Domestication and acclimation of Melica persica Kunth, a native rangeland species, for using in the urban green space

Document Type : علمی - پژوهشی


Department of Range and Watershed Management, Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran


Introduction: Due to the water shortage and location of Iran within an arid region, the total costs of maintaining urban green space is dramatically high. Most of the plant species cultivated in the urban green spaces of Iran are exotic and need a high amount of resources. Native species, in contrast, are adapted to the soil conditions and temperature fluctuations, and also need much less water. Materials and methods: This research was aimed at the domestication of Melica persica Kunth, a perennial grass native to the mountains around Mashhad city. This species was considered because of being native and also for its attractive inflorescence and growth form. Seeds of M. persica were collected from Dehbar village (14 Km from Torghabe-Shandiz, 59 17' 23" N, 36 15' 04"E) in July 2014 and planted under three germination treatments within a germinator (in 23-27 ºC), in pots (green house) and by direct seedling transplanting.Results and discussion: The germination and growing percentages for these treatments were 96, 58/5, and 25/5 percent, respectively. All the plants were cultivated in Ghadir nursery in Mashhad. The survival rates of this species were recorded under two treatments of pot and direct plantings. The phenological stages were monitored during the growth season of 2014-2015, both in the natural habitat and within the Ghadir station at Mashhad. In the two years of 2014 and 2015, temperature, time and number of days were different. The different stages of phenology, such as early flowering, flowering and seeding received the same GDD. The energy required each phenological stage in the different years was almost the same and, if there was any between them it was because it was not possible to go daily to the growing areas and record the phenological stages. There were just differences in transplanting and direct methods and this could be due to the different conditions of the plant and environment. Researche studies by Azimi et al. (2012), Azarnivand et al. (2012)and Mirhaji and Sanadgol (2007) on the effect of growing degree-day (GDD) and soil moisture on Stipa hohenackeriana in arid and semi-arid regions of Iran, on the effect of GDD on phenology and growth of Onobrychis melanotricha, and on the whole required temperature range for phenological stages of a number of important species in the grasslands research station Homand showed that environmental factors such as temperature, rainfall and humidity can influence these stages. The phenological stages were almost similar under the three treatments, in other words they were totally dependent on the seasonal changes in temperature. An important point in the phenology of Melica persica was seen both under natural conditions and in the test site (Ghadir station,59 36' 55"N, 36 14' 31" E), re-growth during autumn occurred for those plants growing at the Ghadir station, which was well irrigated, but not for plants growing within the natural field; these results showed the degree by which water is more available for plants, it effects the freshness of the plants and causes them to grow longer.Conclusions: Results of this research indicate the possibility of domesticating M. persica for sowing it in the urban green space. M. persica could be suitable for rock gardens and mountain views because of its form. The best method for planting this species is by transplanting. The percentage of germination, establishment and survival was good and attractive in spring and summer and autumn. 


  1. منابع
  2. Anonymous, 2011. Missouri Department of Conservation and Shaw Nature Reserve. A Guide to Native Landscaping in Missouri. Missouri Botanical Garden. Available online at: gardens-gardening-at-shaw-nature-reserve/native-landscaping-for-the-home-gardener/native-landscaping-manual.aspx
  3. Anonymous, 2015. Arboertum of University of Davis in California. Availabe online at:
  4. Azarnivand, H., Tarkesh, E.M., Basiri, M., Zare, CH.MA. and Saeedfar, M., 2012. The effect of GDD on phenology and growth of Onobrychis melanotricha. Rangeland and Watershed Journal. 65, 1-10. (In Persian with English abstract).
  5. Azimi, M.S., Bakhshande, S.M., Sanadgol, A.A., Akbarzade, M., Qasriani, F. and Jafari, F., 2012. Effect of growing degree-day (GDD) and soil moisture on Stipa hohenackeriana in arid and semi-arid regions of Iran. Range and desert research of Iran Journal. 19, 321-332. (In Persian with English abstract).
  6. Farajzade A.M., Khorani, A., Bazgir, S. and Ziayian, P., 2011. Identify and analyze the impact of climate parameters and indices of agricultural climatology phenological stages of wheat in Kurdistan. Planning and Spatial Journal. 15, 1-17. (In Persian with English abstract).
  7. Hekmati, J., 2007. Landscape design engineering. Science agriculture of Iran Publishing. (In Persian)
  8. Helfand, G.E., Park, J.S., Nassauer, J.I. and Kosek, S., 2006. The economics of native plants in residential landscape designs. Landscape and Urban Planning. 78, 229-40.
  9. Jalili, A. and Jamzad, Z., 2009. Strategic Experience in Landscape Design and Green Spaces in Iran. Institute of Forests and Rangelands Publishing.
  10. Mirhaji, S.T. and Sanadgol, A.A., 2005. Whole required temperature range of phenological stages a number of important species in grasslands research station Homand. Range and desert research of Iran Journal. 13, 212-221. (In Persian with English abstract).
  11. Moghimi, J., 2004. Introducing Some of the Important Range Plant Species. Arvan Publishing Co. (In Persian).
  12. Pahlevani, A.H., Mighani, F., Rashed, M.MH. and Baghestani, M.MA., 2007. Phenological stages of (Cynanchum acutum L). Research and development in agriculture and horticulture Journal. 20, 16-24. (In Persian with English abstract).
  13. Schrader, W.L., 2000. Using transplants in vegetable production. Ucanr Publications
  14. Shaban, M. And Abbasi, S., 2009. Choose resistant to drought species, a solution for arid and semi-arid deal with water crisis. The second regional conference on natural resources and the environment, Arsanjan. 2, 321-332. (In Persian).
  15. Shushtarian, S. and Tehranifar, A., 2009. Evaluation of drought friendly ground cover plants in urban green space Mashad. Mashhad research. 1, 92-105. (In Persian with English abstract).