Prunus conradinae ‘Luoshifener’, a Flowering Cherry Cultivar with a Strong Aroma

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Dongyue JiangZhejiang Academy of Forestry, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China 310023

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Xin ShenZhejiang Academy of Forestry, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China 310023

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Bochun ShenHangzhou Landscaping Co., Ltd., Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China 310020

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Prunus conradinae (Koehne) Yu et Li (Amygdaloideae, Rosaceae), a wild flowering cherry endemic to Central China, is an elegant garden tree with high ornamental value because of its beautiful, luxuriant, bright, and colorful flowers (Yu and Li 1986). It is usually distributed in the forest along ditches at an altitude of 500 to 2100 m. It flowers with white or pink blossoms first from March to April, then spreads its leaves. Because of the ease of crossing with species in the subgenus Cerasus, P. conradinae has rich and diverse morphological variations (Shi et al. 2013).

In recent years, some new cultivars of P. conradinae were developed with unique petal colors and flower shapes, such as P. conradinae ‘Longyun’, P. conradinae ‘Chujin’ (Lura and Whittemore 2021; Dong et al. 2020), and more. In 2021, a new variety—‘Luoshifener’—which originated from a wild population of P. conradinae, was authorized by the State of Forestry and Grassland Administration of China (No. 20210173) because of its luxuriant flowers and unique aroma. Compared with the previous varieties of P. conradinae, ‘Luoshifener’ has a larger number of flowers, with four to six small flowers per inflorescence, and 15 to 20 inflorescences on a 20-cm-long branch (Fig. 1A). Its flowers have a unique, strong aroma that smells like a kind of food named snail powder native to Liuzhou City, Guangxi Province, China.

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Morphological characteristics of (A) ‘Luoshifener’ plant in Qingshanhu garden center, Zhejiang Province, in Mar 2018, (B) ‘Luoshifener’ flowers in Hubei Province in Mar 2014, (C) ‘Longyun’ flowers in Zhejiang Province in Mar 2019, and (D) P. conradinae flowers in Zhejiang Province in Mar 2018.

Citation: HortScience 57, 11; 10.21273/HORTSCI16663-22

Origins

In Mar 2014, ‘Luoshifener’ was found to be an excellent ornamental plant of P. conradinae in Jixing village, Longfeng Township, Enshi City, Hubei Province, China (lat. 30°24'17"N, long. 109°33'17"E; 780 m above sea level). It was observed that this plant has distinct characteristics, including a large number of small flowers clustered around the branches with their unique, strong fragrance. The shoots were collected for cold storage in Dec 2015. In Feb 2016, the scions were grafted using the splice grafting method and were propagated in Qingshanhu garden center, Lin’an District, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, China (lat. 30°13'24"N, long. 119°30'03"E; 140 m above sea level). In total, there were 140 grafted plantlets obtained. In 2017, rooted cutting propagation was carried out, and 100 plantlets were obtained. In 2018, another 20 grafted plantlets were produced. All the plantlets displayed the same genetic characteristics as the parent tree, based on observations over 3 consecutive years from 2019 to 2021.

Description

‘Longyun’ and original plants of P. conradinae were compared with ‘Luoshifener’ based on their morphological characteristics (Table 1). In Feb 2016, ‘Luoshifener’, P. conradinae, and ‘Longyun’ were planted in the breeding nursery of Qingshanhu garden center. A complete random block design was applied with three blocks. Each block as a random effect was arranged with 30 replicates of each clone, with a row-to-row spacing of 2 m; Prunus campanulata was placed as protective rows between blocks. The plants in blocks were subjected to the same water and fertilizer management, with fertilizing twice a year in spring and autumn: a quick-release fertilizer (10N–4.4P–8.3K) after flowering and a slow-release fertilizer (16N–7P–13.3K) before winter. Morphological characteristics were observed for 4 consecutive years, from 2016 to 2019, and included leaf length, leaf width, leaf length/width, petiole length, corolla diameter, number of flowers per inflorescence, floral density (measured as the number of inflorescences on a 20-cm branch), peduncle length, calyx tube length, calyx tube shape, corolla shape, and fragrance.

Table 1.

Morphological differences of 3-year-old seedlings among Prunus conradinae ‘Luoshifener’, P. conradinae ‘Longyun’, and P. conradinae (Qingshanhu garden center, Lin’an District, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, China).

Table 1.

Habit and branching.

‘Luoshifener’ is a small tree with an average height of 8 m and an open posture in the mature plant. The bark is grayish brown and is cracked transversely, with the lenticels arranged horizontally. The trunk is shiny and the branchlets are grayish brown with green and sparsely hairy twigs. The tree has a medium branching ability.

Flowering.

The inflorescences of ‘Luoshifener’ are umbel, composed of four to six flowers per umbel (Fig. 1B). The peduncles are green and 12 to 15 mm long. The petals are white (RHS N155D; Royal Horticultural Society, 2007) and oval shaped, and the apices are bifid. The corollas are shaped like a shallow cup and are 1.7 to 2.1 cm in diameter. There are 35 to 41 stamens with white filaments, of which the anthers are almost at the same level as the stigma. The calyx tubes are red-green, with a wide bell shape, and glabrous, and are 3.5- to 4.5-mm long. The sepals are flat, red-green, and ovate–triangular, with an obtuse apex and sparse teeth. The flowering period is early and mid-March in Zhejiang Province. Compared with ‘Longyun’ (Fig. 1C) and P. conradinae (Fig. 1D), there are significant differences in the corolla diameter, peduncle length, calyx tube length, number of flowers per inflorescence, number of inflorescences on a 20-cm branch, calyx tube shape, corolla shape, and fragrance.

Leaves.

Adult and juvenile leaves are green and yellow-green, respectively, and their back side is light green and glabrous with 7 to 10 pairs of lateral veins. The leaves are ovate–elliptic, 7.3 to 9.0 cm long, and 2.7 to 4.0 cm wide, with an acuminate apex and wedge-shaped base. The leaf margin is double serrated, and the apex of the lobes is obtusely rounded without glands. The petiole is yellow-green, 9 to 10 mm long, glabrous, with two glands on the upper part. The stipules are linear, less divergent, and shorter than petioles, with gland teeth on the sides.

Cultivation and Use

‘Luoshifener’ is a sun-loving plant and is adaptable to cold and drought. Splice grafting can be used in spring and autumn, and perennial seedings such as P. campanulata, Prunus serrulata, and Prunus pseudocerasus ‘Daqingye’ can be selected as rootstocks. The grafting survival rate is more than 80%. The planting soil should be loose, fertile, and acidic or slightly acidic. Fertilizer was applied twice a year, including quick-release fertilizer (10N–4.4P–8.3K) after flowering and slow-release fertilizer (16N–7P–13.3K) before winter. Pruning and reshaping should be done before spring budbreak or after flowering in early spring, and leggy branches, diseased and weak branches, and rootstock sprouting branches should be cut off (Mao et al. 2022).

‘Luoshifener’ is suitable for garden plant landscaping and land greening, with an average height of 8 m and a 4 × 4-m tree crown seen in the mature plant. Because the 1-year-old grafted plant is full of flowers on the branches, it is desirable as cut flowers and indoor potted ornamental flowers.

Availability

The owners of ‘Luoshifener’ are Zhejiang Academy of Forestry (Hangzhou, China) and Hangzhou Landscaping Co., Ltd (Hangzhou, China). ‘Luoshifener’ is available to Qingshanhu garden center in Hangzhou. Contact Xin Shen (e-mail: shenxinjdy@126.com) for inquiries.

Literature Cited

  • Dong, J.-J., Wang, Y., Si, J.-P., Peng, Z.-Q., Dong, P., Yang, H., Chen, J., Li, M., Wang, X.-Y. & Yi, X.-G. 2020 Cerasus conradinae ‘Longyun’: A new cherry blossom cultivar J. Nanjing Fore. Univ. 44 236

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  • Lura, S.B. & Whittemore, A.T. 2021 International registration of cultivar names for unassigned woody genera: Dec. 2016 to January 2021 HortScience 56 995 1000 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI15914-21

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  • Mao, Y.-F., Yin, Y.-J., Cui, X.-L., Wang, H.-Y., Su, X.-F., Zhang, L.-L., Qin, X., Liu, Y.-B., Hu, Y.-L. & Shen, X. 2022 Prunus davidiana ‘Qingtian’ HortScience 57 441 442 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI16357-21

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  • Royal Horticultural Society 2007 Royal Horticultural Society colour chart Royal Horticultural Society London, UK

  • Shi, S., Li, J.-L., Sun, J.-H., Yu, J. & Zhou, S.-L. 2013 Phylogeny and classification of Prunus sensu lato (Rosaceae) J. Integr. Plant Biol. 55 1069 1079 https://doi.org/10.1111/jipb.12095

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  • Yu, D.-J. & Li, C.-L. 1986 Cerasus China Flora. 38 41 87

Contributor Notes

X.S. is the corresponding author. E-mail: shen.gibgas@gmail.com.

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    Fig. 1.

    Morphological characteristics of (A) ‘Luoshifener’ plant in Qingshanhu garden center, Zhejiang Province, in Mar 2018, (B) ‘Luoshifener’ flowers in Hubei Province in Mar 2014, (C) ‘Longyun’ flowers in Zhejiang Province in Mar 2019, and (D) P. conradinae flowers in Zhejiang Province in Mar 2018.

  • Dong, J.-J., Wang, Y., Si, J.-P., Peng, Z.-Q., Dong, P., Yang, H., Chen, J., Li, M., Wang, X.-Y. & Yi, X.-G. 2020 Cerasus conradinae ‘Longyun’: A new cherry blossom cultivar J. Nanjing Fore. Univ. 44 236

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lura, S.B. & Whittemore, A.T. 2021 International registration of cultivar names for unassigned woody genera: Dec. 2016 to January 2021 HortScience 56 995 1000 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI15914-21

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mao, Y.-F., Yin, Y.-J., Cui, X.-L., Wang, H.-Y., Su, X.-F., Zhang, L.-L., Qin, X., Liu, Y.-B., Hu, Y.-L. & Shen, X. 2022 Prunus davidiana ‘Qingtian’ HortScience 57 441 442 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI16357-21

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Royal Horticultural Society 2007 Royal Horticultural Society colour chart Royal Horticultural Society London, UK

  • Shi, S., Li, J.-L., Sun, J.-H., Yu, J. & Zhou, S.-L. 2013 Phylogeny and classification of Prunus sensu lato (Rosaceae) J. Integr. Plant Biol. 55 1069 1079 https://doi.org/10.1111/jipb.12095

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yu, D.-J. & Li, C.-L. 1986 Cerasus China Flora. 38 41 87

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