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IUPAC name 2-chloroethyl phosphonic acid
Other names Bromeflor
Molecular formula C2H6ClO3P
Molar mass 144.49 g/mol
CAS number [16672-87-0]
Bulk properties
Density 1.58 g/cm³
Solubility Water: rapid
Melting point 74°C (347.15 K)
Hazards Corrosive

Ethephon is the trade name of a plant growth regulator (basic manufacturer Rhone-Poulenc). Upon metabolism by the plant, it is converted into ethylene, a potent regulator of plant growth and maturity. It is often used on wheat, coffee, tobacco, cotton and rice in order to help the plant's fruit reach maturity more quickly. In cotton, which initiates fruiting over a period of several weeks, ethephon is used to make all bolls open simultaneously in order to enhance harvest efficiency.

Although many environmental groups worry about toxicity resulting from use of growth hormones and fertilizers, the toxicity of Ethephon is actually very low[2], and any Ethephon used on the plant material is converted very quickly to ethylene[1].


  1. "1994 Joint meeting of the FAO panel of experts on pesticide residues in food and the environment." UN Food and Agriculture Organization. 1994.
  2. "Pesticide Information Profiles: Ethephon." Extension Toxicology Net. [1]. Sept 1995.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ethephon". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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