Postharvest Handling of Physostegia purpurea Cut Flowers

in HortScience
Authors:
John W. KellyDepartment of Horticulture, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634

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Terri W. StarmanDepartment of Plant and Soil Science, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901

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Physostegia purpurea Blake is a native, herbaceous perennial that has potential as a field-grown cut flower. Physostegia stems were harvested with one third of the florets open and were recut underwater in the laboratory. Fresh cut flowers treated with silver thiosulfate (STS) and held in a 2% preservative solution lasted 14 days, while control stems in deionized water (DI) lasted 6 days. Cut stems placed in darkness at 0C for 1 week had 8 days of vase life after removal from storage and treatment with STS and preservative, while stems held in DI after storage lasted only 4 days. Stems held dry at 22.5C and 43% RH for 8 hours before being placed in preservative had similar vase life as flowers placed in preservative immediately after harvest.

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