IDENTIFICATION OF THE PHENOLOGICAL GROWTH STAGES OF <em>RHODOMYRTUS</em> <em>TOMENTOSA</em> VAR. <em>TOMENTOSA</em> USING THE BIOLOGISCHE BUNDESANSTALT, BUNDESSORTENAMT AND CHEMICAL INDUSTRY (BBCH) SCALE
Keywords:Rose myrtle, Myrtaceae, ornamental plant, growth period, urban landscape
Rhodomyrtus tomentosa var. tomentosa is a multipurpose flowering shrub in the Myrtaceae family. Naturally, this species thrives in the secondary forest areas and is cultivated as a garden plant due to its attractive flowers. The Biologische Bundesanstalt, Bundessortenamt and Chemical Industry (BBCH) scale was used to identify the phenological growth stages of R. tomentosa. A phenological observation on the organs of the plants was made at the Kepong Botanic Gardens, Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kepong, Selangor. Branches with various developing plant organs were tagged to identify the principal and secondary growth stages and were photographed using digital camera. The observation was carried out daily for five months. Eight principal growth stages were recognised for R. tomentosa, namely, bud and leaf development, shoot elongation, flower emergence, flowering, fruit development, fruit maturity or ripening, and senescence beginning of dormancy. These principal stages were described and supported with images and growth duration. The developed BBCH scale for R. tomentosa will be a useful guide in improving landscape management and provide valuable information for scientific communications.