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Postharvest Screening of Selected Potential Herbaceous and Woody Ornamentals of Pakistan

Ahmad, I., Rafiq, M. B., Dole, J. M.
Acta horticulturae 2015 no.1097 pp. 199-204
Alpinia zerumbet, Callistemon citrinus, Hippeastrum, Jatropha, Justicia brandegeana, Nerium oleander, Rosa, Sambucus ebulus, Senna alata, Tecoma stans, adverse effects, buckets, consumers (people), cut flowers, flowers, hybrids, industry, longevity, marketing, ornamental woody plants, screening, silver nitrate, stems, sucrose, tap water, vase life, Pakistan
Pakistan has a huge diversity of ornamentals being grown in various regions, but the local cut flower industry is dominated by roses, gladioli, marigolds and tuberoses only. Several herbaceous and woody ornamentals were screened for their suitability to be used as specialty cut flowers. Nine ornamental species were selected that had elegant flowers and sturdy stems. Stems were harvested at optimal marketing stage in the mornings, placed in buckets containing tap water and transported to postharvest laboratory within 2-4 h of harvest. At arrival, stems were recut to uniform stem length depending on species, labeled and placed in respective preservative solutions. Preservative treatments included distilled water (DD, control), pulsing with 5% sucrose supplemented with 100 mg L-1 AgNO3 for 24 h followed by shifting into DD water, or 2% sucrose solution supplemented with 100 mg L-1 AgNO3 until termination. Cut stems of Jatropha integerrima had longest vase life when placed continuously in 2% sucrose solution until termination, while Nerium oleander, Tecoma stans, Callistemon lanceolatus, and Sambucus ebulus had a longer vase life when pulsed with 5% sucrose solution for 24 h followed by placement in DD water until termination. Stems of Alpinia zerumbet, Hippeastrum hybrids, Cassia alata, and Justicia brandegeana had longer vase life in DD water and sucrose treatments either had no or negative effect on their postharvest longevity. All the tested species had acceptable vase life of 4 to 10 d with good quality flowers and sturdy stems and can be used by the local industry for diversification and to provide more choices to the customers.