‘Mini Fen’: A New Iris sanguinea Cultivar

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  • 1 College of Landscape Architecture, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, China 150040

The genus Iris includes ≈300 species widely distributed in the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, and many of them are attractive ornamentals that are largely used as groundcover plants for gardening and landscaping (Boltenkov et al., 2020). However, the leaves of most Iris species are high and prone to lodging easily, thus affecting their ornamental appearance. Therefore, dwarf Iris plants are desirable and popular. Because dwarf cultivars of some Iris species are relatively rare (Huang et al., 2003), there is a strong demand for dwarfing breeding of

The genus Iris includes ≈300 species widely distributed in the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, and many of them are attractive ornamentals that are largely used as groundcover plants for gardening and landscaping (Boltenkov et al., 2020). However, the leaves of most Iris species are high and prone to lodging easily, thus affecting their ornamental appearance. Therefore, dwarf Iris plants are desirable and popular. Because dwarf cultivars of some Iris species are relatively rare (Huang et al., 2003), there is a strong demand for dwarfing breeding of Iris. ‘Mini Fen’ as an Iris sanguinea cultivar is a dwarf plant type.

I. sanguinea is an important perennial ornamental plant (Yang et al., 2017), and it is widely used as cut flowers and in landscaping of Northeast China because of its unique, large, brightly colored flowers and strong tolerance to drought, pollution, and coldness (Dong et al., 2019; Song et al., 2014). I. sanguinea breeding mainly focuses on unique flower colors and shape, thus leading to the development and release of many new cultivars such as Beautiful Lotus (Wang et al., 2016), Forest Fairy (Kuwantai et al., 2018), Zi Meiren (Chen et al., 2019), NEFU-1 (Qi et al., 2020), and Flower Angel (Fan et al., 2021). In 2016, a new dwarf I. sanguinea cultivar was selected from the hybrids of I. sanguinea and Iris sanguinea f. albiflora and registered as Mini Fen in 2021. ‘Mini Fen’ has a unique dwarf plant type and dark pink [Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) N81A] flowers, which are different from its parents and all the ornamental cultivars of I. sanguinea.

Origin

In 2003, the seeds of I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora were obtained from Shenyang Botanical Garden, Shenyang, China, and planted in the Maoershan experimental forestry nursery of Northeast Forestry University (NEFU) in Harbin, China. Seeds from the crossing of I. sanguinea × I. sanguinea f. albiflora were collected in 2010 and planted in the same nursery in 2011. The seeds produced by selfing of the hybrids were collected in 2013, and they were planted in the same nursery in 2014. In 2016, a unique plant was observed among the progenies that differed in plant height and flower color from its parents. This plant was ≈36 cm in height, which was significantly shorter than that of I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora. It has larger dark pink (RHS N81A) flowers. During the following 3 years, this plant was propagated asexually and grown in the same nursery. Field trials were conducted in 2018 to 2021, and its annual field performance data were collected for statistical analysis. In 2021, the new cultivar was named Mini Fen, and it was officially authorized by The American Iris Society with accession number 21-0389.

Description

From 2018 to 2021, the field performances of ‘Mini Fen’, I. sanguinea, and I. sanguinea f. albiflora were recorded in the experimental field in the nursery of Northeast Forestry University in Harbin, China. The experimental field was arranged in a randomized complete block design with 20 plants per genotype per replicate for three replicates. Thirty plants of each of ‘Mini Fen’, I. sanguinea, and I. sanguinea f. albiflora (10 of the 20 plants × 3 replicates) were randomly selected for data collection during the flowering period. SPSS 22.0 software (Lenovo, Beijing, China) and a two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used for data analysis. All colors were recorded according to the RHS Color Chart.

The traits of ‘Mini Fen’, I. sanguinea, and I. sanguinea f. albiflora are presented in Table 1. The plant height of ‘Mini Fen’ (36.54 ± 0.28 cm) was significantly shorter than that of both I. sanguinea (56.24 ± 0.41 cm) and I. sanguinea f. albiflora (57.29 ± 0.31 cm) (Table 1; Fig. 1A–C). The leaf of ‘Mini Fen’ was significantly shorter and narrower than that of the two parents. The bract length of ‘Mini Fen’ (6.09 ± 0.01 cm) was significantly shorter than that of I. sanguinea (6.32 ± 0.03 cm), whereas the bract width of ‘Mini Fen’ was insignificantly different from that of both parents. ‘Mini Fen’ had three inner perianths, outer perianths, stamens and pistils, which were identical to those of the parents. Interestingly, the flower of ‘Mini Fen’ was 7.44 ± 0.04 cm in diameter, which was significantly larger than that of I. sanguinea (6.69 ± 0.07 cm) and I. sanguinea f. albiflora (6.62 ± 0.04 cm). Similar to its parents, the outer perianth shape and inner perianth shape of ‘Mini Fen’ were ovate and elliptic, respectively. The outer perianths of ‘Mini Fen’ were significantly longer and wider than those of both parents, resulting in significantly larger flowers in ‘Mini Fen’ compared to those of the two parents. The flower bud of ‘Mini Fen’ was dark pink (RHS N81A). The color of the inner perianths of each genotype are the same as its respective outer perianths (Fig. 1D–F). ‘Mini Fen’ had dark pink inner and outer perianths (RHS N81A) with a white (RHS NN155B) center area and light yellow (RHS 8B) base in the outer perianths only (Fig. 1D). However, the inner and outer perianths of I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora were blue violet (RHS N88A) and white (RHS N155C), respectively (Fig. 1E and F). The flowering time and fruiting period of each of the three genotypes were from 5 June to 25 June and from 10 Aug. to 20 Sept., respectively.

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Representative plants and flowers of ‘Mini Fen’ (A and D), I. sanguinea (B and E), and I. sanguinea f. albiflora (C and F).

Citation: HortScience 57, 7; 10.21273/HORTSCI16621-22

Table 1.

Morphological traits of ‘Mini Fen’ and its parents I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora.

Table 1.

In summary, the primary differences between ‘Mini Fen’ and its parents are the plant height and flower colors. ‘Mini Fen’ has a unique short plant stature and dark pink flowers.

Cultivation Techniques

‘Mini Fen’ grows well with 20 cm spacing under sunny conditions and in moist, well-drained soil. It was propagated asexually in May to August. It requires regular irrigation during the growing seasons and weed control.

Habit and Application

‘Mini Fen’ is highly adaptable to the cold regions in North and Northeast China. It can survive winter unprotected in Harbin, China. ‘Mini Fen’ can be used as cut or potted flowers and for gardening and urban landscaping.

Availability

Information about plant material and research of ‘Mini Fen’ can be obtained from Dr. Ling Wang (E-mail: wanglinghlj@126.com) at the College of Landscape Architecture, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, China.

Literature Cited

  • Boltenkov, E., Artyukova, E., Kozyrenko, M., Erst, A. & Trias-Blasi, A. 2020 Iris sanguinea is conspecific with I. sibirica (Iridaceae) according to morphology and plastid DNA sequence data PeerJ 8 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.10088

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chen, X., Liu, N.X., Fan, L.J., Du, Y. & Wang, L. 2019 ‘Zi Meiren’: A new Iris sanguinea cultivar HortScience 54 1435 1436 https://doi.org/10.21273/hortsci13856-19

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dong, X., Liu, X., Jiang, Y. & Yuan, T. 2019 Effect of drought stress on the growth of twenty-four perennials Xibei Linxueyuan Xuebao 34 125 131

  • Fan, L.J., Gao, Y., Hasenstein, K.H. & Wang, L. 2021 ‘Flower Angel’: A new Iris sanguinea cultivar HortScience 56 617 618 https://doi.org/10.21273/hortsci15703-21

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Huang, S., Han, Y., Zhang, Y. & Guo, W. 2003 Breeding dwarf plants of Iris germanica L. through hybridization Nanjing Nongye Daxue Xuebao 26 21 25

  • Kuwantai, A., Liu, Y.J., Wan, Z.Z., Liu, H.Y. & Wang, L. 2018 ‘Forest Fairy’: A new Iris sanguinea cultivar HortScience 53 1222 1223 https://doi.org/10.21273/hortsci13114-18

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Qi, X.Y., Fan, L.J., Gao, Y., Shang, Y., Liu, H.Y. & Wang, L. 2020 ‘NEFU-1’: A new Iris sanguinea cultivar HortScience 55 109 111 https://doi.org/10.21273/hortsci14578-19

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Song, H., Wang, K., Chen, W., He, X., Liu, Z., Huang, Y. & Yu, S. 2014 Removal of pollutants in reservoir by typical hydrophytes: A laboratory simulation study Shengtaixue Zazhi 33 119 124

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wang, L., Xia, D.M., Li, Y.N., Peng, H.M., Chen, H.L. & Fan, L.J. 2016 A new Iris sanguinea cultivar ‘Beautiful Lotus’ Yuan Yi Xue Bao 43 1629 1630

  • Yang, J.L., Thi Kim Quy, H., Lee, B.W., Kim, J. & Oh, W.K. 2017 PTP1B inhibitors from the seeds of Iris sanguinea and their insulin mimetic activities via AMPK and ACC phosphorylation Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 27 5076 5081 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2017.09.031

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Contributor Notes

This study was supported by the Science and Technology Basic Resources Investigation Program of China (2019FY100500), the National Science Foundation (31670344), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2572021DX04), and the Natural Fund Project of Heilongjiang Province (LH2020C044).

H.F., W.Y., R.Z., and Y.D. are joint first authors and contributed equally to this work.

L.W. is the corresponding author. E-mail: wanglinghlj@126.com.

  • View in gallery

    Representative plants and flowers of ‘Mini Fen’ (A and D), I. sanguinea (B and E), and I. sanguinea f. albiflora (C and F).

  • Boltenkov, E., Artyukova, E., Kozyrenko, M., Erst, A. & Trias-Blasi, A. 2020 Iris sanguinea is conspecific with I. sibirica (Iridaceae) according to morphology and plastid DNA sequence data PeerJ 8 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.10088

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chen, X., Liu, N.X., Fan, L.J., Du, Y. & Wang, L. 2019 ‘Zi Meiren’: A new Iris sanguinea cultivar HortScience 54 1435 1436 https://doi.org/10.21273/hortsci13856-19

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dong, X., Liu, X., Jiang, Y. & Yuan, T. 2019 Effect of drought stress on the growth of twenty-four perennials Xibei Linxueyuan Xuebao 34 125 131

  • Fan, L.J., Gao, Y., Hasenstein, K.H. & Wang, L. 2021 ‘Flower Angel’: A new Iris sanguinea cultivar HortScience 56 617 618 https://doi.org/10.21273/hortsci15703-21

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Huang, S., Han, Y., Zhang, Y. & Guo, W. 2003 Breeding dwarf plants of Iris germanica L. through hybridization Nanjing Nongye Daxue Xuebao 26 21 25

  • Kuwantai, A., Liu, Y.J., Wan, Z.Z., Liu, H.Y. & Wang, L. 2018 ‘Forest Fairy’: A new Iris sanguinea cultivar HortScience 53 1222 1223 https://doi.org/10.21273/hortsci13114-18

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Qi, X.Y., Fan, L.J., Gao, Y., Shang, Y., Liu, H.Y. & Wang, L. 2020 ‘NEFU-1’: A new Iris sanguinea cultivar HortScience 55 109 111 https://doi.org/10.21273/hortsci14578-19

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Song, H., Wang, K., Chen, W., He, X., Liu, Z., Huang, Y. & Yu, S. 2014 Removal of pollutants in reservoir by typical hydrophytes: A laboratory simulation study Shengtaixue Zazhi 33 119 124

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wang, L., Xia, D.M., Li, Y.N., Peng, H.M., Chen, H.L. & Fan, L.J. 2016 A new Iris sanguinea cultivar ‘Beautiful Lotus’ Yuan Yi Xue Bao 43 1629 1630

  • Yang, J.L., Thi Kim Quy, H., Lee, B.W., Kim, J. & Oh, W.K. 2017 PTP1B inhibitors from the seeds of Iris sanguinea and their insulin mimetic activities via AMPK and ACC phosphorylation Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 27 5076 5081 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2017.09.031

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
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