Introduction of Anigozanthos: A promising cut flower for the dryland of the VII Region, Chile

Flavia Schiappacasse1*, Verona Vico1, Paola Yañez1 y Walter Hettich1

The plants of the genus Anigozanthos (kangaroo paw) have a rhizome adaptable to sandy soils, good performance in acidic soils, and tolerance to drought, and thus constitute a promising alternative crop for the coastal area of the VII Region. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the behavior of Anigozanthos cut flowers cultivated in the dryland of the VII Region, in an irrigated field located near Curepto (35°05' S lat, 72° 01' W long). The plants used correspond to Anigozanthos sp. cvs. ‘Big red’ and ‘Yellow’, with red and yellow flowers, respectively. The crop was started with in vitro plants produced in Israel. At arrival they were established in an unheated polyethylene greenhouse. The evaluation was made between October 1999 and July 2000. Flower yield (stems m-2), flower classification (according to length in categories of: > 80, 60 and 40 cm), post-harvest behavior (vase life and solution uptake) and phenology were evaluated. Of the total established plants there was a loss of 3.5% in cv. ‘Big red’ and 2% in cv. ‘Yellow’. The yield of flowers corresponded to 10 stems/plant in ‘Big red’ and 4.5 stems/plant in ‘Yellow’. Regarding the classification of the stems, 41% of cv. ‘Big red’ and 64% of cv. ‘Yellow’ were longer than 80 cm. The flower vase life in both cultivars was approximately eight days, independent of the treatment used. The plants performed well under the conditions that they were cultivated.

Keywords: kangaroo paw, cut flowers, Anigozanthos sp.
1 Universidad de Talca, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Departamento de Horticultura, Casilla 747, Talca, Chile. E-mail: fschiap@utalca.cl *Autor para correpondencia.