Viagra Can Help Keep Your Peonies Erect

Sildenafil citrate, commonly known as the sexual performance drug Viagra, can prolong the life of cut flowers.

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Peonies.  What did you think I wrote?

Viagra contains nitric oxide.  In humans, nitric oxide causes blood vessels to dilate, resulting in a physiological change that’s otherwise… hard… to achieve.   In plants, nitric oxide increases levels of a signaling molecule called cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP).  cGMP plays a critical role in plant stress responses; it helps control the gating of ion channels and regulates gene transcription.

Just 1 mg of Viagra can prolong the life of a vase of flowers by over a week.  (The human dose is 50 mg!)

Seek botanical assistance if you have an erect spiderling (Boerhavia erecta) lasting more than four weeks.

Credit: 

~All credit goes to Lily Hislop!~

If you have an especially juicy plant humor tip you’d like to share, use the “Contact” tab or send an email to planthumorist@gmail.com.

Also, a note: the featured image is a rose, not a peony.

Sources & Further Reading

Meier, S., Madeo, L., Ederli, L, Donaldson, L., Pasqualini, S., Gehring, C.  2009.  Deciphering cGMP signatures and cGMP-dependent pathways in plant defense. Plant Signaling & Behavior 4.4: 307-309.

Siegel-Itzkovich, J.  1999.  Viagra makes flowers stand up straight.  BMJ 319.7205: 274.

 

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