Standard Carnation

1 entry found.
Standard Carnation
Common Name: Carnation, Standard Carnation
Botanical Name: Dianthus caryophyllus (dy-AN-thus ka-ree-AHF-i-lus)
Decorative Life: Can last from 7-21 plus days depending on cultivar, harvest stage, flower food and/or anti-ethylene treatments. In addition, genetically engineered cultivars like 'Eilat' reportedly can last 24-26 days in water with no flower food or other chemical treatments.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Remove bottom leaves if present, recut stems under water and place into a fresh flower food solution. This species almost always responds well to under water cutting. Water stress symptoms are often hidden even though the flowers are being damaged. Specifically, water stress conditions can stimulate an earlier production of ethylene production enzymes that can become even more active after rehydration. Therefore, ethylene action inhibitors (but not synthesis inhibitors) can reduced the ethylene mediated negative effects associated with water stress.
  • While MCP treatment can be very effective in preventing ethylene damage, petals recover about 50% of their ethylene sensitivity in 4 days whereas STS treatments have longer effectiveness. In another study, no differences were found between STS and MCP treatments. Cycloheximide is an antibiotic that works by inhibiting protein synthesis. It also happens to extend the life of carnations. Unfortunately, cycloheximide is not available for use in the floral industry and is only mentioned here in hopes that it will stimulate someone into finding a similar protein synthesis inhibitor that could be used by growers and/or florists.
Harvest Instructions: Calyx splitting is an occasional problem, which is sometimes reduced by wrapping flowers in the bud stage with tape. Preharvest factors like greenhouse covering (glass is better), plant age (older is better), cultivar and time of year (fall is best) all can have significant effects on postharvest flower life. The higher the dry weight of a flower stem at the time of harvest, the longer the flower will last.
Family Roots:
  • Member of the Caryophyllaceae (pink family).
  • Native from Southern Europe to India.
  • Common relatives include baby's breath, lychnis, silene and sweet William.
  • Flowers are up to 3 inches in diameter.
  • Most flowers are double forms with many ruffled petals.
  • Plant is a herbaceous perennial, classed as a dicotyledon, leaves not parallel veined.
  • Some flowers are fragrant, clove-like.
Availability: Year-round.
Flower Color: Most but not blue and may bicolors.
Storage Specifics: Bud-harvested flowers can be stored for up to 4 months at 31-33 F. Normal storage is best at 32-34 degrees F. When 'Imperial White' was held wet or dry between 32 and 50F, no difference in vaselife was noted between wet and dry at a given temperature. However, there was an advantage for wet holding when held at 55F. Therefore, dry storage/transport is recommended unless high temperatures (>40F) are possible. Pulsing freshly harvested bud cut flowers for 20 hours at 40F with either 10-20 ppm gibberellic acid (GA3) or a mixture of 5-10 ppm benzyladenine + 20 ppm naphthaleneacetic acid resulted in flowers that opened faster and laster longer after 5 weeks of dry storage at 32-34F. Some cultivars were damaged when stored at 32-33F for 3 weeks suggesting that some cultivars might be chill sensitive. Flowers should be treated with STS, MCP, AOA, or AVG propr to storage.
  • Ingestion may cause minor illness. Frequent handling may cause dermatitis.
  • The name carnation is from the Latin "carnis" meaning flesh, alluding to the pale pink color of the flower. In Greek "dianthus" means the flower of Jove.
  • Carnations are said to have sprung up from the tears of Mary as she made her way to Calvary. The pink carnation became the symbol of mother-love and of Mother's Day, created in 1907 in Philadelphia.
  • The scientific name is from the Greek "dios" (divine) and "anthos" (flower).
  • Carnations are graded according to stem length and flower number for spray types. While they seemingly never wilt, they do suffer from water stress with a resulting increase in ethylene sensitivity and/or production and the damage induced by this gas.
Recent Findings: Van Gorsel and Ravesloot (1994) showed that a one day interruption at 68F in a 47F cold chain from grower to consumer resulted in a three day loss in vaselife. Uda et al. (2000) showed that flowers held in a gel material during transport took up 20-30% less water but fresh weights were the same compared to those held in water. While genetic engineering claims all of the headlines, Onozaki et al. (2001) showed that time-tested plant breeding activities resulted in less ethylene sensitive cultivars that have about twice the vaselife of traditional ones. Schade et al. (2001) found that flower fragrance levels were higher when flowers died naturally compared to those that died prematurely due to ethylene.