Cut flowers

Dr. David A Starrett dstarret at BIOLOGY.SEMO.EDU
Tue Mar 2 17:34:17 EST 1999

At 08:35 PM 3/2/1999 +0100, you wrote:
>Currently, I am doing a little research on the effect of different
>abiotic influences on the life of a cut flower, in particular the cut
>I have read that ethylene causes damage to flowers (e.g. do not place
>your cut flowers near a banana when it turns yellow from green).
>How does this take place? What causes the plant to die when it contacts
>this gas?

Ethylene triggers senescence.  Minimizing the ethylene will extend shell
life, this is well known in the cut flower industry.  Silver is a good
inhibtor of ethylene, flowers are often sprayed or put in solutions with
silver to extend shelf life.  Ethylene is a plant hormone and is produced
by most plants.  A lot is produced in ripening fruits.  Ethylene hastens
fruit ripening as well as flower senescence.  Sticking a yellow banana in a
paper bag with ripe apple will ripen the banana quicker.

Dave Starrett

*                                                           *
*  Dr. David Starrett                           \           *
*  Biology Department, MS 6200                  /\          *
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