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  • 1 Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Texas A&M Univ. Research &Extension Ctrs., 17360 Coit Rd., Dallas, TX 75252 & 1380 A&M Circle, El Paso, TX 79927

Lupinus havardii (Big Bend bluebonnet) is native to a narrow geographical range along the Rio Grande River in southwest Texas and produces attractive blue flower spikes which have potential as cut flowers. Without any post-harvest treatments, these spikes had an average vaselife in water of about 7 d. During this period, an average of about 13 florets were abscised per spike. When preconditioned for 4 h in 40-80 mg/liter silver thiosulfate (STS), vaselife increased to 11 days and only 1-3 florets were abscised per spike. Post-harvest treatment of the spikes with 25-50 mg/liter oxime ether, a new ethylene inhibitor, surprisingly enhanced floret abscission and shortened vaselife. The basis for this response is not clear. Storage of STS-preconditioned spikes in water at 5C for 72 h only decreased vaselife by about one day compared to unstored controls. Dry post-harvest storage at 5C for 72 h caused severe wilting, but upon rehydration these spikes still had a vase/life of about 8 d. These results indicate mat cut flower spikes of L. havardii have good post-harvest qualities and can be stored for up to 3d without seriously limiting vaselife.

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