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K.V. Peter
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The book  is a classic covering flowers used in decoration of houses, offices, restaurants, hospitals and private places of rest and relaxation. For nature lovers, it is a paradise of colours, forms and shapes. Fragrant flowers, flowers for bouquet making, flowers for essences and bonsai are narrated to the enchantment of students and scholars as well. There are 21 s dealing with general topics in flower trade, standards, markets and global demand and supply. The specific s deal elaborately anthuriums, carnations, china aster, chrysanthemums, gerbera, gladiolus, helicorneas, jasmine, marigold, orchids, roses and tube roses. An exhaustive on new cut flowers narrates recent introductions .The Japanese Bonsai is dealt in exquisite style. Research and development in this sector are separately dealt with. Future prospects, trends and globalised flower marketing are written for use of floriculturists. Modern technology of protected growing of flowers is informative. All the flowers indicated in the book are presented in colour photograph forms as well.

0 Start Pages

Preface The flower industry comprises of  cultivation and trade in cut flowers, traditional flowers, cut foliage and potted plants, bedding plants and dry flowers. Undoubtedly flower production, consumption and trade have grown many folds in recent years. The annual growth potential of floriculture is 25 to 30 % which is many times more than that of cereals or any other agricultural produce. At the same time, competition is also increasing worldwide. Indian floriculture has recently witnessed commendable changes which have transformed it from a hobbyist activity to a commercial enterprise. The policy initiative taken by Government of India has encouraged investment in this sector for both domestic and export markets resulting in advancements in yield and production technologies. Flowers now merit attention for their economic gain as much as for their aesthetic value. In this context consolidated  information about  flowers for trade would be most useful for floriculturists, students and all others interested in floriculture. A sincere attempt has been made by me to gather and include as much relevant information as possible regarding major commercial flowers of our nation. I remember with gratitude Dr.K.V.Peter my most beloved and respected teacher who gave me this opportunity to author the book. Co-operation and assistance rendered to me during the course of preparation of this manuscript by the Faculty of the Department of Pomology and Floriculture,College of Agriculture,Kerala Agricultural University,Vellayani,Trivandrum, Research Associates, Dr. S. Sarada and Dr.S. Geethalekshmy  and my family members also are mentioned thankfully. Thanks are also due to M/s New India Publishing Agency, New Delhi for the publication of this work.

1 Floriculture– Global and Domestic Scenario

Floriculture  is  increasingly  regarded  as  a  viable  diversification  from traditional field crops due to increased per unit returns and increasing habit of “saying it with flowers” during all the occasions. All over the world, the floricultural sector is experiencing rapid changes. Opening up to the world, market  in  the  WTO  regime  paving  way  to  free  movement  of  floricultural products worldwide, globalization and its effect on income generation have all  contributed  to  increase  in  per  capita  consumption  of  flowers  in  most countries. Noticeable  feature  of  global  floriculture  is  the  development  and expansion of floriculture in non-traditional areas. Netherlands, Italy, Germany and  Japan  had  strong  tradition  for  growing  and  consumption  of  flowers. The  concept  of  commercial  floriculture  was perpetuated  across  the  world from those regions. New production centres are developing in Latin America, Africa and also in Asia to meet the demand of consuming countries and also to  expand  domestic  market,  commensuration  with  improved  economic conditions  these countries  provide  highly  qualitative  floricultural  products with low cost price which is finding a favourable place in markets of Western Europe, America and Japan. Emergence of new production centres has made floriculture  more  competitive  and  this  in  turn  is benefiting the  ultimate consumers.

1 - 10 (10 Pages)
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2 Protected Cultivation of Flowers for Trade

Indian floriculture industry is shifting from traditional flowers to cut flowers for export purpose. The liberalized economy has given an impetus to Indian entrepreneurs for establishing export oriented units (EOUs) under controlled climatic conditions. The wide variation in the agro climatic conditions in India permit us to grow various types of tropical and subtropical plants and flowers. Though such plants grow successfully without cover, they fail to meet the export requirements of being seldom blemish free. High quality ornamental plants meant for export should be scientifically grown only in plastic, glass or fiberglass greenhouses, or at least under partial cover. Though initial investment is high in protected cultivation, the products in them will obtain far more attractive prices.

11 - 22 (12 Pages)
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3 Seed Production in Flower Crops

Seed is a vital input for successful flower production and it is considered as the starting material for most bedding plants and many of the cut flowers produced. The production of bedding plants and cut flowers is both capital and labour intensive. In order to optimize production efficiency and maximize profit, it is important for growers to use high quality seeds. Production of seeds of annual flowers has immense scope as an area of diversification in floribusiness. The flower seed industry is international, operating in many countries of the world. Large quantities of flower seeds are required both by developed and developing countries for adding to the beauty of private and large gardens and also for cut flower production. Worldwide, nurseries engaged in production of seeds of seasonal flowers have a booming business. The great diversity of flower seed crops is a fascinating facet of the world seed industry and they are of high value and low volume in contrast to the high volume and low value seeds of cereal seed crops.

23 - 34 (12 Pages)
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4 Micropropagation of Orchids

Orchids belong to family Orchidaceae, which is the most highly evolved among monocotyledons with over 800 genera and 35,000 species and over 74,400 natural and manmade registered hybrids. Orchid is the first horticultural plant cloned by tissue culture methods on a commercial scale (Goh, 1990). Rapid multiplication using tissue culture techniques is an important strategy for preserving the valuable orchid wealth in India. Vegetative propagation through division of rhizomes and separation of offshoots and keikis is very slow. Both these problems can now be successfully alleviated through micropropagation. The technique has revolutionized the orchid industry and now it is possible to multiply unlimited number of desirable clones. Rotor (1949) was the first to have employed tissue culture techniques to multiply Phalaenopsis, and since then micropropagation potential of a variety of monopodial taxa has been successfully tested.

35 - 46 (12 Pages)
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5 Post Harvest Technology of Cut Flowers

A ‘flower’ is an intricate organ composed of different morphological units including sepals, petals, androecium, gynoecium, stem and leaves. These units differ functionally with each other which ultimately decide the longevity of flowers. A cut flower may be defined as flower or an inflorescence containing more than one floral unit in the opened or unopened state which is harvested and marketed for ornamental purposes. Cut flowers in general are highly perishable commodities and highly vulnerable to huge post harvest losses. Once severed from the plant, they are deprived of their natural sources of water and nutrients and they wilt rapidly. It is claimed that 70% of the potential lasting quality of cut flowers is pre-determined at harvest. While post harvest factors influence 30% of the effects nearly 20-80% of the cut flowers are lost due to improper post harvest handling (Salunkhe et al., 1990).

47 - 64 (18 Pages)
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6 Dry Flowers-A Profitable Floriculture Industry

Dry flowers are naturals, dried and preserved with an everlasting value the can be cherished for longer period. According to APEDA investigations, dried flowers accounted for 15% in the total floriculture export during 1988-89 and increased to 64% in 1994-95. Export value of dried plants and planting materials increased from Rs. 109.21 million in 1993-94 to Rs. 364.55 million in 1995-96.   India exports dry flowers to U.K., Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, U.S.A., Japan and Singapore. Dry flower production is labour intensive, provides self-employment and job opportunities for a large number of workers and aids in development of subsidiary industries. The industry has many advantages.

65 - 76 (12 Pages)
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7 Bonsai

Bonsai culture is an important branch of Ornamental horticulture. History of Bonsai is very old dating back to many centuries in China where it originated, as most Chinese arts and from there it spread to Japan and became highly specialized.  In fact, bonsai culture is in the present day more known as Japanese than as a Chinese art.  In Japanese homes, there are plants which are hundreds of years old. This treasured art is passed from generation to generation in Japanese society. The word Bonsai is a combination of two Japanese words, Bon (meaning shallow pan) and Sai (meaning plant) which can be interpreted as ‘Tray planting’.  The idea conveyed is that of a small beautiful tree growing in a container as in nature with all its parts performing their natural functions throughout the times.  The artistic look of plant in a miniature form maintained for many years is the prime criteria.  Bonsais are grown outdoors and are displayed in living room, as and when, needed.  They cannot be treated as house plants.

77 - 84 (8 Pages)
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8 Anthurium

Anthuriums are tropical flowering plants with attractive foliage. These flowers are bewitchingly beautiful with attractive form and long lasting characters making it a favourite choice for flower arrangement and for bouquet making.  Anthurium is a large neotropical genus of 600-800 species belonging to family Araceae. Two flowering species in this genus Anthurium andreanum and Anthurium scherzerianum are extremely fascinating and commercially important.  The flowers of anthurium are popular with flower arrangers because of their bold effect and lasting qualities (Bhatt and Desai, 1989 and Singh, 1995). Together with some of its many hybrids, A. andreanum today forms the basis of a substantial cut flower industry chiefly in Hawaii, where much research is done in its hybridization and cut flower.

85 - 94 (10 Pages)
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9 Carnation

Carnation is one of the important cut flower crops grown throughout the world and occupies prime position because of the attractive colour, shape and good vase life. Due to the excellent keeping quality, wide range of forms, ability to withstand long distant transportation and remarkable ability to rehydrate after continuous shipping, carnation is preferred by growers to roses and chrysanthemums in several flower exporting countries. Although cut carnations are sold in western countries all the year round, they are in particular demand for the Valentines Day, Easter, Mothers Day and Christmas. While standard carnations are in great demand, the miniature types are fast gaining popularity for their potential role in floral arrangement and also as cut flower at comparatively low price. White and pink standard carnations are in the greatest demand followed by red, yellow and bicolour. The liking for a colour depends upon the time or season. The re standard types are preferred to other colours, especially during the Christmas. In contrast in miniatures, the terminal flower bud is pinched to encourage clusters of short-stemmed small flowers. These types are mainly used for flower arrangement. (Bhatt, 1989)

95 - 112 (18 Pages)
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10 China Aster

China aster (Callistephus chinensis) belonging to family Asteracea is a native of China. It is a half hardy annual, erect plant, hispid hairy branches bearing alternate, broadly ovate or triangular ovate, deeply and irregularly toothed leaves. Flowers are solitary, usually blue, lavender rose or white coloured. China aster is one of the most important among garden annuals grown throughout the world. Among annual flowers China aster ranks third next to chrysanthemum and marigold. It is grown by small and marginal farmers in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Maharashtra. Due to its long vase life, China aster is a popular cut flower used in vases and for floral decoration and also for making garlands and venis in Karnataka. Asters are popular as bedding plants and used to fill gap in mixed herbaceous borders. Dwarf cultivars are also suitable for edging and window boxes.

113 - 128 (16 Pages)
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11 Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum (chrysos =golden; anthos = flower) is a popular flower crop of commercial importance known as the “Queen of the East”. It ranks next only to rose among flower crops in the world.

129 - 156 (28 Pages)
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12 Gerbera

Gerbera, commonly known as Transvaal Daisy, Barberton Daisy or African Daisy, is cultivated throughout the world under a wide range of climatic conditions for its attractive flowers. It is highly suitable for beds, borders, pots and rock gardens. The wide range of colour and the attractive shape of flowers suit very well in flower arrangements. The cut blooms have long vase life. Today Gerbera is known as an important commercial flower crop and belongs to the most important plant species in the world, together with the rose, chrysanthemum, carnation and tulip. Gerbera is amongst the ten most important commercially grown flower crops in the world.

157 - 180 (24 Pages)
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13 Gladiolus

Gladiolus is a flower of breathtaking beauty with a wide range of colours, size and form. Its magnificent inflorescence has won for it, a place of pride in gardens and value as a cut flower. Except true blue and green practically all colours are available in gladiolus. Flowers are long lasting and stand transport well. They are widely used in flower arrangements, bouquets and indoor decorations. It is estimated that gladiolus is grown throughout India over on area of 1270 ha (Arora et al. 2002).

181 - 192 (12 Pages)
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14 Heliconia

Heliconias are tropical plants of princely dimensions grown for their attractive foliage and brilliant flower spikes. They are some of the most unusual flora of the tropics. Strikingly elegant flower heads rise from banana like clumps of oval leaves, which are sometimes rather slender and, with a few varieties, extremely large. They are found naturally in the tropical forests world wide and in moderate climates. A popular landscape plant and cut flower in tropical and subtropical areas of the world, heliconias are native to Central and South America, the Caribbean Islands and some of the islands of the South Pacific. Their easy cultivation and spectacular presence have made them favourite garden subjects throughout the world. Heliconias have several common names including lobster’s claw’s, ‘parrot’s flower’, ‘parrot plantain’ and false plantain. Depending on variety, heliconias will range in height from 60 to 700 cm, often with extensive rhizomatous growth. The flower or inflorescence of heliconia is nearly always terminal and may last from several days to several months. They are particularly desirable as cut flowers because of their long lasting characteristics. 

193 - 210 (18 Pages)
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15 Jasmine

Jasmine (Jasminum spp) is one of the oldest fragrant flowers cultivated by man. They are the most common flowers in India gardens. Importance and Uses They are traditionally important flowers not only as fresh flowers but also as source of high grade perfume oil. Mention of jasmine is there in ancient Indian literature like Kamasutra (AD 300-400) and Mahabharatha (500 BC). The odour of jasmine flowers cannot be imitated by any known synthetic chemical or natural isolates, thus giving it a unique status in the perfume world.

211 - 216 (6 Pages)
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16 Marigold

Marigold is one of the easiest annual flowers to cultivate, having wide adaptability. Flowers are attractive, have good keeping quality with a wide spectrum of colour, shape and size. They produce marketable flowers in a short time and are used widely for religious and social functions as well as for garden display.  Importance and Uses  Marigolds are sold as loose flowers, as cut flowers and widely used for various decorations and garland making. They are also excellent landscape plants widely used for bedding purpose, in herbaceous borders and can also be grown in pots. French marigolds, being dwarf, are suitable for hanging baskets, rockeries, edging and window boxes. In fact, marigolds rank next only to jasmine in popularity in South India 

217 - 222 (6 Pages)
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17 Orchids

Orchids are the royalty among flower crops. They exhibit an incredible range of diversity in size, shape and colour of flower. They are valued as cut flowers and potted plants and are the most pampered plants. Orchid flowers are famous for the long lasting characteristics and bewitching beauty. No other plant has probably acquired the status of orchids. They have always been considered as mysterious plants.

223 - 246 (24 Pages)
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18 Rose

Rose the ‘Queen of flower ’is undoubtedly the world’s most favourite and popular romantic flower. It occupies a prestigious position in cut flower industry and as a garden plant. For thousands of years, the rose has been a symbol of love, adoration, innocence and all other virtues. Countries like England adopted rose as their national flower. In India, rose adorned the gardens of not only the rich and the famous, but also the ashramas of the saints. Rose cultivation initially developed with the distillation of rose for essential oil. Today the importance of rose is in its value as a cut flower. It is one of the most important commercial flowers throughout the world. Roses are also used for preparation of rose water and ‘Gulkhand’ 

247 - 266 (20 Pages)
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19 Tuberose

Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) commonly called as Rajanigandha produces waxy, white and fragrant flowers on long spikes which are mostly used as cut flowers for making garlands and extracting essential oil. Among the ornamental bulbous plants, it has great economic potential for cut flower trade and essential oil industry. The predominant characteristics of this crop are its lingering, delightful fragrance and excellent keeping quality.

267 - 276 (10 Pages)
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20 New Cut Flowers

Today, floriculture has transformed into a viable agri-business. Estimated area under flower growing in India is about 65,000 ha. More than two-third of this area is devoted for the production of traditional flowers. Production of cut flowers comes to about 500 million numbers. The interesting aspect is that 80% of Indian exports consist of only roses. Other major cut flowers include gladiolus, tuberose, carnation and orchids. With the emerging trends and constant urge for new innovative products, it is high time that Indian floriculture industry shifts towards new or novelty crops (Singh, 2005).

277 - 292 (16 Pages)
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21 Role of National Agencies in Development of Floriculture

National Horticulture Board Commercial floriculture includes production of cut flowers, foliage plants, bedding plants and growing and forcing bulbs and corms of flowering plants for whole and retail sales. The floriculture industry has become highly specialized. Floriculture industry uses many devices to ensure steady supply of flowers and foliage plants irrespective of the season and minimum loss to industry, because of perishable nature of flowers.

293 - 298 (6 Pages)
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22 End Pages

References Abraham, A. and Vatsala, P., 1981. Introduction to orchids. TBGRI, Thiruvananthapuram, India. Abussamed, K.P. 1999. Regulation of flowering and post harvest behaviour of Anthurium andreanum Linden. MSc (Hort.) thesis, Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur, p.135. Acharya, M.M. and Dashora, U.K. 2004. Response of graded levels of nitrogen and phosphorus on vegetative growth and flowering in African marigold (Tagetes erecta Linn) J. Ornam. Hort. 7 (2) pp.179-183. Adams, R.P. Academic Press Inc., USA, pp. 34-37. Alan, M.A. 2004.  Online plant information: heliconia. http://www. hortcopia. com/heliconia-psittacorum-spathocircinata. Alexe, C. and Amriutei, A.1998. Research on the influence of nutrient reime on keeping quality of Gerbera flowers. Anale Institutul de Cercetri pentru Legumicultur si Floricuture. Vidra, 15:pp.339-345. Altshuler, D.L. 2003.  Flower colour, humming bird pollination and habitat irradiance in four neotropical forests. Biotropica   35: pp.344-355. Ambad, S.N, Banker.M.C, Mulla, A.L., Thakor, N.J. and Takate, R.L. 2001. A new low cost polyhouse for gerbera. Indian Hort. 46 (1): pp.16-17. Ambad, S.N., Banker, M.C., Mulla, A.L., Thakore, N.J. and Takete, R.L.2001. A new low cost polyhouse techinique for gerbera. Indian Hort. 46(4): pp.30-32. Anandamurthy, G.M.1991. Screening of pre-emergence herbicides in tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa Linn.). cv. ‘Double’. M.Sc. (Ag.) in Horticulture. Thesis submitted to University of Agricultural sciences, Bangalore (India). Anderson, L. 1992.  Revision of Heliconia subgen. Tarniostrobus and subgen Heliconia (Musceae-Heliconiodeae). Opra Botanica 111: p.98.

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