Bolting and flowering of Aster novi-belgii seedlings as well as correlations between characteristics within seedling populations and between seedlings and their vegetatively propagated offspring were investigated in order to improve breeding efficiency. In seedlings of A. novi-belgii, flower induction was observed without vernalization. Seedlings initially formed a rosette, but bolting was a prerequisite for development of a normal flowering shoot. Bolting was promoted by long photoperiods as compared to short days. The shortest time from sowing to anthesis was recorded when plants were grown under long photoperiods until the main stem was at least 5 cm long, and then moved to short photoperiods. A large variation in time to anthesis, plant height, branching ability, and flower size and color was found among the seedlings within all crosses. Magnitude and significance of correlations between some characteristics varied among crosses. The more consistent correlations seem mainly to be due to natural courses of plant growth and development. High correlations between seedling characteristics and their vegetatively propagated offspring were only found for flower hue. Lower, but significant correlations were found for flower color intensity, plant height, and branching ability. There were no significant correlations for the time-to-anthesis between the two groups of plants.
Kristiansen, K., Hansen, C. W., & Brandt, K. (1997). Flower induction in seedlings of Aster novi-belgii and selection before and after vegetative propagation. Euphytica, 93(3), 361–367. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1002952701132