question from a new member

David R. Hershey dh321 at PGSTUMAIL.PG.CC.MD.US
Sat Nov 23 20:43:09 EST 1996

In general, the best candidates are full-sun, nonsucculent plants. If using
fluorescent lights, use dwarf cultivars so they are close to the light
source. Possibilities are vegetables (bean, tomato, sunflower, lettuce),
lawngrasses, birdseed, annual flowers (zinnia, marigold) and many
houseplants (coleus, geranium, chrysanthemum) will have high transpiration
rates given the proper environmental conditions (high sunlight, low
humidity, wind, adequate soil moisture). Wisconsin fast plants and chia
are also good candidates. If the transpiration rate is calculated based on
weight changes of a potted plant, then the leaf area of the plant is an
important factor. If the soil water supply becomes limiting or the
sunlight/wind become too high, then the transpiration rate will decline as
the stomates close. This often happens during midday in sunny weather. 

Comparing transpiration rates between different species is complicated 
because of the need to do comparisons on a leaf area basis, or crop area 
basis for plants with closed canopies like lawns.  

David R. Hershey
Snail mail: 6700 Belcrest Road #112, Hyattsville, MD 20782-1340

Adjunct Professor, Biology/Horticulture Department
Prince George's Community College, Largo, MD 20772-2199

Email: dh321 at

On 23 Nov 1996, Richard M Kurtz wrote:

> To all plant people,
> I am a high schoo science teacher.  I have a student who is doing a
> science project related to plant transpiration.  Does anyone have any
> suggestions for a plant that has a very high rate and output of
> transpiration.  The plant has to able to grow indoors under lights and be
> able to fit in a 4 to 8 inch pot.  
> Thanks,
> Richard K

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