Vase life comparison of ornamental asparagus species and cultivars

Robert H. Stamps, Diane K. Rock, Annette L. Chandler


The cut foliage industry in Florida started in the 1890s when producers started growing Asparagus setaceus (plumosa "fern"). Since then, a number of additional species and cultivars of ornamental Asparagus have been tried for use as florists' greens. Ten species and cultivars were grown in containers in a shadehouse with 70% light exclusion. Over a seven-year period, stems were periodically harvested for vase life evaluations. After harvest, stems were submerged in water, packed in plastic bags and stored for 2 weeks in corrugated fiberboard boxes held at 4ordm;C (40ordm;F). After storage, stems were held under simulated home/office conditions in glass containers filled with deionized water. Average overall vase life durations ranged from 24.4 days for A. densiflorus 'Myers' to 6.2 days for A. pseudoscaber, and generally broke out into a number of somewhat discrete groupings: A. densiflorus 'Myers' A. africanus, A. setaceus A. falcatus, A. virgatus, A. retrofractus A. densiflorus 'Sprengeri', A. officinalis subsp. prostrata, A. crispus and A. pseudoscaber. The primary symptoms at vase life terminations were chlorosis (yellowing) and cladophyll drop (abscission).


asparagus africanus; asparagus crispus; asparagus densiflorus 'myers'; asparagus densiflorus 'sprengeri'; asparagus falcatus; asparagus officinalis subsp. prostrata; asparagus pseudoscaber; asparagus retrofractus; asparagus setaceus; asparagus virgatus; bamboo "fern"; basket asparagus; foxtail; lace veil; ming "fern"; plumosus; tree "fern"; cut foliage; florists' greens

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283

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