A comparison of British and North African varieties of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea). 1. Leaf growth during winter and the effects on it of temperature and day-length.
The varieties used were S170 and ecotype AH from 660 m alt. in Algeria. AH expanded more leaf area during winter than did S170, and had a higher leaf-area ratio, a larger specific leaf area, and a larger leaf weight/plant weight ratio. Individual leaves of AH grew faster, and to a greater length, and completed their development more rapidly, than those of S170. The smaller rate of leaf growth of S170 appeared to be a response to low temperature and was evident only in Dec.-Jan. In a heated glasshouse, successive leaves on the main stem of both varieties were almost always of successively greater length. When grown outdoors both varieties produced longer leaves in longer day- length, whereas in the glasshouse only S170 did so. It was considered likely that the leaves of S170 expanded less than those of AH in winter because their intercalary meristems were less active.-R.B.