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Scientia Agricola

On-line version ISSN 1678-992X


TUCCI, Maria Luiza Sant'Anna; BOVI, Marilene Leão Alves; MACHADO, Eduardo Caruso  and  SPIERING, Sandra Heiden. Seasonal growth variation of peach palms cultivated in containers under subtropical conditions. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) [online]. 2007, vol.64, n.2, pp.138-146. ISSN 1678-992X.

Peach palm (Bactris gasipaes Kunth) is grown in the São Paulo State, Brazil, under climate seasonal variation conditions, mainly temperature and rainfal with possible effects on plant physiology. Recently, due to a higher interest in carrying out physiological experiments on the species, there has been a requirement for more controlled experimental conditions. Therefore, with the aim of studying the seasonal variation of peach palm growth for heart-of-palm production, as well as the possibility of growing them until harvest in pots, for future utilization in physiological experiments, this work was carried out in Campinas, SP, Brazil, with 40 spineless peach palms. One year after seed germination, seedlings were transplanted to 80 L plastic pots, spaced 2 x 1 m, arranged in four rows of ten plants. All plants had vegetative growth evaluated monthly by measurements of main stem height, number of functional leaves, number of offshoots and length of leaf raquis. Seasonal variations were observed in terms of height and diameter growth as well as raquis length of the youngest leaf and in the evolution of the number of leaves. After two years, plants had an average height of 230 cm, six functional leaves and 11.7 offshoots. Positive correlations (P < 0.001) were observed between growth variables and the average temperatures, rainfall as well as insolation of the 30, 60, 90 or 120 days previous to the measurements. Peach palms could be grown in containers until first harvest, without restrictions to growth.

Keywords : Bactris gasipaes; heart of palm; growth analysis.

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