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Recommendations for Maintaining Postharvest Quality

Michael S. Reid

Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis

Maturity & Quality


Bouvardia spp. Bouvardia flowers are a relatively recent addition to the florist’s palette. Their bright salmon, red, and white color range and interesting flower form offer interesting design possibilities. The genus is named after Charles Bouvard, 1572-1658, who was physician to Louis XIII and superintendent of the Royal Gardens in Paris.

Quality Indices

Bouvardia flowers are normally harvested with two to three outer flowers open. Purchase when one or two flowers are open on each stem. Avoid flowers that have yellowed foliage, or are showing signs of wilting. If the flowers have been pretreated to prevent the effects of ethylene, there should be little shattering when the flower bunch is shaken.

Maturity & Quality Photos

Title: Quality

Photo Credit: Michael Reid, UC Davis

Grading and Bunching

There are no formal grade standards for Bouvardia, but top quality flowers will be uniform in maturity and color, free of defects, and have good quality foliage and long stems. Flowers are normally bunched with 10 stems and sleeved prior to packing.

Ethylene Sensitivity

Accelerated wilting and abscission result from exposure of Bouvardia flowers to ethylene.


Because of their ethylene sensitivity, Bouvardia flowers should be pre-treated with 1-MCP or STS. Research has shown STS to be the superior pre-treatment because it protects not only the open flowers but also the developing buds from the effects of ethylene. Treatment for 4 to 24 hours, with water containing detergents such as Agral LN or Nonoxynol-8.5 prior to dry storage prevents early wilting of the flowers.

Storage Conditions

Although previous recommendations have been to store Bouvardia at 7-10°F, this species is not chilling sensitive, and therefore should be stored, like most temperate cut flowers, at 0-1°C.


Bouvardia may be packed in horizontal boxes or Proconas.

Special Considerations

Bouvardia exhibits leaf yellowing and is wilt sensitive. In some markets a special preservative formulation is sold that can reduce leaf yellowing. Re-cut stems underwater and use good sanitation procedures to reduce the frequency of wilted flowers. Postharvest performance differs greatly among the many cultivars marketed.


October 2004

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The information in this fact sheet represents our best understanding of the current state of knowledge at the time of the latest update, and does not represent an exhaustive review of all research results. Links to any of these UC Postharvest Technology Center pages are permitted, but no endorsement of the linking site or products mentioned in the linking page is intended or implied by such a link.

How to Cite

Author(s) names. Initial publication or update date (located at the top). Title. Link to the specific Produce Fact Sheet webpage (Accessed date)

Example: Cantwell, M. and T. Suslow. 2002. Lettuce, Crisphead: Recommendations for Maintaining Postharvest Quality. (Accessed January 18, 2014).

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