Effect of Blooming Period on Flowering, Seed Setting and Seed Production of Three Alfalfa Cultivars in Riyadh Region

A. A. Al-Doss*, A. Alsuhaibani**

*Plant Production Dept.** Plant Protection Dept.

Collage of Agriculture, King Saud University.

Abstract

Low seed production of local cultivars has limited their use on large-scale agricultural projects. This research aimed to study the effect of blooming period on flowering, seed setting and seed production of the local cultivars Hassawi and Qassimee compared with that of the commercial cultivar CUF-101 under Riyadh local conditions. The effect of blooming period was significant on all studied traits, except for number of total stems and seed germination percentage. Pod setting was at its best value in July, while April had the lowest value. June and July appeared to be the most stable blooming period for high alfalfa seed yield.

The local cultivar Hassawi was generally lower than Qassimee and CUF101 in most flowering traits. Whereas CUF101 and Qassimee were not significantly different in number of pods per plant or seed yield, but both were significantly higher than Hassawi for both traits. This study has shown that only a small percentage of flowers produced got to set seeds, which leads to the need for more studies on pollinators' densities and activities to determine pollination practices for alfalfa commercial seed production in the Riyadh region.