‘NEFU-1’: A New Iris sanguinea Cultivar

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  • 1 College of Landscape Architecture, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China
  • 2 Forest Protection Research Institute of Heilongjiang Province, Harbin 150030, China,
  • 3 China Jingye Engineering Corporation Limited, Beijing 100088, China,
  • 4 College of Landscape Architecture, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China

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Iris, an ornamental genus, has more than 260 species that are widely distributed over the Northern Hemisphere (Kossak, 2012). I. sanguinea is native to China, Korea, Russia, Japan, and Mongolia, and it has strong resistance to diseases, pests, and cold (Bi et al., 2011; Fu, 2016; Shang and Wang, 2014). It is a valuable landscape species because of its large brightly colored flowers with a distinctive butterfly-like flower pattern. I. sanguinea has been widely cultivated in many countries (Zhao et al., 2000).

Wild genetic sources of I. sanguinea are abundant, but the flowers are mainly blue violet (RHS N88A) (Wang and Wang, 2017). Flower color has become one of the primary interests in I. sanguinea breeding. To develop new cultivars with unique flower colors, people often make crosses between I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora. I. sanguinea f. albiflora flowers are white. In the past 3 years, breeders have released several I. sanguinea cultivars such as ‘Bandie’ (Wang and Wang, 2017), ‘Forest Fairy’ (Kuwantai et al., 2018), and ‘Dream of the Butterfly’ (Zhao et al., 2018). In 2011, a new I. sanguinea cultivar was selected from the hybrids of I. sanguinea (flower color RHS N88A) × I. sanguinea f. albiflora (flower color RHS N155C) and designated as ‘NEFU-1’ in 2019. Compared with its progenitors, I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora, ‘NEFU-1’ has different colors between the inner perianth and outer perianth. ‘NEFU-1’ has a lilac inner perianth (RHS 84D) and a violet (RHS N87C) outer perianth.

Origin

‘NEFU-1’ is a new cultivar selected from hybrids of I. sanguinea × I. sanguinea f. albiflora. Native I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora plants were planted and grown at the Northeast Forestry University (NEFU) Mao-Er-Shan Experimental Forest Farm experimental nursery in 2003. In 2004, seeds produced through natural crossing were collected from native I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora plants growing in the NEFU Mao-Er-Shan Experimental Forest Farm experimental nursery in Harbin, China. Open-pollinated seeds were harvested in Fall 2006 and planted in Spring 2007 at the Maoershan experimental nursery of NEFU in China. In 2010, among the progenies, a unique plant was observed in the mixed population. The unique plant showed two colors different from those of I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora and distinctive from previous released I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora cultivars. The outer perianths had a white background covered with a violet color (RHS N87C); the color fades from the center to the edges of the perianth. The inner color of the perianths was lilac (RHS 84D) with violet (RHS N87C) veins. The plant was separated into several individuals, and the clones were propagated during the following 5 years at the same research nursery. The plants grew well with regular maintenance and management. By observing its field performance during three successive years (2015–18), a larger number of clone plants with stable and consistent morphological traits (especially flower color) were propagated. In 2019, the new cultivar was officially authorized to be released as ‘NEFU-1’ by The American Iris Society with accession number 19-0166.

Description

From 2015 to 2018, the performance of newly planted ‘NEFU-1’, I. sanguinea, and I. sanguinea f. albiflora were evaluated in field trials at NEFU in Harbin, China. ‘NEFU-1’, I. sanguinea, and I. sanguinea f. albiflora were planted in a 50-m2 nursery area of NEFU for data collection. Ninety plants each of ‘NEFU-1’, I. sanguinea, and I. sanguinea f. albiflora were arranged in a randomized experiment with three replications. A total of 30 plants (10 plants × 3 replications) were randomly assigned to collect data regarding the following morphological characteristics: flower diameter, flower color, plant height, leaf length, leaf width, leaf length/width ratio, bract length, bract width, bract length/width ratio, inner perianth length, inner perianth width, inner perianth length/width ratio, outer perianth length, outer perianth width, outer perianth length/width ratio, flower period, and fruit period. The data were analyzed using SPSS 22.0 software (Lenovo, Beijing, China) and Duncan’s one-way analysis of variance. The color references used are from the Royal Horticultural Society Color Chart (Royal Horticultural Society, 2007) and are designated as RHS.

The flower of ‘NEFU-1’ has three falls and three standards that are similar to that of I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora. Its plant height was 54.55 cm, which was shorter than that of both I. sanguinea (56.08 cm) and I. sanguinea f. albiflora (58.06 cm) (Table 1). Its leaf length was 50.93 cm, which was shorter than that of I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora, but the leaf width was greater than that of I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora, and the leaf length/width ratio was less than that of I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora (Table 1). The bract lengths were shorter than those of I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora, whereas the bract widths were wider than those of I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora. The ‘NEFU-1’ bract length/width ratio was less than that of I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora (Table 1). However, the ‘NEFU-1’ flower diameter was 9.77 cm, which was larger than that of both I. sanguinea (6.45 cm) and I. sanguinea f. albiflora (6.45 cm) (Table 1). The inner and outer perianths are wider than those of I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora, but the inner and outer perianth length/width ratios were less than those of both origins (Table 1).

Table 1.

Morphological traits of the new cultivar ‘NEFU-1’ and I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora were collected from 30 plants (10 plants × 3 replications) planted in a randomly designed nursery in Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, China, from 2015 to 2018.

Table 1.

The ‘NEFU-1’ flowers are very different from those of I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora. The ‘NEFU-1’ flower has different inner and outer perianth colors, which are unique to the previous release of I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora. cultivars. The spoon-shape portion of the outer perianth, when completely drooping in full bloom, has a white background covered with a violet color (RHS N87C), and the violet color fades from the center to the edge. The yellow (RHS 23D) signal is surrounded by a reddish overlay and red (RHS 182A) veins at the base. The spoon-shape portion of the inner perianth droops at an almost 30° angle in full bloom. The color of the inner perianth is lilac (RHS 84D) with violet (RHS N87C) veins. This is in contrast to the inner and outer perianths of I. sanguine, which are blue violet (RHS N88A), and the inner and outer perianths of I. sanguinea f. albiflora, which are white (RHS N155C) (Fig. 1). The color of the ‘NEFU-1’ anthers is similar to that of I. sanguinea (RHS N92C), whereas the color of the anthers of I. sanguinea f. albiflora is white (RHS 155A). The ‘NEFU-1’ styles are lilac (RHS 84D) with a blue violet (RHS 98C) tint to the midrib. This is in contrast to the styles of I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora, which were blue violet (RHS N88A) and white (RHS N155C), respectively. The ‘NEFU-1’ flowers from 5 June to 25 June and fruits from 10 Aug. to 20 Sept., similar to I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora.

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Single flowers of ‘NEFU-1’ (A), I. sanguinea (B), and I. sanguinea f. albiflora (C) show differences in flower size, color, and shape. The flower of ‘NEFU-1’ has two colors, whereas I. sanguinea is blue violet and I. sanguinea f. albiflora is white.

Citation: HortScience horts 55, 1; 10.21273/HORTSCI14578-19

The primary differences between ‘NEFU-1’ and I. sanguinea and I. sanguinea f. albiflora are the flower colors, flower diameters, and morphologies of the perianths. Compared with I. sanguine and I. sanguinea f. albiflora, the inner and outer perianths of ‘NEFU-1’ flowers have different colors, and the entire flower is larger than that of other I. sanguines cultivars. In full bloom, the spoon-shaped portion of the outer perianth completely droops and the spoon-shaped portion of inner perianth droops at an almost 30° angle. Therefore, these unique characteristics make ‘NEFU-1’ not only a valuable addition to the diverse I. sanguine species for ornamental applications but also an excellent source of genetic material for further Iris breeding.

Cultivation Techniques

‘NEFU-1’ is suitable for growing in damp meadows and on sunny pond banks or hillsides. ‘NEFU-1’ is also suited for growth in sandy loam or light clay that is rich in humus and has good permeability for gas and water exchange. It can overwinter outside without protection in Harbin, China. Propagation of ‘NEFU-1’ can be accomplished during spring, summer, or early fall by division. A 40-cm × 40-cm plant spacing will provide for sufficient ventilation and light and aid management.

Habit and Application

‘NEFU-1’ prefers sunny and wet conditions during the growing season. It has good disease resistance and is especially suitable for landscaping. The flowers can be used for cut flowers and has tremendous potential for landscaping throughout northern China.

Availability

Questions concerning ‘NEFU-1’ and the research should be addressed to Dr. Ling Wang (E-mail: wanglinghlj@126.com) at the College of Landscape Architecture of Northeast Forestry University in Harbin, China.

Literature Cited

  • Bi, X.Y., Lou, Q. & Zheng, Y. 2011 Studies on compatibility of interspecific hybridization between Iris lactea Pall. var. chinensis Koidz. and I. sanguinea Hormen Acta Hort. 38 5 109 111

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    • Export Citation
  • Fu, Y. 2016 The preliminary study on coloring mechanism of Iris sanguinea with different flower colors and making technology of three-dimensional drying flowers. Northeast Forestry University

  • Kossak, P. 2012 Secondary metabolites of the choosen genus Iris species Acta Univ. Agr. Silvic. Mendel. Brun. 60 269 280

  • 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

  • Royal Horticultural Society. 2007 Royal Horticultural Society Color Chart Royal Hort. Soc. London, UK

  • Shang, F.J. & Wang, L. 2014 Biological characteristics of flowering and pollination of Iris sanguinea Pratac. Sci. 31 5 109 111

  • Wang, K. & Wang, L. 2017 A new Iris sanguinea cultivar ‘Bandie’ Acta Hort. Sin. Bao 44 S2 109 111

  • Zhao, J.J., Chen, X., Fan, L.J. & Wang, L. 2018 ‘Dream of the Butterfly’: A new Iris sanguinea cultivar HortScience 53 1706 1707

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

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Contributor Notes

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 31670344) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2572018DB02).

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

  • View in gallery

    Single flowers of ‘NEFU-1’ (A), I. sanguinea (B), and I. sanguinea f. albiflora (C) show differences in flower size, color, and shape. The flower of ‘NEFU-1’ has two colors, whereas I. sanguinea is blue violet and I. sanguinea f. albiflora is white.

  • Bi, X.Y., Lou, Q. & Zheng, Y. 2011 Studies on compatibility of interspecific hybridization between Iris lactea Pall. var. chinensis Koidz. and I. sanguinea Hormen Acta Hort. 38 5 109 111

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fu, Y. 2016 The preliminary study on coloring mechanism of Iris sanguinea with different flower colors and making technology of three-dimensional drying flowers. Northeast Forestry University

  • Kossak, P. 2012 Secondary metabolites of the choosen genus Iris species Acta Univ. Agr. Silvic. Mendel. Brun. 60 269 280

  • 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

  • Royal Horticultural Society. 2007 Royal Horticultural Society Color Chart Royal Hort. Soc. London, UK

  • Shang, F.J. & Wang, L. 2014 Biological characteristics of flowering and pollination of Iris sanguinea Pratac. Sci. 31 5 109 111

  • Wang, K. & Wang, L. 2017 A new Iris sanguinea cultivar ‘Bandie’ Acta Hort. Sin. Bao 44 S2 109 111

  • Zhao, J.J., Chen, X., Fan, L.J. & Wang, L. 2018 ‘Dream of the Butterfly’: A new Iris sanguinea cultivar HortScience 53 1706 1707

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

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