Petal opening and senescence of cut Gladiolus, Iris, and Narcissus flowers was significantly inhibited by continuous treatment with 1 mm CHI. Vase life was doubled in individual flowers treated when half-open, and a similar effect was detected after pulsing cut gladiolus spikes with 1 mm CHI for 24 hours. Petal wilting was markedly inhibited in flowers treated with CHI and was confined to the outer 2 to 3 mm of petal margins as opposed to the entire petal in untreated flowers. These effects were not seen, however, in CHI-treated cut tulip flowers, where vase life was significantly reduced. CHI markedly inhibited protein synthesis in Gladiolus `New Rose' florets (a decrease of >60%). Treatment with a potent biocide, DICA, did not increase vase life; therefore, CHI was not prolonging flower longevity by preventing microbial growth in the vase solution. The results indicate that de novo protein synthesis is required for bulb flower development and opening and petal wilting and senescence. Chemical names used: cycloheximide (CHI), sodium dichloroisocyanuric acid (DICA).