Future Fynbos would like to congratulate Naomi Hattingh on her recent achievement winning the ISHS Young Minds Award at the XIV International Protea Research Symposium held during March 2022.
ABOUT THE AWARD
During each International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) Symposium two Young Mind Awards for junior scientists will be given:
- one award for the best oral presentation given by a junior scientist who is in the same time the presenter and first author of the submitted manuscript
- one award for the best poster presented by a junior scientist who is first author of the work
A committee set up by the symposium convener and an ISHS representative selects the awardees.
ISHS Young Minds Award winners will be recognized in each symposium report published in the quarterly ISHS membership magazine Chronica Horticulturae, including a photo of the award ceremony or the award winners and a brief outline of the winners. Awardees will be invited to write a summary on their research, to be considered for publication in Chronica Horticulturae. A one-year complimentary membership of the ISHS and a Certificate will be awarded to the winners.
ABOUT THE RESEARCH
During the XIV International Protea Research Symposium Naomi Hattingh presented an article to the Protea Working Group compiled from her MSc research.
The article title being: Phenological studies of Protea cynaroides (L.) ‘Arctic Ice’ following a synchronising winter pruning regime.
The success of this frequently used horticultural technique was evaluated by comparison of flowering percentage and timing with the unpruned commercial standard. While synchronisation has proven successful in medium sized Protea production, the lengthy developmental time of P. cynaroides results in an extended period from prune to harvest. ‘Arctic Ice’ was also found to adhere to strict flowering windows, limiting the efficacy of pruning to shift flowering time.
The researchers could also determine the likelihood of a stem with a certain number of shoot flushes and stem diameter to successfully produce a flower. Similarly, by using these shoot dimensions, the estimated days from prune to harvest could be calculated.
From this trial it has become apparent that knowledge on the crop phenology is essential to validate or challenge standard commercial practises.
Understanding cropping cycles and shortcomings therein allows researchers to identify and fill economically significant gaps to ensure the profitability of open field cut flower production.