The Philippines will have its new varieties and interspecific hybrids of ornamental plants, particularly Gumamela and Hoya, within the next three years.
The Philippine Council for Agriculture Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) announced that the development of new Gumamela (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) and Hoya are “underway” as it launched two new breeding projects on the two ornamental plants.
The first project focused on the development of new Hibiscus varieties through hybridization and embryo rescue. It was aimed at producing locally-adapted gumamela plants that can bloom well even under hot or tropical conditions, the DOST-PCAARRD said.
“In the Philippines, there is a preference for imported or international varieties of Gumamela because of their large, multi-colored petals. However, these varieties do not bloom well in low and hot areas of the country,” it noted.
Agripina O. Rasco and Dr. Pablito M. Magdalita of the Institute of Plant Breeding of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (IPB-UPLB) were pursuing the project. “At least six new NSIC (National Seed Industry Council)-approved gumamela varieties and two interspecific hybrids are expected to be delivered by 2024,” the Council said.
Meanwhile, the second project focused on varietal development in the country’s native Hoyas.
“Hoya is one of the country’s most outstanding endemic ornamental plants with high commercial value but has been given very limited research attention,” PCAARRD said.
New varieties of Hoya with new color or form, profuse flowering, and longer blooming period were expected to be introduced.
“The team targets five potential varieties with new flower color or form and good blooming habit and at least five propagated materials of each potential variety, among many other outputs,” the PCAARRD said. Maria Luisa D. Guevarra of the IPB-UPLB, is leading the project.
The two projects were part of DOST-PCAARRD’s Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP) for Ornamental Plants.