Ebenus cretica, Leguminosae, is a perennial bush endemic to the island of Crete, and produces attractive pinky red or purple flowers on 15-cm long racemes. To study the possibility of its use as a cut flower, cut inflorescences on 40-cm-long spikes were taken from plants grown outdoors in the farm of the Technological Educati Institute and used to determine the postharvest characteristics of Ebenus flowers. Without any postharvest treatments, the inflorescences held in water had an average life of about 7 days. A solution of 100 ppm 8-hydroxyquinone sulfate (HQS) in DI water, supplemented with 5% Ca(NO)3 increased vase life for 2 days and improved the water potential without affecting transpiration, whereas the addition of 2% or 5% sucrose decreased vase life by 1 or 2 days respectively. Pulsing with 0.2 mm STS for 2 h improved flower quality and vase life. Addition of 6-BAP (2 ppm) or GA3 (3 ppm) in the preservative solution did not affect flower quality or vase life compared to control. These results indicate that inflorescences of Ebenus cretica may be used as cut flowers; however, further research is required to determine their sensitivity to ethylene as well as its storage capabilities.
J.C. Vlahos and M. Papadimitriou
Apostolos A. Paralikas, J.C. Vlahos, M. Papadimitriou and K.A. Loulakakis
Ebenus cretica, Leguminosae, an endemic perennial bush of Crete, is being studied as a potential new cut flower crop. Forty-centimeter-long spikes with two to three inflorescences and six to eight compound leaves were harvested from 5-year-old plants grown from seed at the farm of the TEI, when 1/3 of the florets had opened, and were treated with various preservatives. Flower quality was evaluated morphologically combined with measurements of chlorophyll content in leaves and anthocyanin in petals. Without any postharvest treatments, inflorescences held in a solution of 100 ppm 8-hydroxyquinone sulfate (HQS) in DI water had an average vaselife of 6.8 days. Pulsing with 0.6 mM silver thiosulfate (STS) for 2 h extended vaselife up to 8.4 days. However, when ethephon was added in the solution, vaselife was significantly reduced, causing leaf yellowing and flower senescence, which suggests sensitivity to exogenous ethylene. A solution of 0.2% Ca(NO3)2 prolonged vaselife by 2.7 days, whereas higher concentrations resulted in flower discoloration and decreased flower quality. Sucrose solutions of 0.5%, 1%, 2%, and 4% had no positive effect on flower longevity. Furthermore, the higher concentrations caused leaf yellowing and petal discoloration decreasing vaselife and quality of flowers compared to control. Samples of inflorescences were taken every second day for chlorophyll (a and b) and anthocyanin measurements. The concentrations recorded were highest in the 0.2% Ca(NO3)2 treatment and were significantly correlated to flower longevity. Results indicate that Ebenus cretica may be used as a cut flower crop; however, due to the genetic variability of the Ebenus plants, a breeding line should be developed before the crop reaches the floricultural market.