Xanthoceras sorbifolium Bunge, which belongs to Xanthoceras of Sapindaceae, is one of the few woody, oil-bearing tree species distributed in Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Shanxi, and Hebei Provinces in China. The oil content of X. sorbifolium seeds is very high (55% to 70%) and contains a large number of unsaturated fatty acids (85% to 93%) (Wang et al., 2018). It contains tetracosenoic acid (C24:1), which is indispensable for brain development and maintenance. The oil is extremely valuable for food, cooking, medicine, and biofuel. The leaves of X. sorbifolium can be used to make tea. Furthermore, X. sorbifolium has a large amount of flowers, a long flowering period, and rich flower types with high ornamental value (Li et al., 2019). It also has high adaptability and strong stress resistance. Much attention has been focused on X. sorbifolium because of its high energy, economic value, and greening value (Ma, 2020).
Cultivar breeding of X. sorbifolium has been performed since the mid-1970s. To date, more than 30 novel cultivars have been propagated (Yang, 2019). X. sorbifolium breeding programs aim to improve the crop, thus offering new selections to the market. The cultivars are mainly classified into two types: ornamental type and high-yield type. ‘Yan Xue’ has a long flowering period, abundant flowers, unique flower color, and high stress resistance. The output per mu is ≈1500 to 2500 kg. This variety can be used for both greening and fruit production, and it has high ecological, economic, and medical values.
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