EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 05 - 2011 Num. article: 2011/119

New BBCH growth stage keys for Camelina sativa, Cynara cardunculus, Rosa, Theobroma and Salix

The BBCH* growth stage keys provide a standard and uniform description of the visible growth stages of plants, using a two-digit decimal code. This system has been developed for many important crops, such as cereals, rice, maize, rape, potato, fruit trees, small fruits, vegetables, etc. In 1997, the BBCH growth stage keys were recommended by the EPPO Working Party on Plant Protection Products and by Council for use in EPPO countries, thus replacing the previously recommended EPPO growth stage keys. The following new BBCH scales have recently been published to describe the growth stages of:
  • Cacao plant (Theobroma sp.) (Niemenak et al., 2009).
  • Camelina sativa (Martinelli and Galasso, 2011).
  • Cynara cardunculus (Archontoulis et al., 2010).
  • Cultivated and wild roses (Rosa sp.) (Meier et al., 2009).
  • Willow (Salix) (Saska and Kuzovkina, 2010).

Other published BBCH growth stage keys:
Most BBCH growth stage keys are available in English, French, German and Spanish on the Internet: Growth stages of mono-and dicotyledonous plants - BBCH Monograph (dated 2001)
  • Cereals, rice, maize
  • Oilseed rape, faba bean, sunflower
  • Beta (beets)
  • Potato
  • Fruits (pome fruit, stone fruit, currants, strawberries)
  • Citrus, olive, coffee, banana
  • Grapevine
  • Soybean, cotton, peanuts
  • Hop
  • Vegetable crops (bulb vegetables, leaf vegetable (forming heads), leaf vegetable (not forming heads), other brassica vegetables, cucurbits, solanaceous fruits, pea, bean
  • Weeds

Other BBCH growth stage keys which were not included in the 2001 monograph or published after this date have been published in scientific journals (mainly Annals of Applied Biology).
- Pomegranate tree (Punica granatum) (Melgarejo et al., 1997).
- Winter linseed (Linum usitatissimum) (Smith and Froment, 1998).
- Loquat tree (Eriobotrya japonica (Martínez-Calvo et al., 1999).
- Quince tree (Cydonia oblonga) (Martínez-Valero et al., 2001).
- Olive trees (Olea europaea) (Sanz-Cortés et al., 2002).
- Persimmon tree (Diospyros kaki) (García-Carbonell et al., 2002).
- Coffee (Coffea spp.) (Arcila-Pulgarín et al., 2002).
- North American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) (Proctor et al., 2003).
- Trees and woody plants (Finn et al., 2007).
- Soybean (Glycine max) (Munger et al., 2008).

* The abbreviation BBCH derives from the first letters of the German names of Biologische Bundesanstalt (Federal Biological Research Centre), Bundessortenamt (Federal Plant Variety Office) and Chemical industry.


Archontoulis SV, Struik PC, Vos J, Danalatos NG (2010) Phenological growth stages of Cynara cardunculus: codification and description according to the BBCH scale. Annals of Applied Biology 156(2), 253-270.
Arcila-Pulgarín J, Buhr L, Bleiholder H, Hack H, Meier U, Wicke H (2002) Application of the extended BBCH scale for the description of the growth stages of coffee (Coffea spp.). Annals of Applied Biology 141(1), 19-27.
Finn GA, Straszewski AE, Peterson V (2007) A general growth stage key for describing trees and woody plants. Annals of Applied Biology 151(1), 127-131.
García-Carbonell S, Yagüe B, Bleiholder H, Hack H, Meier U, Agustí M (2002) Phenological growth stages of the persimmon tree (Diospyros kaki). Annals of Applied Biology 141(1), 73-76.
Martinelli T, Galasso I (2011) Phenological growth stages of Camelina sativa according to the extended BBCH scale. Annals of Applied Biology 158(1), 87-94.
Martínez-Calvo J, Badenes ML, Llácer G, Bleiholder H, Hack H, Meier U (1999) Phenological growth stages of loquat tree (Eriobotrya japonica (Thunb.) Lindl.). Annals of Applied Biology 134(3), 353-357.
Martínez-Valero R, Melgarejo P, Salazar DM, Martínez R, Martínez JJ, Hernández F (2001) Phenological growth stages of quince tree (Cydonia oblonga). Annals of Applied Biology 139, 189-192.
Meier U, Bleiholder H, Brumme H, Bruns E, Mehring B, Proll T, Wiegand J (2009) Phenological growth stages of roses (Rosa sp.): codification and description according to the BBCH scale. Annals of Applied Biology 154(2), 231-238.
Melgarejo P, Martínez-Valero R, Guillamón JM, Miró M Amorós A (1997) Phenological stages of the pomegranate tree (Punica granatum). Annals of Applied Biology 130(1), 135-140.
Munger P, Bleiholder H, Hack H, Hess M, Stauss R, van den Boom, Weber E (2008) Phenological growth stages of the soybean plant (Glycine max): Codification and description according to the BBCH scale. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science 179(4), 209-217.
Niemenak N, Cilas C, Rohsius C, Bleiholder H, Meier U, Lieberei R (2009) Phenological growth stages of cacao plant (Theobroma sp.): codification and description according to the BBCH scale. Annals of Applied Biology 156(1), 13-24.
Proctor JTA, Dorais M, Bleiholder H, Willis A, Hack H, Meier V (2003) Phenological growth stages of North American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius). Annals of Applied Biology 143(3), 311-317.
Sanz-Cortés F, Martínez-Calvo J, Badenes ML, Bleiholder H, Hack H, Llácer G, Meier U (2002) Phenological growth stages of olive trees (Olea europaea). Annals of Applied Biology 140(2), 151-157.
Saska MM, Kuzovkina YA (2010) Phenological stages of willow (Salix). Annals of Applied Biology 156(3), 431-437.
Smith JM, Froment MA (1998) A growth stage key for winter linseed (Linum usitatissimum). Annals of Applied Biology 133(2), 297-306.