Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Unique winter-hardy hibiscus has roots with AgriLife Research scientist in Vernon

18.08.2009
He may study grasses by profession, but Texas AgriLife Research forage agronomist Dr. Dariusz Malinowski has a passion for flowers, particularly winter hardy hibiscus.

And it is that passion that has created his latest research project – propagating unique winter-hardy hibiscus.

Malinowski said he's very much a grass and forage researcher, but this falls in line with his master's degree in horticulture.

"I like the hardy hibiscus and have been crossing them for four years," he said. "I started getting crosses that were unique in my yard."

A collaboration of Steve Brown, Texas Foundation Seed Service program director, and Malinowski determined commercialization of the flowers would fit in AgriLife Research's effot to work with non-traditional or under-utilized crops that have value because of drought tolerance.

The hardy hibiscus also is a great candidate because it is a carefree plant. It doesn't have to be watered once it gets established, it is low maintenance and has little disease or insect pressure, he said.

To date, Malinowski has produced about 500 crosses. From that number, he has planted about 150 of them around the Vernon area in yards of fellow researchers and at the Texas Foundation Seed facilities.

Only about 25 percent to 30 percent of those have bloomed so far, but 12 have exceptional qualities, Malinowski said.

"The hardy hibiscus found on the market are primarily white, red and pink and are mostly of the same size and shape," he said. "I'm trying to give them diversity, with some spider-type petals, and some new colors, such as lavender, and combinations of colors."

Brown said this research is really another example of how plant- improvement programs at AgriLife Research extend beyond what most think as conventional crops.

The nursery and greenhouse industry in Texas is a $2 billion industry, Brown said.

The green industry has a $13.5 billion financial impact on the state, according to the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association.

"This research touches not only the producers of agricultural products but most homeowners and consumers throughout the state," Brown said. "We'll be working with some of our corporate programs to look at public/private partnerships as we do with other things."

Malinowski said he has gathered many native hibiscus and already-released cultivars, and he is crossing them to accumulate the traits that he prefers in the plants.

He is cross-pollinating the flowers by hand. If successful, a fruit will develop at the bottom of the stem within three days, he said.

"Now it depends on how fast we can propagate them," Malinowski said. A new cultivar can't be propagated from a seed. The new, promising lines must be propagated from cuttings.

"That's the only way we are able to multiply each unique plant that we have now," Malinowski said. "It's not an easy task. We are experimenting with different variables."

He said being able to do tissue cultures in a lab, as the commercial industry does, would be much faster.

Brown said vegetative propogation is the only way to make sure the new plant looks exactly like the selection that the cutting comes from rather than having a segregating population or differing plants, which occurs when seed is planted from a cross between two different plants.

The hibiscus can basically be grown from San Antonio north to Canada, as long as the required winter period is long enough for them to go dormant after the first frost, Malinowski said. The plants resprout from the root the following spring.

Malinowski said he believes the new crosses will be sold as potted plants and can be planted in yards. They will begin to bloom when the night is short, around late June, and continue flowering all season long until a frost.

He also is trying to develop dwarf plants with huge flowers for patios and smaller gardens.

Brown said it could be three years from the time commercially acceptable selections are made before Malinowski's propagations could be available in a nursery or retail outlet.

Timing for the market will require some greenhouse work, Brown said. Cuttings must be taken in the fall or early spring and put into a greenhouse to increase the numbers. In early spring, rooted plants will need to be exposed to extended day-lengths and elevated temperatures to change the timing of the bloom.

"If we get 60 to 100 mother plants, then at that point we would license it to a commercial greenhouse or nursery to expand it from there," he said.

"Then they will do cuttings and greenhouse day-length adjustments and so forth to multiply the variety to the retail strength needed," Brown said.

He said to target the flowering-plant market in retail and garden stores, they will try to get the plants to bloom in early June, rather than July, "because typically consumers want to see a budding plant, not a picture of what they are buying."

Dr. Dariusz Malinowski | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tamu.edu

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht New insight into why Pierce's disease is so deadly to grapevines
11.06.2018 | University of California - Davis

nachricht Where are Europe’s last primary forests?
29.05.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>