Anthurium andraeanum (Hort.) (Kamemoto and Kuehnle, 1996) is an important tropical ornamental crop, second only to orchids, based on global trade volume. It is grown for its showy cut flower, which comprises a spadix with over 300 spirally arranged minute flowers subtended by a brightly colored modified leaf, the spathe (Croat, 1988). The size, shape, texture, color, and patterns on the spathe determine the commercial value of the cut flower; whereas its vase life determines its marketability (Paull et al., 1985).
Halevy and Mayak (1979) defined vase life as the useful longevity of the floral product at the final consumer's home. Commercially, a vase life of at least 3 weeks (Kamemoto and Kuehnle, 1996) is required to market anthurium cut flowers. Anthurium cut flowers are known for their relatively long vase life that ranges from 1 week to several months. An understanding of the morphophysiological characteristics associated with such a wide variation in vase life will allow breeders to develop varieties with long vase lives. There are no such studies in the literature.
Paull and Goo (1985) ascribed the symptoms of cut flower senescence in anthurium, that is, loss of spathe glossiness, spathe and spadix browning, and spathe wilting, to water stress. Another symptom, spathe blueing, is attributed to an increase in pH from 5.2 to 5.6 caused by an increase in ammonium ions resulting from the breakdown of proteins (Paull et al., 1985).
There is no agreed set of criteria for determining vase life in anthurium, because what is deemed unsalable by a wholesaler or retailer is different from what a consumer is prepared to discard (Paull, 1982). Shirakawa et al. (1964) used spathe wilting or spathe or spadix darkening as indications of vase life termination. Paull (1982), in addition, used loss of spathe glossiness and spathe blueing. Vase life is therefore determined by a complex criterion based on whichever of these symptoms appears first.
The objective of this study was to determine the morphophysiological basis for cultivar differences in vase life toward developing a prediction equation for vase life and to ascertain the validity of the prediction equation over seasons and a different set of cultivars. We also propose a simplified criterion for assessing vase life in anthurium.
Chaparro de Barrera, A. & Arenas, G. 1999 Cutting-time effect during harvest cycle on post harvest behaviour of three Gypsophila paniculata cv. Perfecta clones Acta Hort. 148 71 76
Dodd, I.C., Critchley, C., Woodall, G.S. & Stewart, G.R. 1998 Photoinhibition in differently colored juvenile leaves of Syzygium species J. Expt. Bot. 49 1437 1445
Dufour, L. & Guerin, V. 2003 Growth, developmental features and flower production of Anthurium andraeanum Lind. in tropical regions Scientia Hort. 98 25 35
Gould, K.S., Markham, K.R., Smith, R.H. & Goris, J.J. 2000 Functional role of anthocyanins in the leaves of Quintinia serrata A Cunn. J. Exp. Bot. 51 1107 1115
Guo, Z., Xiao, L., Zou, Y., Hong, Y. & Wang, R. 2003 Comparison of fresh-keeping age of different cultivars of Anthurium cut flowers J. Hunan Agr. Univ. 29 485 487
Halevy, A.H. & Mayak, S. 1979 Senescence and postharvest physiology of cut flowers Part 1 Hort. Rev. (Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.) 1 204 236
Higaki, T., Rasmusan, H.P. & Carpenter, W.J. 1984 A study of some morphological and anatomical aspects of Anthurium andraeanum Lind University of Hawaii: HITAHR Res. Ser. 030 1 12
Iwata, R.Y., Tang, C.S. & Kamemoto, H. 1985 Concentration of anthocyanins affecting spathe color in anthuriums J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 110 383 385
Mayak, S. & Dilley, D.R. 1976 Effects of sucrose in the response of cut carnations to kinetin, ethylene and abscisic acid J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 101 583 585
O'Brien, T.P. & McCully, M.E. 1981 The study of plant structure, principles and selected methods Termarcarphi Pty. Ltd Melbourne, Australia
Paull, R.E., Chen, N.J. & Deputy, J. 1985 Physiological changes associated with senescence of cut anthurium flowers J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 110 156 162
Paull, R.E. & Goo, T.T.C. 1985 Ethylene and water stress in the senescence of cut anthurium flowers J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 110 84 88
Paull, R.E., Higaki, T. & Imamura, J.S. 1992 Season and fertilizer affect the post-harvest flower life of anthurium Scientia Hort. 49 125 134
Shirakawa, T., Edolph, R.D. & Watson, D.P. 1964 N-6-Benzyladenine effects on chilling injury, respiration and keeping quality of Anthurium andraeanum Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 85 642 646
Shvarts, M., Borochov, A. & Weiss, D. 1997 Low temperature enhances petunia flower pigmentation and induces chalcone synthase gene expression Acta Physiol. Plant. 99 67 72