Preserved flowers have a long ornamental period compared with fresh flowers, and can be more suited to flower arrangements, wedding bouquets, or store window decorations. In spite of their high processing costs, these flowers are in high demand. Preserved flowers were first developed in 1991, and are prepared from fresh flowers by replacing their internal moisture with polyethylene glycol (de Winter-Scailteur, 1991). These processed flowers can retain their fresh texture and flexibility for several years. However, preserved flowers do not retain their natural color. Flowers are artificially stained by soaking in polyethylene glycol with synthetic dyes. It is difficult to stain sepals, stems, and leaves separately from petals, thus multicolor flowers are usually stained monotone. If the internal moisture of fresh flowers can be replaced with solvents that allow petals to retain their original color, the processed flowers would look more natural than the currently available preserved flowers. There is a need to reconsider the soaking solvents to address the challenge of retaining petal color. We have studied the physicochemical properties of soaking solvents on petal tissues and have screened solvents to determine which solvents allow the petals to retain their shape and color for a long period. This report introduces an established protocol for preparing preserved flowers retaining natural color and texture.
de Winter-Scailteur, N. 1991 Long-life cut flowers and method of treatment for obtaining same. WO91/03160 European Patent Office Munich, Germany
Fukui, Y., Tanaka, T., Kusumi, K., Iwashita, T. & Nomoto, K. 2003 A rationale for the shift in colour towards blue in transgenic carnation flowers expressing the flavonoid 3′,5′-hydroxylase gene Phytochemistry 63 15 23
Kondo, T., Ueda, M., Isobe, M. & Goto, T. 1998 A new molecular mechanism of blue color development with protocyanin, a supramolecular pigment from cornflower, Centaurea cyanus Tetrahedron Lett. 39 8307 8310
Markham, K.R., Ryan, K.G., Gould, K.S. & Rickards, G.K. 2000 Cell wall sited flavonoids in lisianthus flower petals Phytochemistry 54 681 687
Nowak, J. & Rudnicki, R.M. 1990 Postharvest handling and storage of cut flowers, florist greens, and potted plants Timber Press Portland, OR
Romero-Sierra, C. & Webb, J.C. 1982 Flower preservation. United States Patent 4,349,459 U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Washington, DC
von Hagens, G. 1981 Animal and vegetal tissues permanently preserved by synthetic resin impregnation. United States Patent 4,278,701 U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Washington, DC