Penn State researchers have discovered an extraordinary new flower that lives longer than an ordinary one. Named Elegance Silver by the researchers, the plant could be the Superman of the flower world.
Elegance Silver is a Regal Pelargonium, a very beautiful flower that is used as a flowering houseplant, and belongs to the genus Pelargonium, the same genus as geraniums. It has a glistening white flower with two burgundy feathers on the top two petals. In terms of flower shape and size, Elegance Silver resembles geraniums. The major differences are the palette of flower colors, symmetry of petals and the highly serrated leaves of the regal. "Its unique because of its floral longevity and physiological attributes," said Dr. Richard Craig, professor emeritus, Department of Horticulture at Penn State. This super flower is a result of almost 30 years of plant breeding.
Through hybridization and genetic selection, Craig was able to achieve this unique flower. Hybrids are produced when pollen from one flower is taken and used to pollinate another with different genetic qualities. This leads to the dominant traits of the two parents being passed on to a new plant. Researchers used forceps to extract the pollen from one parent by hand and used it to fertilize another parent. "Its like a roll of the dice," Craig said. "You can only hope for the best when breeding regals. Sometimes youll get lucky and breed the perfect plant, and sometimes the plant you breed will be useless."
A’ndrea Elyse Messer | EurekAlert!
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