Prairie Gentian


2 entries found.
Picture of Prairie Gentian Prairie Gentian
Common Name: Lisianthus, Prairie Gentian
Botanical Name: Eustoma grandiflorum (yew-STO-ma grand-i-FLOR-um)
Decorative Life: About 10-14 days, longer with supplemental sugar.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Remove bottom leaves if present, recut stems under water and place into a fresh flower food solution. Sugar (three teaspoons) and bleach (one teaspoon) per gallon of water works best for color retention in dark varieties and maximum vaselife. Best vaselife results are obtained when up to 3% sugar flower food solutions are used or a 24 hour pulse in 5-10% sugar. For consumers, another solution reportedly that does well is 10-50% carbonated water (i.e., soda water + water).
  • Botrytis infection (gray mold) appears as gray patches on leaves. Flowers on side shoots that develop after harvest are almost always lighter in color than the main flowers.
Harvest Instructions: Harvest when at least one flower is open is one recommendation with another stating that 5-6 flowers should be open. Removal of side shoots from the stems will help develop the main flowers. Some growers allow the flowers to mature more before harvest and then remove the too advanced flowers when grading and bunching. This process reportedly allows more net flowers to open properly per stem.
Family Roots:
  • Member of the Gentianaceae (gentian) family.
  • Native to the Great Plains of North America, most notably Texas.
  • Two common relatives are gentian and exacum or Persian violet.
Personality:
  • Flowers cupped or tulip-like, 2 inches in diameter and 3 inches long, occur at ends of small branches.
  • Stems are 16-24 inches long with leaves and many branchlets with flowers at many stages.
  • Plant is a perennial planted as an annual, classed as a dicotyledon.
  • Flowers are not fragrant.
Availability: Year-round.
Flower Color: White, pink, purple, red, bicolor, picotees, blue.
Storage Specifics: 36-41 F for up to 3 days.
Tidbits:
  • Cultivars with single flowers include 'Heidi', 'Yodel', 'Flamenco'. Double-flowered cultivars are 'Double Eagle', 'Echo' and 'Mariachi'.
  • The specific epithet name "grandiflorum" means large flowers.
  • From the Greek "eu" (good) and "stoma" (mouth), referring to the beautiful corolla (petal) throat.
  • This species is geotropic and will bend up if stems are placed horizontally.
  • Pollination will greatly increase the rate of petal senescence.
Recent Findings: Any floral industry member interested in Lisianthus as a cut flower should review the paper by Harbaugh et al. (2000) as they list the growth and postharvest characteristics of 47 cultivars. Starman et al. (1995) rated this species ('Yodel Blue') as being a rather poor income producer. Huang and Chen (2002) showed that using benzyladenine (BA) at 50 ppm and/or sucrose (4%) in 24 hour pulse treatments extended flower life even though ethylene production and respiration rates increased.
Picture of Prairie Gentian Prairie Gentian
Common Name: Lisianthus, Prairie Gentian
Botanical Name: Eustoma grandiflorum (yew-STO-ma grand-i-FLOR-um)
Decorative Life: From 14-21 days, longer with supplemental light under interior conditions.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Flower buds often do not develop properly under indoor (mostly low light) environments.
  • Botrytis infection (gray mold) appears as gray patches on leaves.
Harvest Instructions: Harvest when at least 50-75% of the flowers are open as subsequent flower opening under interior conditions is often minimal. Low light levels during production and high growing mix pH can lead to reduced flower color development. The use of growth retardants to shorten the plants during production is necessary with B-Nine working well. However, the effectiveness of growth retardants is cultivar specific with white flowered cultivars often not responding as well as pink 0r blue ones.
Family Roots:
  • Member of the Gentianaceae (gentian family).
  • Native to the Great Plains of North America, mainly Texas.
  • Relatives include gentian and exacum or Persian violet.
Personality:
  • Flowers cupped or tulip-like, about 2 inches in diameter and up to 3 inches long, occur at ends of small branches.
  • After treatment with a growth retardant, stems are generally from 8-16 inches long with leaves and many small branches with flowers at many stages.
  • Plant is a perennial planted as an annual.
  • Flowers are not fragrant.
Availability: Year-round.
Flower Color: White, pink, purple, red, bicolor, picotees, blue.
Storage Specifics: Data not reported but assume 34-38F for as short a period as possible.
Tidbits:
  • Cultivars with single flowers include 'Heidi', 'Yodel', 'Flamenco'. Double-flowered cultivars are 'Double Eagle', 'Echo' and 'Mariachi'.
  • The specific epithet name "grandiflorum" means large flowers.
  • From the Greek "eu" (good) and "stoma" (mouth), referring to the beautiful corolla (petal) throat.
  • Some favorite cultivars and their respective flower colors include 'Lisa' (blue, lavender, pink, white). This species is geotropic and will bend up if stems are placed horizontally.