‘Dream of the Butterfly’: A New Iris sanguinea Cultivar

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

Iris sanguinea is an herb perennial in Iridaceae, with both ornamental and medicinal value (Qi and Yang, 1988). It is mainly distributed in Heilongjiang, southern Jiangsu, Jilin, Liaoning, and Inner Mongolia, China; and surrounding countries, including Japan, Korea, Mongolia, and Russia (Zhao et al., 2000). It has specific characteristics including fast growth, extensive management, and simple cultivation and maintenance, and therefore, has a broad prospect of application in landscaping (Dong et al., 2014; Shang and Wang, 2014). Wild resources of I. sanguinea are abundant, but the color is mainly blue violet (Wang et al., 2016). Therefore, the improvement of flower color has become one of the interests in breeding of I. sanguinea. In 2013, a new light violet [Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) 85A] I. sanguinea cultivar Dream of the Butterfly was selected from a cross of I. sanguinea f. albiflora (RHS NN155C) × I. sanguinea (RHS N88A). After 4 years of observation and propagation, this cultivar had stable flower color and other major horticultural traits. Compared with its progenitors I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora, ‘Dream of the Butterfly’ has wider inner and outer perianths and shorter plant height with slenderer leaves.

Origin

In 2005, seeds of blue violet I. sanguinea and white I. sanguinea f. albiflora introduced from Shenyang Botanical Garden of China were planted in a 10 × 5 m field plot in a flower nursery of Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, China. A cross between I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora was made in 2011. The seeds of the progeny were collected in the fall and planted together with their parents in the same nursery of Northeast Forestry University next spring. In 2013, a unique plant with light violet color (inventory number NEFU 2013-04) was selected from the population. Compared with its blue violet male and white female parents, this plant had light violet perianths, purple anthers, and light violet styles. This plant was then separated into several individuals, planted in a new plot, and grew under normal maintenance management. After propagation, field performance was observed from 2015 to 2017. All propagated plants showed stable and consistent phenotype. In 2017, a new cultivar was assigned as ‘Dream of the Butterfly’, and authorized by the American Iris Society (accession no. 17-0986).

Description

‘Dream of the Butterfly’ and its parents were planted at a 50 m2 field plot in Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, for data collection from 2015 to 2017. A total of 90 ‘Dream of the Butterfly’ plants and their parents were arranged in a randomized trial with three replications. For evaluation, 30 plants (10 plants each replication/three replications) were randomly selected for data collection of the following morphological traits: flower color, plant height, leaf length and width, leaf length/width, bract length and width, bract length/width, flower diameter, inner perianth length and width, inner perianth length/width, outer perianth length and width, outer perianth length/width, flowering and fruiting period were evaluated and calculated. The data were analyzed using the software SPSS 21.0 (IBM Armonk, NY) with one-way analysis of variance on Ducan’s method. All references to color numbers were from the RHS color chart (Royal Horticultural Society, 2007) and are designated as RHS numbers.

The plant height of ‘Dream of the Butterfly’ (58.87 cm) is shorter than both parents I. sanguinea (65.96 cm) and I. sanguinea f. albiflora (65.93 cm). The leaf is 50.90 cm long and 0.77 cm wide on average, which are less than those of its parents. But, the ratio of leaf length/width of ‘Dream of the Butterfly’ is greater than that of the parents (Table 1).

Table 1.

Morphological traits of new cultivar Dream of the Butterfly and its parents Iris sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora were collected from 30 plants (10 plants each replication/3 replications) planted in a randomly designed nursery in Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, China, from 2015 to 2017.

Table 1.

The flower size of ‘Dream of the Butterfly’ is smaller than I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora, but the inner and outer perianths are wider than those of its parents. The ratios of length/width of inner and outer perianths are lower than both those of its parents (Table 1). The perianth color of ‘Dream of the Butterfly’ is light violet (RHS 85A), whereas the perianth color of I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora is blue violet (RHS N88A) and white (RHS NN155C), respectively. The top of outer perianths presents light violet and drooped during blooming, with brown veining on yellow background at the base; inner perianths are light violet and stand upward during full blooming (Fig. 1). The anther color of ‘Dream of the Butterfly’ is purple violet (RHS N80A), compared with the dark blue violet anthers in I. sanguinea (RHS N92C) and white anthers in I. sanguinea f. albiflora (RHS 155A). The style color is light violet (RHS 85A), the edge is lighter and close to white, whereas the styles in the male parent are blue violet (RHS N88A) and the female parent are white (RHS NN155C) (Fig. 2).

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

(A) Single flower of ‘Dream of the Butterfly’, (B) Iris sanguinea, and (C) I. sanguinea f. albiflora. The flower color of ‘Dream of the Butterfly’ is light violet, compared with its blue violet male parent I. sanguinea and white female parent I. sanguinea f. albiflora.

Citation: HortScience horts 53, 11; 10.21273/HORTSCI13378-18

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

(A) Anatomical structure of ‘Dream of the Butterfly’, (B) Iris sanguinea, and (C) I. sanguinea f. albiflora. The colors of perianths, anthers and styles are light violet, purple violet, and light violet, respectively, compared with blue violet male parent (I. sanguinea) and white female parent (I. sanguinea f. albiflora).

Citation: HortScience horts 53, 11; 10.21273/HORTSCI13378-18

The flowering time of ‘Dream of the Butterfly’ was from 10 June to 30 June, and fruiting time was from 25 Aug. to 25 Sept., both were later than its parents. The flowering time of male parent I. sanguinea and female parent I. sanguinea f. albiflora was from 5 June to 25 June, and the fruiting time was from 10 Aug. to 20 Sept. respectively.

In conclusion, the differences between ‘Dream of the Butterfly’ and its parents are mainly in the size of the spoon-shaped part of perianths, flower color, flowering time, and plant height. ‘Dream of the Butterfly’ has wider spoon-shaped part of perianths, light violet flower, wider perianths, slenderer leaves, shorter plant height, and later flowering and fruiting time. These unique characters make it an excellent supplement to the diversity of I. sanguinea species for ornamental purposes and good flora material for further Iris breeding.

Availability

Information about plant material and research of ‘Dream of the Butterfly’ 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

  • Dong, R., Zhao, H.X., Gu, D.F. & Wang, W.Q. 2014 A new Iris sanguinea cultivar ‘Zidie’ Acta Hort. Sin. 41 3 607 608

  • Qi, Y.B. & Yang, L.H. 1988 Systemical position of Iris sanguinea Donn ex Hornem Yantai Teachers College J. (Nat. Sci.) 4 2 37 40

  • Royal Horticultural Society 2007 Royal Horticultural Society colour chart. Royal Hort. Soc., London, UK

  • Shang, F.J. & Wang, L. 2014 Biological characteristics of flowering and pollination of Iris sanguinea Pratac. Sci. 31 5 892 897

  • 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’ Acta Hort. Sin. 43 8 1629 1630

  • Zhao, Y.T., Henry, J.N. & Brian, M. 2000 Iridaceae, p. 301. Vol. 24. In: Z.Y. Wu, P.H. Raven, and D.Y. Hong (eds.). Flora of China. Sci. Press and Missouri Botanical Garden, Beijing, China

Contributor Notes

This study was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 31670344).

These authors contributed equally to this work.

Corresponding author. E-mail: wanglinghlj@126.com.

  • View in gallery

    (A) Single flower of ‘Dream of the Butterfly’, (B) Iris sanguinea, and (C) I. sanguinea f. albiflora. The flower color of ‘Dream of the Butterfly’ is light violet, compared with its blue violet male parent I. sanguinea and white female parent I. sanguinea f. albiflora.

  • View in gallery

    (A) Anatomical structure of ‘Dream of the Butterfly’, (B) Iris sanguinea, and (C) I. sanguinea f. albiflora. The colors of perianths, anthers and styles are light violet, purple violet, and light violet, respectively, compared with blue violet male parent (I. sanguinea) and white female parent (I. sanguinea f. albiflora).

  • Dong, R., Zhao, H.X., Gu, D.F. & Wang, W.Q. 2014 A new Iris sanguinea cultivar ‘Zidie’ Acta Hort. Sin. 41 3 607 608

  • Qi, Y.B. & Yang, L.H. 1988 Systemical position of Iris sanguinea Donn ex Hornem Yantai Teachers College J. (Nat. Sci.) 4 2 37 40

  • Royal Horticultural Society 2007 Royal Horticultural Society colour chart. Royal Hort. Soc., London, UK

  • Shang, F.J. & Wang, L. 2014 Biological characteristics of flowering and pollination of Iris sanguinea Pratac. Sci. 31 5 892 897

  • 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’ Acta Hort. Sin. 43 8 1629 1630

  • Zhao, Y.T., Henry, J.N. & Brian, M. 2000 Iridaceae, p. 301. Vol. 24. In: Z.Y. Wu, P.H. Raven, and D.Y. Hong (eds.). Flora of China. Sci. Press and Missouri Botanical Garden, Beijing, China

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