Study on pre- and postharvest physiology of water hyacinth [Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms] flowers

W. Imsabai, T. Kam-lar
Water hyacinth [Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms] is an aquatic plant with bluish-purple flowers that spreads rapidly. This research was carried out on the pre- and post-harvest physiology of water hyacinth flowers to evaluate the possibility of using the water hyacinth as a cut flower. Development of the flower, while still on the plant, was observed from flower initiation to senescence. The spikes appeared around 6 pm; all the flowers started to bloom at 8 am, and then wilted around 2 am the next day. The flower spikes were harvested at bud and flower-opening stages, and held in reverse osmosis (RO) water. It was found that their average vase life was 21 and 18 h, respectively. Water hyacinth flowers (opening stage) were fumigated with 0 (air) and 10 µL L‑1 ethylene for 3 h. The results showed that water uptake and fresh weight change of the ethylene-fumigated flowers and their vase life was not different from non-fumigated flowers. Flowers were also held in silver nitrate, 8‑hydroxyquinoline sulfate, gibberellic acid, and thidiazuron solutions. It was found that none of the solutions extended the vase life of water hyacinth flowers. It is concluded that water hyacinth flowers are not sensitive to ethylene, and their vase life is only 1 day. The different postharvest treatments tested did not improve flower vase life. Therefore, at this time, it is unlikely that water hyacinth can be commercialized as a cut flower.
Imsabai, W. and Kam-lar, T. (2019). Study on pre- and postharvest physiology of water hyacinth [Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms] flowers. Acta Hortic. 1240, 21-26
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1240.3
cut flower, ethylene, flower opening, vase life, water hyacinth

Acta Horticulturae