Nowadays, green space expansion is faced with some limitations such as water and budget deficiency. There are some recommendations about limiting usage of turfgrass and replacing it with ground cover plants in urban green space. These recommendations are in a form of a program, which is called Xeriscaping. This study has been conducted to investigate the adaptability of new ground cover plants in Mashhad (Iran) green space as turf replacement. Six sedum species including: Sedum spectabile Boreau., Sedum spurium Bieb., Sedum acre L., Sedum album L., Sedum lydium Boiss and Sedum hybridium L. have been evaluated. To conduct this study an experiment was performed in split plots based on a completely randomized blocks design, with two factors including species (six species) and water intervals (3, 6 and 9 days) with three replications in 2010. The effect of species, irrigation regimes, and interaction between them on some morphological and physiological characteristics were investigated. Results showed that three species of S. spectabile, S. spurium and S. album had more adaptability, compared with others and they could be applied as turf grass replacement. Furthermore, it was indicated that with increment in irrigation interval, the performance of plants decreased significantly. The best performance in terms of morphological traits except for survival percentage was due to three-day irrigated plants. In terms of physiological traits, the highest amount of chlorophyll content was measured in nine days irrigated plants and the lowest amount of proline was recorded for three days irrigated plants.
Key words: Xeriscaping program, ground cover plants, water shortage, turfgrass replacement, urban green space.
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