Response of 10 aster species to saline water irrigation Academic Article uri icon


  • 2016, American Society for Horticultural Science. All rights reserved. Asteraceae is one of the largest plant families with many important garden ornamental species. Salt tolerance of 10 aster perennials was evaluated in a greenhouse experiment, including the following: damianita (Chrysactinia mexicana), greggs mistflower (Eupatorium greggii), shasta daisy (Leucanthemum superbum Becky), blackfoot daisy (Melampodiumleucanthum), lavender cotton (Santolina chamaecyparissus), aromatic aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium), copper canyon daisy (Tagetes lemmonii), fournerve daisy (Tetraneuris scaposa), skeleton-leaf goldeneye (Viguiera stenoloba), and zexmenia (Wedelia texana). Plants were irrigated with nutrient solution at electrical conductivity (EC) of 1.2 dSm-1 (control) or saline solutions at EC of 5.0 or 10.0 dSm-1 (EC 5 or EC 10) for 5 weeks. Upon termination, growth parameters, foliar salt damage, relative chlorophyll content [Soil-Plant Analysis Development (SPAD) readings], and mineral concentration were measured. Greggs mistflower, skeleton-leaf goldeneye, and lavender cotton were themost salt-tolerant species with less reductions in shoot dry weight (DW) in both EC 5 and EC 10. Considering the relatively severe foliar salt damage (visual quality score of 3.1 and 2.7 at EC 5; 2.4 and 1.6 at EC 10) and mortality rate (10% and 40%) in EC 10, aromatic aster and zexmenia should be avoided where poor quality water may be used for irrigation. Greggs mistflower and skeleton-leaf goldeneye had relatively lower leaf sodium (Na) concentrations suggesting that both species can selectively exclude Na. Damianita and the four daisies, i.e., blackfoot daisy, copper canyon daisy, four-nerve daisy, and shasta daisy, were salt sensitive as evidenced by their greater growth reduction, foliar salt damage, and high Na and chlorine (Cl) accumulation in leaves, and should be avoided in landscapes where poor quality water may be used for irrigation.

published proceedings

  • HortScience

author list (cited authors)

  • Wu, S., Sun, Y., Niu, G., Altland, J., & Cabrera, R.

complete list of authors

  • Wu, S||Sun, Y||Niu, G||Altland, J||Cabrera, R

publication date

  • February 2016