Marguerite daisy (Boston daisy)
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Marguerite daisy (Boston daisy)
- 1 Marguerite daisy (Boston daisy)
Description / Shipment / Storage / Risk factors
Scientific Name and Introduction
Argyranthemum frutescens. The white or yellow flowers of Marguerite daisies are produced year-round outdoors in frost-free areas of California. Borne on a perennial bush, flowers have long been an inexpensive staple for florists, often dip-dyed to provide different colours for special holiday occasions. Their postharvest life is relatively long, but often limited by wilting or yellowing of the foliage. The specific epithet frutescens means bushy.
Quality Characteristics and Criteria
Flowers are considered to be of proper maturity from the time elongating petals are beginning to reflex back from the vertical position until the elongated petals are fully open and the outer ring of stamens ("fuzz") is showing. Marguerites are harvested with shears, and harvesting is an important part of management of the bush-like plants. Flowers are often bunched in the field. The practice of laying finished bunches on the ground after harvest should be discouraged, as it may lead to rotting of flowers and foliage. Quality Marguerites have strong stems, healthy dark green foliage, and several flowers and buds on each stem. Purchase when at least two to three flowers per stem are fully open with no yellow foliage present.
Grading and Bunching
Marguerites are usually bunched in the field, and the bunch will contain flowers of varying maturity and size. The cost of grading flowers in a packing shed precludes this practice in such a low-return crop. Each bunch has 20 stems, or sometimes 10 stems when sold to supermarkets. Quality marguerites have strong stems, healthy dark green foliage, and several flowers and buds on each stem.
Marguerite daisies, like other members of the Asteraceae, are not affected by exposure to moderate concentrations of ethylene.
Research has shown improved performance with flowers that are pulsed overnight at 20ºC with 25 ppm silver nitrate and 0,5% sucrose before storage or transport. Sucrose concentrations above 0,5% can accelerate leaf yellowing and cause leaf injury.
Marguerites may be stored at 0°C to 1ºC for 3 days in water or more than 1 week if dry. If flowers are well cooled, dry storage can be in standard daisy hampers.
Marguerites are normally packed in special "daisy hampers." Flowers are jammed tightly together to increase the number in each package. With present cooling systems, it is almost impossible to cool flowers packed in this way. Poor postharvest temperature management may explain the development of yellow foliage and foliar disease in marguerites.
Water in which Marguerites are held often develops a bad odour. Keep solutions fresh and buckets clean. Remove dirt and debris from stems prior to cutting them. Preservative solutions offer varying degrees of benefit depending on brand. Avoid preservative solutions containing 8-hydroxyquinoline citrate or sulphate (generally ones that turn the water slightly yellow). Lower foliage often turns yellow, which can be accelerated by improper storage or pre-cooling and excessive or ineffective preservative solution. White flowers often are submerged in dye to get pink, green, red and blue colours.
BMT Consolidated Manual on (Dutch) Flower Bulbs, cut flowers/greens and potted plants.