Flower stages, Gardenia jasminoides Ellis, morphological descriptors, quality criteria.
Objective: To analyze the effect of open field crop management on gardenia flower development
Design/Methodology/Approach: A randomized block design was used with a factorial arrangement of two factors conformed by field management (four levels: M1 = old plant in natural shade; M2 and M3 = old plant in full sun and M4 = mature plant in full sun) and the floral stages (eight levels: tender, lemony, striped, white, star, caracolled, open and yellow). Eight morphological descriptors were measured: flower weight, perianth length, perianth diameter, calyx length, calyx diameter, corolla width, number of sepals, and length of sepals.
Results: The analysis of variance allowed to identify highly significant differences (P ≤ 0.05) in the variables weight, perianth length, calyx length and diameter, number of sepals, and length of sepals for the management-stage interaction. In handling M1 and M2, the caracolled flower reached a weight greater than 2.94 ± 0.08 g with a perianth diameter of 60.66 ± 1.23 mm. The open flower presented the largest corolla width of 37.39 ± 1.07 mm. The white button cataloged from the commercial point of view in the category of buttons, according to weight, perianth diameter, and width of the corolla, presented flower characteristics, thus classifying the floral development in three stages for buttons and five for flowers.
Findings/Conclusions: Crop management with natural shade increases the size of the flowers in terms of weight, perianth diameter, and corolla width. These descriptors can be used as quality criteria when selecting the flower. In addition, the open and caracolled flower can contain the largest reserve of volatile components and, as they are not commercial qualities, it could be used in the extraction of compounds to produce cosmetics.