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Abstract

Both local poinsettia (Xmas snowflake, Euphorbia leucocephala Lotsy ) and the traditional imported poinsettia (E.pulcherrima Willd) can beproduced as potted plants for Christmas in the U.S.,Virgin Islands. Xmas snowflakes can be grown from seed in August and forced to flower by December 19 using a combination of pruning and Cycocel drench at 300Oppm. No imposed photoperiod is required thus reducing cost ofproduction. Traditional poinsettia ofthe 'Annette Hegg' type can also be forced but require the application of much more potent growth retardants and the imposition of short days if they are to flower in time for the Xmas market. The Red 'AB' required the application of Uniconazole (UZ) at 025mg.liter-' for the production of the most attractive plants while the White 'AB' flowered best when treated wiith Paclobutrazol (PZ) at Img.liter'. The 'AB' types necessitated the imposition ofartificial short days from 8am to 5pm using black shade cloth starting on November 1 for optimum bract development and coloration.

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