freesia

freesia1These delicate, sweetly scented blooms add an elegant gardeny ambiance to designs of all types.

botanical name
Freesia x hybrida

how to say it
FREE-zhuh, FREE-zhee-uh, FREE-zee-uh, FREE-see-uh

CARE AND HANDLING

See “General Cut Flower Care.” In addition to those steps, Freesias require the following specific care procedures.

STEM CUTTING When recutting Freesia stems prior to placing them into hydration and flower-food solutions, remove at least 1 inch or the entire white portion of the stem.

SPECIAL FOOD AND WATER Immediately after recutting the stems, place Freesias into a nutrient solution formulated especially for bulb flowers, such as Chrysal Clear Bulb Flower Food or Floralife Bulb Food Clear 300. Prepare the bulb-flower-food solution with cold nonfluoridated water. Fluoride can inhibit bloom development and opening and cause flower and leaf tip burn.

COLD STORAGE Keep Freesias in a floral cooler at 33 F to 35 F until sold or delivered (except for design time). Prolonged refrigeration, however, can cause chilling injury and diminish fragrance, so sell within two days of receipt in your store.

ETHYLENE PROTECTION Exposure to ethylene gas can cause Freesia buds and blooms to drop, buds to become malformed or fail to develop, petals to become translucent, and blooms to die more quickly. Therefore, make sure your purchases are treated with an ethylene inhibitor at the grower or during shipping, and protect the flower from sources of ethylene gas in your store, including ripening fruit, decaying flowers and foliage, tobacco smoke, and vehicle exhaust.

buying tips

♦ Purchase cut Freesias when the first bud on each stem is just beginning to open and at least two additional buds are showing color. If Freesias are cut too tight, many buds may not open.

♦ Check inflorescences, stems and leaves for bruising, browning, yellowing, mold and rot.

♦ All varieties of Freesias do not perform equally, so learn the names of the cultivars you purchase, monitor their vase lives and other characteristics, and order only the best-performing varieties in the future.

fun facts

WHAT’S IN A NAME Freesias are named for Friedrich Heinrich Theodor Freese (1795-1876), a German physician who also was a well-known student of botany and who discovered many South African native plants.

FAMILY MATTERS Freesias are members of the Iridaceae (Iris) family and are related to Irises, Crocuses, montbretias (Crocosmias), Gladioli, Ixias and Watsonias, among others.

HOME SWEET HOME Most species of Freesias are native to the Cape Province of South Africa.

SMELL TEST The intensity of these flowers’ fragrance varies considerably among cultivars. Often, yellow, white and cream varieties are more fragrant than other colors.

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