Sunday, July 25, 2010

What I learned today

First of all, it's really hot. Soul-grabbing hot.

This is Darado (a.k.a. the Luck Dragon) and he's my favorite dog in the world. What's he doing in this picture?He's pushing himself into the floor and making himself as flat as he can get because I just asked him if he wants to go outside. It's that hot.

The second thing I learned today is that Elephant Ears (Colocasia esculenta) aren't great cut flowers. Here are some I cut this morning:What's really interesting is that they have a clear sap that turns the water the color of weak tea. I looked it up, and they are high in oxalic acid; I'm going to assume that's what's causing this reaction.

I was curious to know if there was any way to keep these leaves turgid (I used to grow flowers for wholesale florists in Georgia), so I checked my copy of Specialty Cut Flowers (Allan Armitage) to see if he had any information about it. Nope.

Some flowers have to be handled in a certain way to extend the post-harvest life. This includes searing the cut end with a lighter, plunging in hot water or splitting the stem. I decided to try to seal the ends with a lighter and hot water- it was obvious that they were losing turgidity quickly.And here's what I found. The jar on the top shelf is the original container. I just cut those and put them in regular water. The jar on the bottom left had their stem ends seared with a lighter, closing off the vascular system and holding in the sap. And the stems on the bottom right were put into hot water. I think the water was too hot though cause it made the stems mushy like overcooked asparagus.
The water became a little stained in the two "treatments," but not like the original jar. They didn't wilt as fast either. Next time, I'm going to submerge the stem ends in hot water for 30 seconds, then put into room temperature water.

That's all! Nothing ground-breaking.


  1. Interesting! I have wondered what makes some flowers so quick to wilt.

  2. Last week it hit 118F in Vegas with 30% relative humidity. We haven't seen a temperature below 100F the entire month of July. Looking forward to a balmy 93F this week (or so the weather station promises). -cin

  3. Cindy- I am so excited!!! We are at 100% get ready to sweat!

  4. Alocasia 'Portadora' is one of my favorites for cut arrangements. The Colocasias never hold up well, but I will try the searing techique to see what I get.



Blog Widget by LinkWithin