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Margrethe Serek, Edward C. Sisler, and Michael S. Reid

A 6-hour fumigation of flowering Begonia ×elatior hybrida Fotsch. `Najada' and `Rosa', B. ×tuberhybrida Voss. `Non-Stop', Kalanchoe blossfeldiana Poelln. `Tropicana', and Rosa hybrida L. `Victory Parade' plants with 1-MCP, (formerly designated as SIS-X), a gaseous nonreversible ethylene binding inhibitor, strongly inhibited exogenous ethylene effects such as bud and flower drop, leaf abscission, and accelerated flower senescence. The inhibitory effects of 1-MCP increased linearly with concentration, and at 20 nl·liter-1 this compound gave equal protection to that afforded by spraying the plants with a 0.5 STS mm solution. Chemical names used: 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), silver thiosulfate (STS).

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John M. Dole and Michael A. Schnelle

Oklahoma floriculture producers, ornamental-horticulture retailers, mass-market retailers, and cut-flower wholesalers were surveyed to compare and contrast the industry in terms of attitudes towards their products and problems. Overall, attitudes of all four segments of the industry were neutral to negative on potted flowering plants, but were positive to neutral on bedding and foliage plants. However, producers were slightly negative concerning the postharvest life of bedding plants. While cut-flower wholesalers had a positive attitude concerning cut flowers, ornamental-horticulture retailers and mass-marketers tended to be neutral to negative. In particular, retailers and mass-marketers believed that cut flowers were too expensive and too short-lived. Floral preservatives were used by 82% of ornamental-horticulture retailers, while only 19% of mass-market retailers used preservatives. All cut-flower wholesalers used preservatives. Capital availability and market demand were the factors most limiting expansion for producers and ornamental-horticulture retailers; whereas mass-market firms listed competition as their most limiting factor.

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Benjamin L. Campbell and Charles R. Hall

and vegetables, fruits, and herbs), foliage, and potted flowering plants. Summary statistics of total gross sales and gross plant category sales can be found in Table 1 . As expected, although not all firms sold every type of plant category, some

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Brent K. Harbaugh and John W. Scott

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Yin-Tung Wang

Most Phalaenopsis (the moth orchid) species and hybrids start to produce flowering shoots in the fall, bloom in January or February, and become limited in supply by April when market demand is strong. Means to defer the onset of flowering were studied. Starting 15 Sept. 1994, seedlings of 2-year-old hybrid Phalaenopsis TAM Butterfly were exposed to repeated cycles of 1 d darkness/1 d light (natural photoperiod, 1D/1L); 4 d darkness/3 d light (4D/3L); 7 d darkness/7 d light (7D/7L); and the natural photoperiod control (0D/7L). The dark treatments were achieved by covering plants with black fabric or by placing them in a dark cage. Treatments were terminated on 16 Dec., and all plants were exposed to the natural photoperiod. The control plants bloomed on 20 Jan. 1995, whereas the 4D/3L plants did not reach anthesis until 14 Apr., nearly 3 months later. Flowering of the 1D/1L and 7D/7L plants was also deferred until early April. Regardless of treatments, flower count and size were unaffected. In another experiment, beginning 15 Sept. 1995, 3-year-old plants were exposed to repeated weekly cycles of 2D/5L, 3D/4L, 4D/3L, or 5D/2L until 22 Jan. 1996. The nontreated control plants bloomed on 8 Feb. 1996, whereas the 5D/2L did not reach anthesis until 6 May. The 4D/3L treatment was not as effective as it was in 1994 and resulted in anthesis only 4 weeks after the control. In the last experiment, starting on 22 Jan. 1996, plants were removed at 2-week intervals from a 5D/2L treatment that was initiated on 15 Sept. 1995 and exposed to the natural photoperiod. Staggered anthesis was achieved. However, plants that bloomed in May and June had reduced flower count but not flower size.

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Timothy A. Prince and Maria S. Cunningham

Exposure of bulbs of Easter Lily (Lilium longiflorum Thunb.) to a maximum of 2 μl ethylene/liter during vernalization delayed flowering by 5 to 7 days and decreased the number of flower buds. Ethylene exposure for 5 days at 21C after vernalization accelerated shoot emergence and flowering by up to 3 days. No floral or plant abnormalities were observed after bulb exposure to ethylene. Exposure to atmospheres with 0%, 0.5%, or 1% O2 at 21C for up to 2 weeks before or 10 days after vernalization did not “significantly impair subsequent bulb forcing. Storage in 1% 02 at 21C for 1 week before vernalization resulted in nearly one additional secondary bud initiated per plant. Exposure to up to 15% CO2 at 21C for up to 2 weeks before or 10 days after vernalization did not significantly impair subsequent forcing.

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Timothy A. Prince and Maria S. Cunningham

Lining of shipping cases with low-density polyethylene (PE) greatly reduced moisture loss from packing media and bulbs of Lilium longjlorum Thunb. `Nellie White' during shipping, handling, and case vernalization (CV). Three years of studies showed that use of PE liners accelerated floral sprout emergence above the growing medium, floral bud initiation, and flowering date. Effects of case lining became more pronounced as the initial water content of the spagnum peat packing was lowered. Case lining sometimes increased apical meristem diameters measured immediately after vernalization, or 2 or 4 weeks after bulb planting, but flower bud number was never significantly increased. Root growth during the first 4 weeks after planting was not affected by case lining. Bulb scale and basal plate water contents at planting were greater in lined than nonlined cases and when packed in peat of relatively high moisture content. Handling and vernalization of bulbs in PE-lined cases without a packing medium resulted in similar bulb forcing characteristics as in bulbs held in PE-lined cases packed with sphagnum peat.

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C. Fred Deneke, Kathleen B. Evensen, and Richard Craig

The postharvest quality of regal pelargoniums [Pelargonium × domesticum L. H. Bailey] is limited by petal abscission. Cultivars that have diverse postharvest longevities were selected to study ethylene sensitivity and endogenous ethylene production. Petals of both intact and detached inflorescences abscised in response to low dosages of exogenous ethylene (0.5 μl·liter-1 for 1 hour). Ethylene sensitivity varied among cultivars and increased with floret age. Silver thiosulfate reduced ethylene sensitivity and often extended floret longevity beyond that of the controls. A climacteric-like rise in endogenous ethylene production occurred in excised gynoecia (including the receptacle) as floret age increased from 1 to 12 days postanthesis. Ethylene production increased a few days earlier and achieved a higher maximum rate in `Parisienne' than in `Virginia'; `Parisienne' also abscised petals earlier. Relatively low levels of endogenous ethylene may regulate petal abscission, since inflorescences were very sensitive to exogenous ethylene, and increased endogenous ethylene production preceded petal abscission.

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Allan B. Woolf, John Clemens, and Julie A. Plummer

The influence of temperature and leaf maturity on ethephon-promoted abscission was examined by simultaneously applying either ethylene (10.5 μl·liter-1) or ethephon (0 to 4 ml·liter-1) to potted Camellia plants at four constant temperatures (10 to 30C). The abscission rate (time to 50% abscission) and extent of abscission of leaves, and vegetative and floral buds was measured. Increased temperature promoted the rate and extent of ethephon-promoted abscission and increased ethylene-promoted abscission rate of all organs of Camelliu. Lower temperatures reduced the abscission rate after ethephon application more than that following ethylene application. Sensitivity to ethephon was greater for leaves on newly extending shoots, although once shoot elongation and leaf expansion had ceased, leaves became less sensitive. Ethephon sensitivity increased progressively with maturation over the following 2 years. Optimal thinning of floral buds. at low temperatures required high ethephon concentrations, while at high temperatures, low ethephon concentrations were optimal. The influence on abscission of the time of year when ethephon was applied, is suggested to be due to tissue maturity, which affects tissue ethylene sensitivity, and temperature, which affects ethylene release from ethephon and tissue response to ethylene. Chemical name used: (2-chloroethyl) phosphoric acid (ethephon).

Open access

Timothy A. Prince, Maria S Cunningham, and James S. Peary


The poststorage and post-shipping quality of Lilium longiflorum Thunb. ‘Nellie White’ plants sprayed with silver thiosulfate (STS) complex or phenidone was observed in a simulated interior environment. Bud abortion and foliar chlorosis increased while floral longevity declined with increasing storage period from 0 to 4 weeks in the dark at 2°C. One to 3 days of simulated, boxed shipment at 23° subsequent to 3 weeks storage at 2° further increased foliar chlorosis but did not influence bud abortion or floral longevity. Whole plant STS sprays (0.5 to 2.0 mM Ag) prior to harvest reduced storage-induced bud abortion and increased floral longevity, but did not reduce foliar chlorosis. Ethephon application to plants that had been stored for 3 weeks at 2° induced bud abortion and abnormal floral development. STS application (1.0 mM Ag) prior to storage reduced ethephon-induced disorders. Preharvest whole plant sprays of phenidone decreased bud abortion on stored and nonstored plants but did not influence floral longevity. Uptake of phenidone and STS through cut petioles enhanced ethylene production during opening of excised lily buds. Ethylene production increased while respiration declined during senescence of excised buds. STS did not reduce but did delay the peak of ethylene production during senescence of lily flowers. Chemical names used: 1-phenyl-3-pyrazolidone (phenidone); (2-chlorethyl)phosphonic acid (ethephon).