Maturity and Quality
Standard statice is harvested fully open, but before the true flowers (small white flowers within the brightly colored bracts) senesce. Hybrid statice cultivars should be harvested when the first flower on each spike is open. Avoid bunches where flowers have yellowing stems and leaves, as well as bunches with obvious fungal growth or wilted flowers. Remove from shipping boxes and re-cool flowers immediately. Also remove stem ties and separate stems to improve air circulation and reduce the likelihood of Botrytis infection.
Grading and Bunching. Quality statice is of the correct maturity, and is free of defects and disease. Standard statice is normally bunched in 25’s; other cultivars are bunched by bunch size. Sleeves help to prevent tangling of the delicate branchlets.
Postharvest Handling and Storage
Statice should be stored, dry, at 0-1°C. Statice intended for long-term storage should be packed in polyethylene-lined cartons and pre-cooled. They may be held for up to 2 weeks in dry storage if the temperature is maintained steady and close to the freezing point.
Statice flowers are sensitive to ethylene, which causes accelerated wilting. In standard statice this effect is not apparent, since the ‘flowers’ are papery bracts surrounding the true flowers. In the hybrid statice cultivars, effective treatments to inhibit the action of ethylene greatly improve flower quality and vase life.
Hybrid statice benefits enormously from pretreatment with STS or 1-MCP, and pulse pre-treatment with a sugar solution containing 10% sugar and 200 ppm Physan-20 for 12 hours. The sucrose present in the preservative extends the life of the individual florets, as well as promotes flower opening resulting in up to 3-fold increases in the longevity of the inflorescences (Burge et al., 1998).
Statice is normally packed in horizontal fiberboard boxes.
Many statice species can be dried and used for years in permanent flower arrangements. Yet, when used as a fresh flower, they may last only a few days before leaf yellowing (on statice only, not German statice) or Botrytis infestation occurs. Storing statice under lights can retard leaf yellowing, but this may be hard to do in commercial practice.
Limonium spp., Goniolimon. A traditional filler flower, the standard statice (Limonium sinuatum) comes in ya range of pastel colors, and is widely used both fresh and dried. Other species of Limonium are sold in the trade as ‘german’, ‘latifolia’, ‘sea foam’ and ‘caspia’ statice. Hybrid Limonium cultivars, grown from tissue culture, have become very popular in recent years. Their vase life is greatly improved by pretreatments to prevent the effects of ethylene and to improve bud opening.