Alcohol Stunts Plant Growth, But not Its Flowers.

William Miller, the professor of horticulture and the director of Flower Bulb Research Program (apparently there is such a thing) and Erin Finan at Cornell University discovered that liquor will stunt the growth of stems and leaf of paperwhite narcissi, but not their flowers.

Last year, Miller received a call from The New York Times about a reader who had written to the garden editor claiming that gin had prevented some paperwhite narcissi from growing too tall and floppy and asked if it was because of some "essential oil" in the gin.

Intrigued that dilute alcohol might act as a growth retardant, Miller and former Cornell student Erin Finan '05 conducted experiments with ethanol (1, 5, 10 and 25 percent) and "Ziva" paperwhite narcissi (Narcissus tazetta), and later with about a dozen kinds of alcohol, including dry gin, unflavored vodka, whiskey, white rum, gold tequila, mint schnapps, red and white wine and pale lager beer, on paperwhites.

Link (via Nutmeg)


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