Flower opening and vase life of gladiolus cultivars: the sensitivity to ethylene and the carbohydrate content

Lucas Cavalcante da Costa, Fernando Luiz Finger


Vase life is one of the most important characteristics in the quality of cut flowers. The carbohydrate content of petals from each cultivar can be a decisive factor to vase life of gladiolus flowers. Despite exposure to ethylene does not affect the life of open florets of gladiolus flowers, it may reduce the flower’s commercial life due the occurrence of flower buds abortion. This study thus aimed to evaluate the flower opening and the vase life of gladiolus flowers according to ethylene sensitivity and carbohydrate content of each cultivar. The gladiolus cultivars used in Experiment I were  ‘Amsterdam’, ‘Blue Frost’, ‘Gold Field’, ‘Green Star’, ‘Jester’, ‘Lavender’, ‘Red Beauty’, ‘Rose Supreme’, ‘Traderhorn’, and ‘Verônica’. Stems were stored in airtight chambers and exposed to the ethylene concentrations of 0, 0.1, 1.0, 10, 100, and 1000 μL L−1 for 24 h. Subsequently, flower stem were placed in a test tube with distilled water when were evaluated for percentage of flower opening and vase life. In Experiment II, three cultivars (‘Amsterdam’, ‘Red Beauty’, and ‘Verônica’) were chosen based on the lowest, medium, and highest vase life in Experiment I, respectively. Total soluble sugars, reducing sugars, and starch contents were evaluated in five flower developmental stages. No effect of ethylene on the flower opening or alterations in flower opening between cultivars. The vase life of gladiolus flowers differed between cultivars regardless of ethylene action. ‘Verônica’ and ‘Amsterdam’, which had the highest and lowest vase life, respectively, differed as to the total soluble sugar content. Ethylene does not influence the flower opening or vase life of the gladiolus cultivars studied. In these cultivars, the maintenance of flower opening is attributed to total soluble sugars content, which, in turn, is a major determinant of the vase life.


Gladiolus Grandiflora Hort., Total Soluble Sugars, Flower Opening, Starch.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14295/oh.v22i2.901

ISSN: 2447-536X

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