Geraldton Wax-flower


1 entry found.
Geraldton Wax-flower
Common Name: Waxflower, Geraldton Wax-flower
Botanical Name: Chamelaucium uncinatum (cham-e-LAW-see-um un-si-NAY-tum)
Decorative Life: Mostly 5-9 days but varies greatly depending on species and cultivar. For example, Faragher et al. (2000) report that 'Newmarracarra' had a 5 day vaselife while 'Mullering Brook' lasted 12 days in the same experiment.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Remove bottom leaves if present, recut stems under water and place into a fresh flower food solution. The addition of potassium chloride at 750 ppm to vase solutions can help to extend vaselife, probably through improvements in internal water balances.
  • Dry storage and/or shipping induced water stresses can induce ethylene formation and the resulting ethylene-induced damages. Therefore, proper hydration steps must be taken and anti-ethylene treatments can reduce water stressed induced problems. Ethylene absorbing packets placed in boxes can reduce flower and leaf fall during transit.
Harvest Instructions: Low nitrogen fertilization during production results in poor leaf color and contributes to leaf fall during transit while optimum nitrogen levels can increase vaselife. Depending on species and cultivar, harvest when 25-80% of the flowers are open.
Family Roots:
  • Member of the Myrtaceae (myrtle) family.
  • Native to Australia.
  • Related species include Eucalyptus, bottlebrush and Leptospermum.
Personality:
  • Flowers 1/2 inch across, occur along stems with needle-like leaves.
  • Stems 24-36 inches long.
  • Plant is a woody shrub, classed as a dicotyledon, leaves not parallel veined.
  • Flowers are not fragrant.
Availability: Nearly year-round.
Flower Color: White, pink, purple, cream, rose.
Storage Specifics: At 32-34 F, up to 2 weeks, treat with fungicide to prevent Botrytis. The presence of Botrytis during transport can greatly accelerate premature flower fall.
Tidbits:
  • Chamelaucium: Greek for dwarf and white.
  • The specific epithet name "uncinatum" means hooked at the point.
  • Often grown in Australia and shipped to the US floral industry. Excellent filler for bouquets.
  • This family is important economically for many edible fruits including guava, rose-apple, spices such as allspice and cloves, timber (eucalyptus) and many ornamental species.
  • Water stress symptoms often appear on leaves before flowers.
Recent Findings: Australia is a major exporter of waxflower and therefore has to meet insect quarantine standards of the importing countries. To meet these standards, Seaton and Joyce (1996) tested 13 insecticide dips and measured their effects on phytotoxicity and flower life. Depending on cultivar and insecticide, vaselife was reduced from 0-49%. Care must therefore be taken before wholesale insecticide treatment of this species is implemented.