E.Ch. Sytsema-Kalkman
Flowering branches of Syringa vulgaris 'Mme Florent Stepman' are produced during the winter season. From January the vase life of these lilacs decreases and will be short at the end of April. This short vase-life is caused by a reduce in the rate of water uptake coupled with stem plugging. This causes wilting of the racemes and the buds do not open.

The vase-life of the lilacs can only be improved if a special preservative for cut woody branches is used. Because of the presence of sugar in this preservative the water uptake increases and the buds do open.

Measuring the water flow through isolated 3 cm stem segments shows that blockage of the xylem is not caused by micro-organisms in the lower part of the stem, but it occurs higher in the stem. Flow rate varies with segment position, but is minimal at the water/air layer.

A HQS solution in the vase increases flow rate through the stem segments and delays wilting of the racemes.

Sytsema-Kalkman, E.Ch. (1991). POST-HARVEST STUDIES ON SYRINGA VULGARIS.. Acta Hortic. 298, 127-134
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1991.298.13
Syringa, xylem blockage, tyloses, flow rate, stem segments, HQS

Acta Horticulturae