Page 5 - Super Floral > September 2015 Issue
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cut flower


BOTANICAL NAME                                   drated, to protect the blooms and encourage                                    ‘Chantilly Deep Orange’
Antirrhinum majus                                straight flower spikes.
(an-ti-RYE-num MAY-jus)                          PREPARATION FOR PROCESSING Remove any                                                                             Photo: Takii Seed
                                                 foliage from the stems that would be under
COMMON NAME                                      water in storage containers; however, do not      ethylene sensitivity
Snapdragon                                       remove more leaves than necessary because            All snapdragons used to be highly
                                                 doing so can stimulate flower drop.               sensitive to ethylene gas, which
DESCRIPTION                                      STEM CUTTING Recut stem ends, at an angle,        causes their florets to drop. Many of
Snapdragons are spike flowers with clusters      with a sharp, sterile blade, excising at least 1  the newer varieties, however, have
of small florets occurring on the upper          inch from each stem. This will remove dried       been hybridized to be resistant to
portions of leafy stems that typically range     out ends as well as dirt, debris and bacteria     ethylene although the gas can still
from 24 to 36 inches in length. There are        that may have accumulated in the vessels.         cause problems if present in moder-
two main flower types in cut snapdragons:        HYDRATION Immediately after cutting, dip or       ate or high concentrations.
the traditional “dragon jaw” or “mouth”          place stems into a hydration solution to help
type and the “open face” or “butterfly” type.    the flowers take up water.                           Therefore, ensure all your snap-
The traditional dragon jaw type consists of      NUTRITION Following the hydration solu-           dragon purchases are treated with
tubular flowers with upper and lower lips.       tion treatment, place stems into a properly       an ethylene inhibitor at the grow-
When pressure is applied to the sides of a       proportioned flower-food solution prepared        er or during shipping, and keep
bloom, the lower lip drops open, resembling      with cold water. Nutrient solution not only       these flowers away from sources of
an open-jawed mouth. Open-face snapdrag-         improves the opening of snapdragon florets        ethylene (fruit and other produce,
on blooms resemble more traditional open         and increases vase life but also improves the     decaying flowers/foliage, cigarette
bell- or butterfly-shaped florets. (See photo    color of the florets.                             smoke and vehicle exhaust) in your
gallery on Pages 16 and 17.)                     REFRIGERATION Immediately after processing        facility and during delivery.
                                                 snapdragons, place them into a floral cooler,
COLORS                                           at 33 F to 35 F, to hydrate for at least two         This treatment also can reduce
Hues include red, crimson, burgundy, rose,       hours before selling or arranging.                geotropic bending of stems when
pink, magenta, purple, lavender, orange,                                                           they are stored or arranged diago-
coral, salmon, rust, bronze, yellow, white          Note: Without sufficient light, snapdrag-      nally or horizontally (see “Care and
and ivory as well as bicolors.                   on colors can fade dramatically, so leave the     Handling: Care Extra”).
                                                 lights on in the cooler(s) in which you store
VASE LIFE                                        these flowers.                                    buying tips
At the consumer level, vase life is typical-     CARE EXTRA Snapdragons are geotropic (af-
ly five to eight days; it varies by cultivar.    fected by the force of gravity), and the tips     n Purchase snapdragons that have
For maximum consumer satisfaction, sell          of the flower spikes will curve upward if the     one-third to one-half of the bottom
snapdragons within two days of arrival in        stems are laid horizontally or placed at an       florets open and buds at the tips that
your store.                                      angle in containers; therefore always store       are showing color.
                                                 them vertically in tall buckets. Flower spike     n Look for sturdy, straight stems,
AVAILABILITY                                     tips also will curve upward if these flowers      and avoid bunches that have
Cut snapdragons are available year-round         are arranged diagonally or horizontally, at       yellowing foliage.
from both domestic and foreign growers.          any angle. Treatment with an ethylene inhib-      n Also look for newer varieties that
                                                 itor can greatly reduce stem curving.             are less sensitive to ethylene gas;
care and handling                                (See “Ethylene Sensitivity.”)                     check with your favorite supplier to
                                                                                                   find out which those are.
PROMPT ATTENTION Unpack snapdragons
as soon as they arrive at your facility, and
remove any stem bindings. You may leave
sleeves on at this point, until flowers are hy-

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14 / september 2015
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