Rooted microcuttings of Chapman's rhododendron (Rhododendron chapmanii Gray) were transplanted into MetroMix-500 (M500) and fired montmorillonite clay: Canadian peat [(2FMC: 1CP) by vol] and half the plantlets were inoculated with the ericoid mycorrhizal fungus, Pezizella ericae Read. Plantlet survival was improved with mycorrhizal colonization after 16 weeks in 2FMC: 1CP medium, but no differences were observed for plants grown in the M500 medium. Plant growth parameters after 16 weeks were greater for all plants grown in the M500 medium and there were no beneficial mycorrhizal growth responses in either media. Mycorrhizal colonization appeared to be of no benefit to growth of rooted R. chapmanii microcuttings except improved survival in high pH 2FMC:1CP medium.
University of Florida Journal Series No. 7264. This research was supported, in part, by the nursery industry through contributions to the Horticultural Research Institute, Inc., a non-profit organization devoted to progress through research.
2Graduate Assistant and Professor, resp. Present address of senior author: P.O. Box 2705, Durham, NC 27705; present address of second author: Department of Horticulture, University of Georgia, Experiment, GA 30212.