Harvest when the first flower shows color. More flower buds open after harvest when the plants are grown under high light environments, where food buildup in the flowers is maximum. Depending on cultivar and growing conditions, lateral flowers on the main stems can be harvested after the main stem has been removed. Lateral flowers generally do not last as long as the main ones.
Member of the Iridaceae (iris) family.
Native to South Africa.
Common relatives include iris, gladiolus, crocus and ixia.
Flowers are funnel-shaped, 1-2 inches long, 5-8 flowers per one sided spike.
Stems are leafless, sometimes branched, 1-2 feet long.
Plant is a perennial from corms, classed as a monocotyledon, leaves mostly parallel veined.
Flower fragrance is variable but often intense with yellow forms.
32-36F. Wet is seemingly better than dry storage.
Flowers in both single and double forms.
Name after Dr. Friedrich Freese (1785-1876), a German physician native to Keil and a student of South African plants. The specific epithet name refracta means broken.
Pulsing with high sugar solutions (up to 25%) can be beneficial but no such products are presently being marketed for this purpose.
An ethylene-induced symptom is when petals become translucent and/or fall off. Water stress can cause a surge in ethylene production, which in turn can reduce flower life.
Recent Research Findings:
Using ‘Golden Melody’ and ‘Moya’, Burzo et al. (1995) showed that cut stem ends can emit substances into vase solutions, which in turn could be used by microbes for growth. In addition, that this problem can be greatly reduced if they are pretreated with STS. Using ‘Oberon’ and ‘Ballerina’, Amariutei et al. (1994) showed that STS treated flowers not only lasted longer than controls, but their respiration and transpiration rates were reduced and they exhibited less leakage from the cut stem ends.
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