Postharvest Handling of Cut Heuchera sanguinea Engelm. Flowers: Effects of Sucrose and Silver Thiosulfate

in HortScience
Author: Susan S. Han1
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  • 1 Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, French Hall, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003

Postharvest quality of cut Heuchera sanguinea Engelm. `Splendens' and `Bressingham' was significantly improved and vase life significantly increased by pulsing the inflorescences with 4 mm silver thiosulfate (STS) for 4 hours followed by placing the stems in vase solutions containing 0.5% sucrose and 200 mg·L-1 8-hydroxyquinoline citrate. Under these conditions, nearly all of the buds (>92%) on inflorescences harvested with ≈2% to 3% open flowers developed to anthesis, in comparison with 26% to 28% of the controls. Sucrose concentrations higher than 1% were detrimental and resulted in stem toppling. Treatment with 4 mm STS for 4 hours delayed bud and flower abscission, but longer treatment times resulted in blackening and shriveling of the flower buds. With the absence of sucrose in the vase solutions, flower buds on STS-treated inflorescences did not continue to develop. Ethylene is probably involved in the natural senescence of the flower buds, since exogenous ethylene induced rapid flower abscission, and senescence was delayed by treatment with STS.

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