Sapium sebiferum, a perennial deciduous tree in the family Euphorbiaceae, has been cultivated and used in China for more than 1000 years. S. sebiferum is strongly adaptable (exhibiting tolerance to drought, flooding, nutrient-poor soil, salt, and alkaline conditions) and widely distributed in various areas south of the Yellow River Basin (Huang et al., 2018; Institute of Botany and Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1980; Peng et al., 2008; Sui et al., 2021). Sapium trees are distributed in some areas of the United States with a similar latitude range to that of S. sebiferum, commonly known as Chinese tallow, including Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Japan (Bruce et al., 1997; Simberloff and Rejmanek, 2011). S. sebiferum is a multipurpose tree that possesses energy, medicinal compounds, and timber and has high economic value. Because of its tall and tidy canopy and beautiful leaves that turn deep red, purple, or golden in autumn, S. sebiferum has high ornamental value and is widely used in gardens, urban green spaces, and coastal beaches in China (Jin et al., 2014; Li et al., 2020; Qin, 2011).
In nature, two S. sebiferum genotypes occur, the grape type and chicken claw type, with different ecological habits, extensive germplasm variation, and high offspring heterogeneity (Huang et al., 2011; Zhou and Li, 2014). Through mutation breeding at the Jiangsu Academy of Forestry and Zhejiang Academy of Forestry, the cultivars Qiuyan No. 1 and Ziyan have been developed, which have red leaves in autumn and were certified at the provincial level in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Similarly, Zhejiang Senhe Seed Industry Co., Ltd., has bred ‘Huangjinjia’ with yellow (RHS: 153B) (the RHS color chart is widely used as a standard in horticultural color evaluation; Royal Horticultural Society, 2007) leaves in autumn, ‘Hongfeicui’ with red (RHS: 46A) leaves in autumn, and ‘Haibinzijing’ with purple (RHS: 72A) leaves in autumn, which have also been awarded plant cultivar rights (Xu et al., 2021). In addition, four ornamental Sapium cultivars, Metro Candle, Green Hornet, Snow Mountain, and Fresh Summer, have been developed in Japan (Liu et al., 2020). Currently, there are more than 20 new cultivars of S. sebiferum, but its breeding efforts rarely focus on leaf shape or leaf size.
Lianjiu No. 1 is a new cultivar of Sapium sebiferum cultivated by Lianyungang Academy of Agricultural Sciences from seedlings. ‘Lianjiu No. 1’ grows rapidly, producing deep purplish red (RHS: 59B) shoots in the current year, and it has huge leaves, with deep purplish red (RHS: 59B) new leaves. ‘Lianjiu No. 1’ generally enters the leaf senescence period before middle of October at north latitude 30° to 35° of eastern China, when the leaf surface color changes from green to dark red (RHS: 59A). The leaves remain this color until leaf drop, with an ornamental period of ∼25 d. In Dec 2020, Lianjiu No. 1 obtained the national certificate of new plant cultivar protection and was certified by the Jiangsu Provincial Forestry Cultivar Validation Committee.
Bruce, K.A., Cameron, G.N., Harcombe, P.A. & Jubinsky, G. 1997 Introduction, impact on native habitats, and management of a woody invader, the Chinese tallow tree, Sapium sebiferum (L.) Roxb. Nat. Areas J. 17 255 260
Huang, L.I., Dong, X.Y., Liang, Z.H., Dou, Q.Q. & Zhang, M. 2018 Breeding of new varieties of Sapium sebiferum ‘Qiuyan 1’ autumn leaves. For Sci. Technol. Commun. 10 57 59
Huang, X.F., Jin, Y.Q. & Li, D.G. 2011 Geographic variations in seed characters among different provenances of Sapium sebiferum Xinan Linye Daxue Xuebao 31 44 48
Li, Y.G., Shen, F.Q., Xu, Y.Q., Jiang, D.Y. & Liu, X.H. 2020 A new ornamental Triadica sebifera cultivar ‘Hongzi Jiaren’ Yuan Yi Xue Bao 47 3138 3139
Liu, P., Gong, W., Chen, X., Wang, X.J., Xu, R. & Dong, X.Y. 2020 The ornamental value and application of Sapium sebiferum Contemp Hortic. 43 14 90 92
Peng, X.L., Yi, N. & Cheng, T.Y. 2008 Research advances in chemical constituents and pharmacological effects of Sapium sebiferum Zhongguo Yesheng Zhiwu Ziyuan 27 1 2
Sui, D., Xu, Z.Q. & Wang, J.Y. 2021 Physiological response and salt tolerance evaluation of four new Triadica sebifera varieties to salt stress Anhui Nongye Daxue Xuebao 48 6 889 894
Xu, Z.Q., Sui, D.Z., Xie, Y.F. & Wang, J.Y. 2021 Comparison of photosynthetic characteristics of two Triadica sebifera varieties J. Nanjing For. Univ. 45 1 93 100
Zhou, J.X. & Li, B.G. 2014 Genetic variation and excellent provenances’ selection of Sapium sebiferum Gansu Nongye Daxue Xuebao 49 4 110 117