cut flower of the month
syn. Lisianthus russellianus
Prairie gentian, Texas bluebell
Lisianthuses have bell-shaped blooms with ruffly edged petals. Single-flowered varieties resemble poppies, tulips or Campanulas (Canterbury bells), and double-, triple- and quadruple-flowered varieties are often mistaken, especially by consumers, for garden roses or peonies.
Stems are thin, range from about 12 to 24 inches in length and have oval graygreen leaves as well as branchlets with flower buds at several stages.
There are typically five to 10 buds and blooms per stem, and several of the larger
buds should open in arrangements— although they are often lighter in color than the first flowers.
Hues include lavender, blue-violet, purple, pink (light to bright), mauve, rose, "red," salmon/ coral / apricot, light yellow, pale green, cream, white and light
"brown" (beige/ tan) as well as bicolors.
With proper care, Lisianthuses should provide consumers with seven to 14 days of enjoyment. (Individual blooms can last up to seven days, so the vase life includes the opening of some buds.)
These flowers are available year-round..
Remove Lisianthuses from their shipping boxes immediately on their arrival at your facility, and check flower quality. Remove all stem bindings as well as any leaves that would be under water in storage containers. Sleeves may be kept on at this point to protect the flowers, but they should be removed following hydration to allow air to circulate among blooms and stems (see "Care Extras,").
HYDRATION AND NUTRITION
Recut the stems, on an angle, with a clean, sharp blade, removing at least 1 inch of stem.
Immediately after cutting, dip or place the stem ends into a hydration solution, then place them into clean, disinfected containers partially filled with lukewarm (100 F to 110 F) properly proportioned flower-food solution.
Immediately after processing, place Lisianthuses into a floral cooler at 33 F to 35 F and 80 percent to 85 percent relative humidity, and allow them to hydrate for at least two hours before using or selling them.
Lisianthuses' sensitivity to ethylene gas varies by cultivar, but most are at least slightly sensitive. Ethylene gas can reduce vase life and cause premature bud drop. To be safe, ensure that your purchases are treated with an ethylene inhibitor at the grower or during shipping. Also keep them away from sources of ethylene in your facilities, especially fruit and other produce.
Remove blooms as they fade to keep stems and designs looking good and to encourage buds to open.
• Lisianthuses are geotropic (affected by gravity), and their stems will curve if they're not stored perfectly upright in their containers. Leaving these flowers in their sleeves during storage can help prevent stem curving, but it also can restrict air circulation among the blooms, leaves and stems.
• Do not mist these flowers while they're in storage or pack them too tightly in containers because doing so can promote the onset of Botrytis, a fungal disease that appears as gray patches on leaves and flowers.
|| purchasing advice
||• Choose bunches that have stems with at least one open flower and several mature buds.
• Check for bruising and Botrytis (gray mold) on leaves and petals as well as yellowing stems and leaves.
|| fun facts
WHAT’S IN A NAME The genus name Eustoma is derived from the Greek “eu,” meaning good, and “stoma,” meaning mouth, in reference to the beautiful corolla (petals) and throats.
HOME SWEET HOME Lisianthuses are native to the U.S. Great Plains of Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas as well as northern Mexico.
Lisianthus comes from the Greek words “lysis,” meaning dissolution, and “anthos,” meaning flower, and refers to the bitter quality of some medicinal species.
The specific epithet “grandiflorum” means large flowered.
FAMILY MATTERS Eustoma is one of four members of the small Gentianaceae (gentian) family. A close relative in the floriculture world is Exacum (Persian violet).
Download the PDF to view all 28 new varieties.
If you have trouble viewing these PDF (portable document
format) files, download a copy of the free Adobe Reader.
Some information provided
Botanica, by R.G. Turner
Jr. and Ernie Wasson
Chain of Life Network® , www.chainoflife.org
Cut Flowers, by C. Gelein
Cut Flowers of the World by Johannes Maree and Ben-Erik van Wyk
Hortus Third by Liberty Hyde Bailey and Ethel Zoe Bailey
SAF Flower & Plant Care by Terril A. Nell, Ph.D. and Michael S.
Stearn’s Dictionary of Plant Names for Gardeners by William T.