Page 5 - Super Floral > March 2014 Issue
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BOTANICAL NAME water; however, if you cut stems under water,
Iris x hollandica
change the water (or flower-food solution) fre- Iris ‘Casablanca’
(EYE-ris hol-LAND-i-kuh)
quently to prevent it from becoming contaminat-
COMMON NAMES ed with bacteria.
Dutch Iris, Fleur-de-lis
HYDRATION AND NUTRITION Immediately after cut-
COLORS Irises are available in a range of blues, ting the stem ends, place the flowers into sterile
purples, yellows and whites. Most blue, purple storage containers partially filled with properly
and white varieties have yellow markings on the proportioned bulb flower food solution prepared
“falls”—the downward-curving “petals”—and with cold nonfluoridated (if possible) water. Cold
some varieties have lighter-colored or whitish- nutrient solution prevents blooms from opening
hued “standards”—the upright “petals.” too quickly while fluoride can cause scorching of Iris ‘Beauregarde’
VASE LIFE Irises have short vase lives in room- leaf tips, inhibit bloom development and open-
temperature environments (usually only two to ing, and decrease vase life.
five days), so sell these flowers within two days Note: Research shows that cut Irises may not
of their arrival in your department. Inform cus- benefit from the nutrients (sugar) in flower-food
tomers of Irises’ short vase life to prevent disap- solutions, but they do benefit from the biocides
pointment. Prolonged refrigerated storage can contained within, which limit the growth of
result in failure of flowers to open as well as even stem-plugging bacteria. In addition, bulb flower
shorter vase life. food contains “replacement” hormones (Irises
Iris ‘Golden Beauty’
AVAILABILITY Peak supplies are available March experience hormone imbalances when they are
through May; however, due to modern technolo- cut from their bulbs) and has a lower concentra-
gy and controlled growing conditions, growers tion of sugar than standard flower foods, which
can produce many varieties year-round. helps prevent leaf yellowing. Therefore, always
use bulb flower food solution in storage and
vase-life extenders arrangement containers.

IMMEDIATE ATTENTION Unpack Irises immediately REFRIGERATION Immediately after processing,
upon their arrival, and remove all stem bindings place cut Irises into a floral cooler, at 35 F to 38
as well as any loose foliage. Rinse stem ends— F with 90 percent humidity, to hydrate for at Iris ‘Purple City’
especially of field-grown flowers—under tepid least two hours before arranging or selling them.
running water to wash away any sand, dirt or Except for design time, keep these flowers refrig-
other debris. erated until they’re sold or delivered.
STEM CUTTING Recut stems with a sharp, sterile DRY STORAGE Most cut Irises are shipped dry in
blade, removing at least 1 inch of stem, to boxes. In an unopened stage, these flowers can
remove dried out ends as well as dirt, debris and be stored dry, at 32 F to 34 F, for eight to 10
bacteria that may have accumulated in the ves- days. Prolonged storage, however, can result in
sels. You may cut stems either in air or under failure of the blooms to open. sf Iris ‘Telstar’
Photos: The Sun Valley Group

fun facts The species name “hollandica” Close relatives include Free- buying tips
refers to the cross-breeding of sia, Crocus, Crocosmia
WHAT’S IN THE NAMES The botan- several Iris species to create the (montbretia), Ixia, Gladiolus n Purchase Irises in the
ical name “Iris” is the Greek Dutch hybrids, most of which and Watsonia. “pencil” stage—closed
word for rainbow, in reference to was done in Holland. buds but with a line of
the wide range of flower colors. HOME SWEET HOME Dutch Irises color showing between
In Greek mythology, Iris was the FAMILY MATTERS Iris is a mem- are hybrids of species that are the two leaf sheaths.
Greek goddess of the rainbow. ber of the Iridaceae family. native to Spain and Morocco.
n Select flowers with stur-
dy, straight stems that are
Super Floral has created this page for the education of store-level employees. uniformly green and not
To download a reprintable PDF, please go to and select “Current Issue.” pale, yellowing or blotchy.
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