Phytotoxic Reaction of Hawaiian Cut Flowers and Foliage to Hydrogen Cyanide Fumigation

in HortScience
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  • 1 Hawaii Institute of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 461 West Lanikaula Street, Hilo, HI 96720

Phytotoxicity from hydrogen cyanide (HCN) fumigation was measured in several varieties of Hawaiian cut flowers and foliage (Zingiberaceae, Heliconia, Orchidaceae, Marantaceae, Lycopodiaceae, Agavaceae, Proteaceae) as a potential disinfestation treatment. Concentrations tested were 2500, 3700, 4600, and 5500 ppm HCN for 30 min. All foliage and most heliconia were undamaged at fumigation levels of 5500 ppm HCN; most protea and `Midori' anthuriums were uninjured at 4600 pm HCN; red and pink ginger were uninjured at 3700 ppm HCN; and all pincushion protea showed phytotoxicity to HCN. Red ginger was quickly damaged when exposed to sunlight immediately after treatment at 2500 ppm HCN. No injury was observed in simulated shipment tests of red ginger and `Ozaki' anthuriums fumigated at 2500 ppm HCN. Wet, red ginger flowers longer than 6 cm were damaged at 2500 ppm HCN, whereas shorter flowers were uninjured. Wet `Ozaki' anthuriums showed phytotoxicity only at 4600 ppm HCN. Wet, treated lycopodium and bamboo orchid foliage was not injured. The number of marketable days and shelf life of the treated plant material were estimated from the visual ratings.

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