., Rhizoctonia solani Sclerotium rolfsii - Oospore - Sporangi - Chlamydospore - Residues of infected plants - Sclerotia - Microsclerotia - Residues of infected plants Basal and root rot - Eliminate water stagnation - Destroy infected plants - Disinfect the soil with steam or with solarization - Biofumigation - Biological agropharmaceuticals - Chemical interventions in the presence of Rots symptoms - Perform careful drainage and balanced fertilizations - Control the humidity in the greenhouse - Destroy infected plants - Eliminate host weeds - Disinfect the soil with steam or with sunburn - Biofumigation - Biological agropharmaceuticals - Chemical interventions in the presence of symptoms Biological or chemical active ingredients - Streptomyces griseoviridis (1) - Trichoderma spp. - Trichoderma harzianum - Dimetomorf (2) - Fosethyl aluminum (3) - Metalaxil-M (4) - Benalaxil (4) - Propamocarb - Coniothyrium minitans (*) - Trichoderma spp. - Trichoderma harzianum - Procloraz (1, 2, *) - Mancozeb (3) - Tolclofos-methyl (4) Limitations of use and notes (1) Authorized only on cyclamen, gerbera and carnation (2) Authorized only on carnation and gerbera against Phytophthora spp. (3) Authorized only on ornamental plants (4) Max 1 intervention per crop cycle (*) Authorized only against Sclerotinia spp. (1) Authorized only on rose and carnation (2) Max 3 interventions per crop (3) Authorized only in open field on carnation (4) Max. 1 intervention per crop cycle Continue 99

100 Phytopathies Propagules Intervention criteria Fusarium spp .. Verticillum spp. Carbon rot Macrophomina phaseolina - Chlamydospores - Residues of infected plants - Microsclerotia - Durable mycelium - Residues of infected plants - Microsclerotia - Residues of infected plants Fusariosis, tracheofusariosis and tracheoverticilliosis - Agronomic interventions - Avoid injuries - Use certified healthy and propagating material of current legislation - Adopt less susceptible cultivars - destroy infected plants - Physical and / or biological interventions - Disinfect the soil with steam or solarization - Biofumigation - Biological pesticides Others - Agronomic interventions - Use healthy and certified propagation material in accordance with current legislation - Limit nitrogen fertilization - Physical and / or biological interventions - Disinfect the soil with steam or solarization - Biofumigation Biological or chemical active ingredients - Streptomyces griseoviridis (1) - Trichoderma spp. Limitations of use and notes (1) Authorized only on cyclamen, gerbera and carnation 100

101 4.2. Biofumigation Summary General principles In 1987 methyl bromide (BM), a fumigant widely used in Italy for soil disinfestation, was included in the Montreal Protocol among the substances considered responsible for the destruction of the stratospheric ozone layer whose consumption is placed under control. This measure has triggered, at an international level, a whole series of legislative initiatives aimed at gradually reducing and eliminating methyl bromide in agriculture starting from 2005. At the same time there has been a rapid development of research aimed at developing alternative soil disinfestation methods for the control of some soil pathogens (fungi, nematodes) not only in organic farming, but also in conventional agriculture following a growing push by the legislator to cancel the registration of highly toxic molecules (REACH Regulation) and to encourage the adoption of sustainable and low environmental impact practices (EC regulation 1234 of 2007). The global market of fumigants is growing however there are many difficulties in the registration field due to the poor compliance of fumigants with the requirements of European legislation and, moreover, some of them can be used for emergency use only for a limited number of ornamental crops. In this context, the search for alternatives with high efficiency, low cost and low environmental impact represents a real challenge for modern agriculture in an eco-sustainable key. Proposed alternatives include methods such as solarization, the application of biocontrol agents and organic matter, and biofumigation. It is known that in the plant world there are various natural defense systems which in some cases represent real chemical systems capable of producing compounds with high biological activity. Among these, the glucosinolates-myrosinase system, typical of the Brassicaceae, Capparidaceae and other 10 minor families of Dicotyledons, has shown some interesting biological characteristics since the early years of the century. Glucosinolates are a class of about 120 different glycosides characterized by a common functional group and a side chain that can be aliphatic, aromatic or heteroaromatic in nature. These compounds, in the presence of water and the endogenous enzyme myrosinase, are rapidly hydrolyzed with the formation of bd-glucose, hydrogen-sulphate ion and a series of hydrolysis products which, depending on the conditions in which the reaction takes place, can be isothiocyanates , nitriles or thiocyanates. Enzyme (myrosinase) and substrate (glucosinolates), in the healthy cell, are compartmentalized in different areas and only where cellular lesions caused by abiotic and / or biotic factors occur, they come into contact with the production, in situ, of the corresponding hydrolysis products that carry out a preventive and / or 101 action

102 control, and in any case of defense, from some pathogens. The hydrolysis products are sulfur compounds characterized by a fair volatility and a high biological activity against bacteria, fungi, nematodes, insects and as germination inhibitors. The high volatility, if on the one hand makes these molecules not very persistent in the soil, on the other hand it allows them an extreme mobility and therefore the possibility of easily reaching the target organism. The chemical-physical characteristics of the hydrolysis products, their biological activity and the presence of good quantities of glucosinolates and myrosinases in all the organs of the Brassicaceae, have suggested the possibility of amending the soil with these compounds through the cultivation and green manuring of plants characterized by a high content of glucosinolates with high biocidal activity for the control of Sclerotinia spp., Fusarium spp., Verticillium spp., Pythium spp., Phytophthora spp., nematodes, elateridia and even weeds. Fields of application The current knowledge on the use of the glucosinolates-myrosinase system in agriculture derives from a series of systematic studies conducted by Italian research that have given a fundamental impulse to the technique, known for a long time, but always applied at an empirical level. These studies can basically be summarized in three phases: 1. Genetic improvement studies: conducted without the use of GMO technologies through which a range of varieties specifically created for the use of biofumigation and characterized by high production of biomass and / or of seed, content in glucosinolates and variable adaptability even to non-optimal pedoclimatic conditions 2. Studies on obtaining dry materials from vegetable tissues and / or seeds of selected Brassicaceae. Based on this research, starting from 2004 a new patented technology allows to obtain dry formulations with bio-fumigant activity starting from Brassicaceae seed flours. These are de-oiled following a technology that allows to keep the biotoxic components practically unaltered and subsequently to formulate the products ensuring a constant reaction kinetics. Based on this technology, biofertilizers in pellets (Biofence) have been produced which have found use in horticulture and fruit growing both in Italy and abroad and are included in rural development plans among the measures for improving the quality of soils. 3. Studies on obtaining stable emulsions based on the mixing of flours, vegetable oils, amino acids and water able to prevent fungal diseases or insect attacks and to enable the plant to repel existing infestations. 102

103 The current knowledge on natural biofumigation, obtained in the context of national and regional research, places the AGRIUM Italia Company (formerly Cerealtoscana), partner of the VIS Project, in a leading position in the sector at national and international level, as demonstrated by the granting of the Patent European granted in December Starting from the knowledge acquired, the Company has developed a range of formulations in the form of powders or pellets which are currently classified as organic fertilizers and are already marketed in the horticultural sector both in protected cultivation and in open fields (In Italy, biofumigation has been applied to strawberry, potato, lettuce, rice, carrot, tomato and vine. In the United States, in 2004, over hectares were treated with bio-fumigating materials and there are also known experiences of applying this technique in other countries in Europe (Holland, England, France, Finland, Sweden, Denmark), in Africa (Morocco, Kenya,) in Japan and in Israel. The methods of application are always extremely practical and mechanizable: fresh green manures are buried in flowering, when the quantity of glucosinolates buried per hectare is maximum. The dried green manure pellets can be distributed through a fertilizer spreader and subsequently buried in the surface layer of the soil and subjected to light irrigation. In this way the amending action takes place totally in the soil, without dispersions and with a very high efficiency, especially in protected crops. The pellets also exert a fertilizing and phytostimulating action linked to the contribution of organic substance, nitrogen that is not easily washed out, phosphorus and microelements (TEXTBOX 4.1). Numerous studies have highlighted the biofumigant activity of specially selected Brassicaceae against various telluric pathogens. The level of disease control can be improved by selecting Brassica varieties with a high content of isothiocyanates that are particularly active against specific pathogens and are more persistent in the soil. Furthermore, the size of the particles and the refinement of some agronomic practices such as the quantity of material per volume of soil, its wetting and / or its burial in order to increase the release of isothiocyanates by reducing their loss, can contribute to improving phytoiatric yields. of that strategy. The term biofumigation was coined to better define the control of pathogenic organisms of telluric origin by the isothiocyanates that are released by the hydrolysis of the glucosinolates contained in many Brassicaceae. Today, however, it is a reductive term as it has been understood that the action cannot be identified with the mere effect of containing pathogens, but more extensively with an overall increase in the level of fertility of the substrate. In fact, although it is technically possible to extract pure isothiacyanates from biomass, obtaining real biopesticides, it is preferable to use vegetable formulations as they are using the synergistic effect of 103

104 organic substance and bioactive compounds present in brassicaceae seeds and not attributable to the glucosinolates myrosinase system. Fig Biofumigant green manure burial ISCI 20 The great interest aroused by biofumigation also lies in the fact that it is considered an eco-compatible and low environmental impact technique. The biofumigant pellets (eg Biofence) are made exclusively of plant material. Therefore they are completely renewable and completely degradable. Studies on the CO 2 balance have also recently been carried out, which have highlighted a positive balance. Burying dry formulations at the dosages recommended on the label allows to conserve quantities of greenhouse gases equal to a few hundred kg per hectare which become thousands if you add the lack of use of chemical fumigants. The dry formulations for biofumigation are obviously of no toxicity to humans and recent studies have also highlighted a low sensitivity by antagonistic or saprophytic microorganisms. For this reason, studies have recently been conducted to evaluate any undesirable effects of both glucosinolates and of isothiocyanates against resident or introduced soil mycoflora and non-target organisms. Recent studies have shown a lower sensitivity of some species of Trichoderma to toxic birds released by flour seeds of Brassica carinata, compared to some telluric pathogens, however it remains to be clarified whether the agents of 104

105 biocontrol can be usefully employed together with the bio-fumigant treatment for an integrated control of diseases. Biofumigation in horticulture The use of biofumigation for soil disinfection is a relatively recent technique, but already widely spread and consolidated on numerous fruit and vegetable crops. The new technology to apply the biofumigation technique to the horticultural sector through the use of dry formulations in flour is, on the contrary, a more recent opportunity and the subject of studies that can further improve its effectiveness. The practical advantages of using dry formulations lie in the speed of the operation which does not require the time necessary for growing the plant compared to fresh green manure. Furthermore, burying the flours in the ground before wetting, considerably improves the efficiency of the treatment. The typical composition (% dry substance) of the dry formulations used in biofumigation is the following: - Oil 9-12% - Nitrogen 5-6% - Phosphorus 0.7-1% - Potassium 1-1.5% - Carbon 40- 45% - Sulfur 1-1.5% - Organic Matter 80-85% - Glucosinolates 4.1 4.7 - When used on pallets or directly in the soil, the practice of biofumigation is able to create a better cultivation environment in which is restored the level of fertility and a composition of the microflora much more balanced and favorable to the development of a healthy plant. - Even the use of these formulations in pots, in addition to expanding the knowledge on their effectiveness in a new sector, has immediate practical repercussions of considerable interest. The low environmental impact of the technique in fact brings benefits both for the protection of crops and for the recycling of exhausted substrates otherwise not usable without incurring serious phytopathological risks which in many cases negatively affect the productions from a qualitative and quantitative point of view. In order to optimize the use of biofumigation formulations in horticulture both in pots, on pallets, and on the ground for the rehabilitation of exhausted substrates è 105

106 it was necessary to develop the use of formulated flours with a bio-fumigating action and a technique of use suited to the operating context (TEXTBOX 4.1). Fig Pellet and flour with bio-fumigant action 106

107 The use of powder formulations with bio-fumigant action must be framed in an innovation of the company production process that can be implemented in horticulture without the need to purchase machinery or modify normal practice. This certainly goes in favor of the diffusion of biofumigation also in small and medium-sized companies which in this way are able to obtain high quality products, maintaining good competitiveness and at the same time guaranteeing a high index of compliance with environmental parameters. 4.3 Future perspectives Summary The development of flour formulations characterized by a high standardization of the final product and with modulation of the release over time of the natural bio-fumigating compounds typical of the Brassicaceae family has already been successfully tested in soils and substrates used for the cultivation of flowers cut (chrysanthemum or gerbera etc.). The increasing use, also favored by the lack of traditional alternatives, will provide knowledge, methodologies and tools to operators in the horticultural sector also for the use of recycled substrates with high quality from a phytosanitary point of view, using alternative and environmentally friendly methods with low environmental impact. for the resolution of these problems. The benefits for sustainability that can derive from the use of formulations of vegetable flours with bio-fumigant action in horticulture activities could have interesting repercussions not only on the production sector, but also on the entire surrounding area. The application of the biofumigation technique represents a great novelty for the nursery sector that could have significant repercussions also in terms of employment and health of the workplace. 107

108 Fig Spreading of the flour for biofumigation Fig Burial of the flour for biofumigation Fig Irrigation until the soil is brought to the field capacity Fig First emergencies on buttercup. Only 7 days after spreading the flour it is possible to proceed with sowing 108

109 Fig Result of biofumigation on chrysanthemum 4.4. Essential bibliography Summary - Bluformula brand for commercialization of biocidal green manure and meal formulations. Agroindustria 3, Galletti S., Sala E., Leoni O., Burzi P.L., Cerato C Trichoderma spp. tolerance to Brassica carinata seed meal for a combine use in biofumigation. Biological Control, 45: Gaudet D.A., Tronsmo A.M., Tanino K.K Climate change and plant diseases. In: Temperature adaptation in a changing climate: nature at risk. Storey K.B., Tanino K.K. Eds., CABI Climates change series, Vol. 3, Kirkegaard J.A., Matthiessen J.N Developing and refining the biofumigation concept. Agroindustria 3: Larkin R.P., Griffin T.S Control of soilborne potato diseases with Brassica green manures. Crop Protection 26: Lazzeri L., Leoni O., Bernardi R., Malaguti L, Cinti S Plants, techniques and products for optimizing biofumigation in the full field. Agroindustria, 3: Lazzeri L., Leoni O., Manici L.M., Palmieri S., Patalano G., Patent N. BO 2002 A Use of vegetable flours as biotoxic agents with amending action. Italian Patent and Trademark Office 109

110 - Lazzeri L., Leoni O., Palmieri S., Cinti S., Malaguti L., Curto G., Patalano G., Patent N. BO Agricultural soil improver based on vegetable flours and use of this soil conditioner. Italian Patent and Trademark Office. - Marzialetti P Report of the demonstration day on How to recycle green waste from nurseries, 17 September 2009 Ce.Spe.Vi. News from Experimental Center for Nursery. Pistoia, N 169 July-August 2009, Matthiessen J.N., Kirkegaard J.A Biofumigation and Enhanced Biodegradation: Opportunity and Challenge in Soilborne Pest and Disease Management. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences 25: Patalano G, New practical perspectives for vegetable biocidal molecules in Italian agriculture: - Rani N., D. Rani, Advances in soil borne plant diseases. New India Publishing Agency, New Delhi, xiv + 427 pp. - Sarrocco S. (2012) Biofumigation. Clamer Informs. Year XXXVII, N. 3: Vannacci G., Sarrocco S., Pecchia S., Vergara M Innovations in the defense of crops with low environmental impact means: fungal diseases. Study Day of the Accademia dei Georgofili, Florence. Vol. VII:

111 TEXTBOX 4.1 Summary Flours and pellets with biocidal action The product is a powder formulation derived from Brassicaceae extracts. How to use the powder formulation with bio-fumigant action: 1. Distribution: in pre-sowing or pre-transplant on dry soil and already prepared for sowing or transplanting The average dosage is 25 q / ha, but it can be increased or decreased according to the phytosanitary conditions of the soil and the sensitivity of the variety used. 2. Processing: mix with the soil (buried at cm) or the substrate and wet lightly to activate the biofumigant reaction. In this way, the portion of soil where most of the active roots live will be affected by the biofumigation.WAIT about 5-7 days before sowing or transplanting the crop. How to use bio-fumigant pellets: 1. Distribution: in pre-sowing pre-transplant on dry and refined soil. Distribution and spreading can be fully mechanized through the use of a fertilizer spreader and a cutter. Dose: q / ha. 2. Processing: incorporate in the first cm of soil and wet carefully to activate the bio-fumigant reaction. WAIT about 7 days before sowing or transplanting the crop. The biofumigation technique has already shown results proven by experimental tests also shared internationally, in the containment of numerous soil pathogenic fungi and in particular: Pythium ultimum, Rhizoctonia solani, Fusarium spp., Verticillium spp., Phytophthora spp., Sclerotinia minor and S. sclerotiorum. The selectivity of the compounds is extremely interesting: the most common antagonist fungi such as Trichoderma harzianum and the hyperparasite Coniothyrium minitans showed a significantly lower sensitivity than pathogenic fungi, offering interesting prospects also for a synergistic use of the two containment techniques with reduced environmental impact. , in improving the biological fertility of the land. 111

112 Inhibition (%) TEXTBOX 4.2 Summary Vegetable flours with bio-fumigant action As part of the VIS project, the aim of the research of the Department of Cultivation and Defense of Wood Species of the University of Pisa was to optimize the dose of use of patented vegetable flours with action bio-fumigant for the recovery of exhausted substrates to be reused in horticultural productions. The level of disease control can be improved through: i) the size of the particles, ii) the refinement of some agronomic practices such as wetting and / or burying the material in order to increase the release of isothiocyanates reducing their loss, iii) the definition of the optimal quantities to be used per unit of soil volume. In collaboration with AGRIUM Italia, experimental tests were set up with biofumigating flours with different granulometry (1mm, 300μm) for the in vitro evaluation of their effectiveness against pathogenic fungi with telluric habitus important in nurseries. An experimental test was set up to evaluate the bio-fumigant activity of the flours under investigation on the growth of phytopathogenic and antagonist fungi. Sensitivity to isothiocyanates was assessed by setting up an in vitro bioassay which provides for the exposure of the actively growing fungal mycelium to isothiocyanates released by moistened flours. The graph shows some results relating to two phytopathogenic fungi Rhizoctonia solani (R. solani) and Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. canariensis (FOC) and an antagonist fungus Trichoderma virens (T. virens). It is interesting to note that, after 5 days, at the dose of 31.25 mg the phytopathogenic mushroom R. solani is 100% inhibited in its growth while the percentages of inhibition of FOC and T. virens are less than 10%. The 15.625 mg dose of biofumigant flour (1 mm) is inhibitory only for the phytopathogenic fungus FOC. The remaining doses completely inhibited the development of all three microorganisms, 5 31.25 15.625 0 Flour (mg plate -1) R.solani FOC T.virens 112

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114 5 ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC ANALYSIS (G. Lazzerini, FP Nicese) 5.1 Introduction Summary The introduction of environmental management tools in the nursery sector is a highly topical issue not only because they are the means by which it is possible to manage more efficiently production processes, but also for the strong positive impact that these tools have in communicative terms. This presupposes that companies equip themselves with tools for monitoring and analyzing their environmental behavior. The use of LCA (- Life Cycle Assessment or analysis of the life cycle of a product) is still little applied to the nursery sector but it can become an interesting methodology both for the single company and for the nursery district. In this chapter, in addition to a brief discussion of the relations between business and the environment, the problems concerning the adoption of environmental management tools will be highlighted. The LCA methodology will then be defined as a useful tool for evaluating the environmental behavior of nursery businesses. The various items of the environmental balance necessary for the application of the LCA method will also be identified for the main nursery production systems (cultivation in open ground or in containers, production of small plants or specimens, etc.), thus attempting to quantify the factors emissions (limited to the global warming potential and therefore in terms of CO 2 equivalent), for the various stages of the production process. Furthermore, a simplified methodology will be described for the quantification of CO 2 immobilization in cultivated plants, both in containers and in open fields. In the last paragraph, an LCA analysis will be carried out on a set of data collected in some companies in the Pistoia nursery district, evaluating both the emissions and the CO 2 sequestration, with the aim of defining the critical points of the company's environmental management. Finally, an economic-environmental analysis will be carried out on the identification of some possible technological innovations for container cultivation. 5.2 Relations between business and the environment In recent years the relationship between business and the environment has been changing. In fact, we are moving from a concept that sees the environment as a container of resources to be exploited without grasping an intrinsically quantifiable economic value, to a vision of the environment as a productive factor. Furthermore, the growing sensitivity of public opinion towards 114

115 safeguarding the environment has oriented the economic system and therefore individual companies towards a more sustainable management of their activities. This new scenario entrusts individual companies with a decisive role in the search for voluntary environmental agreements (therefore not mandatory by law) relating to product and / or process standards. It is, in fact, the company that, through a process of continuous improvement and self-control, will have to demonstrate to the so-called interested parties or stakeholders (public opinion, public authorities, customers, suppliers) its commitment to the environment, also exploiting it in terms of communication. Even the horticultural sector will not be able to escape this logic, also taking into account that due to the high intensity of cultivation and the not always rational management of resources (in particular with regard to water, fertilizers and pesticides) and company waste (e.g. waste production), is held responsible for a non-negligible environmental impact, not always mitigated by the indisputable positive effects produced, such as the requalification of the landscape and the absorption of CO 2. The rationalization of the environmental resources of a nursery can be pursued through the introduction of best technological innovations. This is in order to achieve concrete environmental improvement objectives over time and compatible with the economic needs of company management. These objectives can be achieved either by voluntarily intervening on the company management structure (process management tools) and then by introducing an environmental management system in the company as required for example by the ISO Standard or by the EMAS III Regulation, or by moving towards certification of product (product tools) that frees the company from acting on the company management structure, but specifically concerns the phases of product realization. In literature there are numerous methodologies for assessing the impact of production processes on the environment, all of which have as their reference the calculation of the environmental balance. The environmental balance represents a management reporting technique designed to collect and organize quantitative data relating to the environmental management of the company in the critical areas in which it occurs. Through the environmental balance, the objectives, the resources used and the results achieved by the company are collected, processed and communicated. An example of a specific environmental balance for the nursery sector was tested in the context of the FISIAgri project of the Province of Pistoia (Lazzerini et al., 2008). The preparation of the environmental balance has mainly internal informative purposes and in this sense of internal management control it can however also become an external communication tool. 115

116 One of the innovative tools for the nursery sector, to assess the impact of production processes on the environment and define environmental improvement objectives, which are also used by the environmental certification protocols mentioned above, is the LCA. This is a calculation methodology that allows us to evaluate the interactions that a certain product has with the environment and with humans throughout its life cycle. 5.3 Definition and applications of the LCA method Summary According to the Standards (2006), the LCA is the compilation and evaluation throughout the life cycle of the input and output elements, as well as the potential environmental impacts, of a production system. The LCA approach to environmental assessments originated in the 1960s. In this period, the first scientific researches concerning the use of resources and the production of waste from production processes began. The researchers realized that the only effective approach to study production processes from an environmental perspective was to follow the flow of raw materials step by step, from their extraction, transformation and transport, up to the last phase, in the form of I decline. Thus was born the basic concept of LCA logic: from cradle to grave. In the LCA each production process is considered integrally and not analyzed only in its individual components, to avoid having a partial result. The first application examples of the LCA methodology can be traced back to the early 1970s, when some large US companies and the American Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began this type of analysis as a decision support. The term LCA was coined only in 1990 at the SETAC (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry) congress in the United States (Baldo et. Al., 2008). LCA can be applied using two different approaches: Approach 1: from cradle to gate. Each product and / or service carries with it a story, both upstream and downstream of the phase of its use. This process begins with the extraction and processing of raw materials and continues through subsequent transformations, arriving at the actual stage of production and assembly of the product in the company that places it on the market. Approach 2: from cradle to grave. Once it leaves the company, the product is distributed on the market and ready for its use. This phase of the life cycle lasts for the useful time of the product, which is obviously extremely variable depending on the product itself. Then it is discarded and becomes a waste or is reused. 116

117 The second approach, even if it goes beyond our objective (i.e. that of comparing scenarios that adopt different production technologies), could be applied to plants produced in the nursery, whose life does not end when they leave the nursery but continues in the place of a home (a park for example), continuing to carry out an important activity of photosynthesis and therefore CO 2 sequestration. Companies may decide to undergo an LCA for various reasons: - monitor their management towards the environment, identifying relevant indicators of environmental performance with related measurement techniques - define the critical points of environmental management, with a view to improving the performance of production processes - define marketing strategies: to communicate to customers, suppliers, public bodies, etc. its commitment to the environment. This commitment can be translated into the development of an ecological label or the implementation of an environmental management system. The LCA is defined by the ISO and ISO standards of 2006, which identify the following evaluation scheme, consisting of four phases (Fig.5.1): 1. Definition phase of the objective and field of application: the purposes of the system considered are defined , the type and reliability of the data (Textbox 5.1). 2. Inventory analysis phase (LCI): each impact (input and output of the life cycle phases), quantified in the inventory phase, is "classified" on the basis of environmental problems (climate change, eutrophication, etc.) to which it can potentially contribute. 3. Impact Assessment Phase (LCIA): involves the study and processing of what has been calculated in the inventory phase. It is the moment of understanding the environmental impact of the process in question. 4. Interpretation phase: this is the conclusion of the study. The results obtained from the previous phases are interpreted in relation to the purpose of the study presented in the goal definition phase. 117

118 OBJECTIVE Functional unit System boundaries MATERIALS INVENTORY (LCI) ENERGY PROCESSING EMISSIONS IMPACT ASSESSMENT (LCIA) Classification Characterization Standardization Evaluation INTERPRETATION (definition of technological innovation) Fig The phases of the analysis of the life cycle of products (LCA) according to the ISO Standard

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