Duchess


1 entry found.
Picture of Duchess Duchess
Common Name: Protea, Latifolia, Duchess
Botanical Name: Protea eximia (P. latifolia) (pro-TEE-a ex-EEM-ee-a)
Decorative Life: 10-20 days.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Remove bottom leaves if present, recut stems under water and place into a fresh flower food solution (2.5% sugar works well). The sugar in flower food is needed to reduce leaf blackening and extend flower life.
  • Leaf blackening due in part to low light therefore low carbohydrate, keep in well-lit situation. The sugar in some flower foods can sometimes prevent leaf blackening. However, it seems that glucose works better than sucrose, which may explain why some flower foods work and others do not in preventing leaf blackening.
Family Roots:
  • Member of the Proteaceae (protea family).
  • Native to South Africa.
  • Relatives include Grevillea, Leucodendron, Leucospermum and Banksia.
Personality:
  • Numerous flowers in dome-shaped heads, 4 inches across, surrounded by stiff colored bracts, giving a cup-like appearance.
  • Stems with leathery leaves, cut to various lengths.
  • Species is an evergreen shrub, classed as a dicotyledon.
  • Flowers are not fragrant.
Availability: Most times of the year.
Flower Color: Pink to rose with a burgundy center.
Storage Specifics: 32-34 F, provide light during storage to prevent leaf blackening. Reducing oxygen and increasing carbon dioxide levels during storage is of no benefit.
Tidbits:
  • Named after Proteus, a Greek sea god with the power of prophecy. The specific epithet name eximia means "distinguished".
  • Spectacular focal points in contemporary arrangements, the durable Protea will often bloom for several months.
  • Suitable for drying. Leaves can turn black due to low light and especially due to lack of carbohydrate. Therefore, make sure a fresh flower food containing sugar is used.
Recent Findings: Using the cultivar 'Sylvia', Stephens et al. (2003) showed that 32F storage is better than what was believed to be the best storage temperature of 38F. In addition, they determined that vacuum precooling is better than forced air types for flowers subsequently held for up to 3 days but this advantage disappeared for flowers stored for 14-21 days.