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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.01528

Phenotypic similarities in flower characteristics between novel winter-hardy hibiscus hybrids and their tropical relatives

 Dariusz P. Malinowski1*, William E. Pinchak1, 2 and Kristin Yanker-Hansen3
  • 1Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, United States
  • 2Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, United States
  • 3Independent researcher, United States

Herbaceous winter-hardy Hibiscus spp. in the section Muenchhusia, also known as rosemallows, are attractive ornamental plants found in temperate environments. These should not be confused with woody winter-hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus syriacus L. and related species) which have also been intensively used as ornamental shrubs. During the past 70 years, breeders have attempted to create winter-hardy hibiscus hybrids with novel flower colors resembling the distantly related tropical Chinese hibiscus, H. rosa-sinensis L. Although direct attempts to hybridize winter-hardy hibiscus with the tropical hibiscus have been unsuccessful, new interspecific herbaceous winter-hardy hibiscus hybrids with a palette of novel flower colors commonly found in tropical hibiscus have been recently introduced. In this review, we outline the historic perspective on interspecific hybridizations in woody and herbaceous winter-hardy hibiscus and discuss breeding approaches to develop herbaceous winter-hardy hibiscus hybrids with novel flower colors and shapes resembling tropical hibiscus cultivars. By creating a broad genetic variability in herbaceous winter-hardy hibiscus hybrids we found a successful approach to increase the range of flower colors and shapes in these species and made them look very like their distant tropical relatives.

Keywords: Hibiscus moscheutos, ornamental plants, Temperate environments, Hibiscus syriacus, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Malvaceae

Received: 11 Aug 2019; Accepted: 01 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Malinowski, Pinchak and Yanker-Hansen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Dariusz P. Malinowski, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, College Station, United States, dmalinow@ag.tamu.edu