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Postharvest life of Bird-of-Paradise inflorescences

Bayogan, Emma Ruth V., Jaroenkit, Teeranuch, Paull, Robert E.
Postharvest biology and technology 2008 v.48 no.2 pp. 259-263
Strelitzia reginae, cut flowers, inflorescences, floriculture crops, vase life, postharvest physiology, packaging, postharvest treatment, shipping, color, harvest date, developmental stages, stems, length, sucrose, cut flower preservatives, 8-hydroxyquinoline citrate, citric acid, silver thiosulfate, silver nitrate, sodium hypochlorite, aminooxyacetic acid
The postharvest life of Bird-of-Paradise (Strelitzia reginae Ait., Strelitziaceae) inflorescence is reported to range from 6 to 16d. The objective of the experiments reported here was to determine what factors influenced postharvest life. Inflorescences were harvested at different stages of development and subjected to different prepacking and post packing treatments to extend postharvest life. Treatments included a simulated shipping period of 2d at 22°C. More mature inflorescences with a pronounced orange knuckle on the upper side of the unopen bract or just emerged first floret at harvest had longer vase lives, developed a higher number of florets and the florets had more color development. Stem length had a significant effect on postharvest life of mature inflorescences; the longer the stem, the greater the postharvest life. Overnight treatment of Bird-of-Paradise inflorescences prior to packing with 20 or 40% sucrose, 250 or 500mgL⁻¹ 8-hydroxyquinoline citrate (8-HQC) plus 150 or 300mgL⁻¹ citric acid or silver thiosulfate for 10min and gibberellic acid overnight increased postharvest life from 10 to about 13d. Inflorescences held in 10% sucrose and 200mgL⁻¹ 8-HQC with 10mgL⁻¹ silver nitrate after unpacking had 1.2 times longer postharvest life than the deionized water control. Packing in a carton and holding for 2d at 22°C did not increase postharvest life, except when the inflorescence was treated with 5% sucrose before packing. Similarly, a wet sponge on the stem during the pack period, sodium hypochlorite (50 and 100mgL⁻¹), 200mgL⁻¹ 8-HQC, or 25mmolL⁻¹ aminooxyacetic acid in the holding solutions did not increase postharvest life. The results obtained suggested that Bird-of-Paradise inflorescences should be harvested when the first floret was just about to emerge from the boat, pulsed with 5% sucrose overnight then shipped and upon unpacking held in 10% sucrose, 200mgL⁻¹ 8-HQC and 10mgL⁻¹ silver nitrate.