A New Flowering Crabapple Cultivar Named Malus ‘Juan Zhulian’

in HortScience
Authors:
Jie ZengCollege of Forestry, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China; and Co-Innovation Center for Sustainable Forestry in Southern China, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China

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Ting ZhouInstitute of Botany, Jiangsu Province and Chinese Academy of Sciences (Nanjing Botanical Garden Mem. Sun Yat-Sen), Nanjing 210014, China

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Donglin ZhangDepartment of Horticulture, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602

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Wangxiang ZhangCollege of Forestry, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China; Co-Innovation Center for Sustainable Forestry in Southern China, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China; and Yangzhou Crabapple Horticulture Ltd. Co., Yangzhou 225200, China

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Ornamental crabapple, a popular and well-known landscape plant, belongs to the genus Malus of Rosaceae. They are highly valued because of their breathtaking display of resplendent blooms in spring and loaded, colorful fruit in autumn and winter (Fiala, 1994; International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, 2003; Wang et al., 2021). With the proliferation of flower shapes, colors, and sizes, more and more double-flowered germplasms were released into the market, including ‘Xiang He’ (Hu et al., 2021a), ‘Rui Qin’ (Hu et al., 2021b), ‘Yangzhi Yu’ (Jiang et al., 2020), and ‘Zi Dieer’ (Zhou et al., 2020). Today, the breeding of new crabapples has turned to focus on the growth habits and forms of the trees to satisfy the public and private landscapers’ demand for different and distinctive varieties (Chu et al., 2020; Zhang et al., 2021).

‘Juan Zhulian’ has a columnar growth habit and bright-white flowers. The plant was selected and released by Nanjing Forestry University to meet this growing market demand. This cultivar has an obvious fastigiate and compact tree shape. It takes less space for cultivation and requires minimal annual pruning and maintenance. In addition, ‘Juan Zhulian’ showed wide adaptability and pest and disease resistance in Jiangsu Province, China.

Origin

‘Juan Zhulian’ is a new ornamental crabapple cultivar selected by natural hybridization. In Spring 2011, nine flowering Malus crabapple cultivars—Purple Prince, Indian Summer, Red Jade, Harvest Gold, Donald Wyman, Sugar Tyme, Calocarpa, Qian Cengjin, and Cinderella—were cultivated together to select new clones from their open-pollinated seedlings at the station of the National Crabapple Germplasm Genetic Center, Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province, China (lat. 32°42'N, long. 119°55'E). In Autumn 2011, a batch of open-pollinated seeds was collected. In Mar. 2012, 8000 seeds were sown on raised beds at the Center’s nursery. In Spring 2014, thousands of plants had flowered, and an individual plant with white flowers and a fastigiate and compact tree shape was selected for further evaluation. This individual plant was named ‘Juan Zhulian’. After 4 years of successive evaluations (2014–17) and 3 years of budding (2015–17), 50 young plants had flowered and we found that all budded plants kept the exact morphological characteristics of the mother plant, confirming the phenotypic stability of ‘Juan Zhulian’.

Description

The distinguishing characteristics of ‘Juan Zhulian’ are pale-pink full-bodied buds, bright-white flowers, and a fastigiate, compact growth habit. Among existing white crabapple germplasms, ‘Juan Zhulian’ most resembles ‘Donald Wyman’, which is characterized by a shallow cup-shaped corolla with elliptic petals, whereas ‘Juan Zhulian’ has a deep cup-shaped corolla with circular petals. In addition, the relative position of the petal edge is different between the two cultivars: touching in ‘Donald Wyman’ and overlapping in ‘Juan Zhulian’ (Table 1). The specific characteristics of ‘Juan Zhulian’ are as follows (Table 2). With regard to habit, the tree has a columnar growth habit, it reaches ≈2.8 m in height, and it has a 0.5-m spread at 3 years old (Fig. 1A). With regard to flowers, the blooming time (10% open flowers) of ‘Juan Zhulian’ is late March in Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province (lat. 32°42'N, long. 119°55'E). Fully open flowers have an average diameter of 3.8 to 4.2 cm (Fig. 1C), an umbellate inflorescence, and each is composed of four to eight flowers. The color of flowers belongs to the white group [Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) NN155D] (Royal Horticultural Society, 2007). The flower type is a deep cup, the petal is round, and the rachis is densely covered with flowering branches. Surprisingly, the pink buds are as round as pearls, which is another attractive feature (Fig. 1B).

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Phenotypic characteristics of (A) tree habit, (B) buds, (C) flowers, and (D) fruit of Malus ‘Juan Zhulian’.

Citation: HortScience 57, 8; 10.21273/HORTSCI16696-22

Table 1.

Comparison of phenotypic attributes of Malus ‘Donald Wyman’ and Malus ‘Juan Zhulian’.

Table 1.
Table 2.

Phenotypic characteristics of Malus ‘Juan Zhulian’.

Table 2.

With regard to foliage, the new leaves are green, 7.5 to 8.5 cm long, 3.0 to 4.5 cm wide, with a length-to-width ratio of ≈2 and short petioles (2.2–2.6 cm). The edge of the leaf is round with no serration, and the surface is green and semiglossy with anthocyanin coloring to a medium degree.

With regard to fruit, ‘Juan Zhulian’ sets a lot of fruit. The fruit is ellipsoid, with a long pedicel (Fig. 1D). The fruit matures into a brownish color (RHS 52B), and the fruit size is small (vertical diameter, 1.21 cm; horizontal diameter, 1.34 cm), with a weakly glossy exocarp. Sepals are present on some fruit and the fruit persists for about 5 months.

Propagation and Cultivation

The variety likes full sunlight and grows best in well-drained and fertile sandy loam. The main propagation method is grafting, and the season is from September to October. It is suitable for planting in the south of central Inner Mongolia (lat. 40°82'N, long. 115°65'E) to the north of central Fujian Province (lat. 25°96'N, long. 119°52'E).

Availability

Malus ‘Juan Zhulian’ is available through Nanjing Forestry University and Yangzhou Crabapple Horticulture Limited Company (http://flowering-crabapple.njfu.edu.cn).

Literature Cited

  • Chu, W.Y., Fan, J.J. & Zhang, W.X. 2020 Phenological stability of ornamental crabapple and its response to temperature change J. Nanjing For. Univ. 44 5 49 54 https://doi.org/10.3969/j.issn.1000-2006.201903010

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  • Fiala, J.L 1994 Flowering crabapples: The genus Malus 106 273 Timber Press Portland, OR.

  • Hu, D.M., Xu, J.W., Han, Y.J., Dun, X.J., Wang, L.H. & Zhu, S.X. 2021a ‘Xiang He’ flowering crabapple HortScience 56 389 391 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI15654-20

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  • Hu, D.M., Xu, J.W., Hui, W.L., Dun, X.J., Zhu, S.X. & Yang, J. 2021b Seven new crabapple cultivars such as ‘Rui Qin’ J. Nanjing For. Univ. 45 4 238 242 https://doi.org/10.12302/j.issn.1000-2006.202002022

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    • Export Citation
  • International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants 2003 Guidelines for the conduct of tests for distinctness, uniformity and stability [ornamental apple (Malus Mill.)] TG/192/1

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jiang, H., Zhou, T., Fan, J.J., Zhang, D.L., Zhang, L., Sun, Y.Y. & Zhang, W.X. 2020 ‘Yangzhi Yu’: A double-flowered ornamental crabapple HortScience 55 589 590 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI14677-19

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Royal Horticultural Society 2007 RHS colour chart 5th ed. Royal Horticultural Society London, UK.

  • Wang, X.S., Huang, Y.T., Tian, J., Zhang, J., Lu, Y.F., Qin, X.X., Hu, Y.J. & Yao, Y.C. 2021 A rose-red-flowered crabapple ‘Chunmei Donghong’ HortScience 56 860 863 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI15748-21

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    • Export Citation
  • Zhang, L.L., Yin, Y.J., Mao, Y.F., Liu, Y.P., Pang, H.L., Su, X.F., Hu, Y.L. & Shen, X. 2021 ‘Hongyi’: A new columnar ornamental crabapple HortScience 56 1456 1458 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI16064-21

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  • Zhou, T., Jiang, H., Zhang, W.X., Zhang, D.L., Fan, J.J., Zhang, Q.Q., Wang, G.B. & Cao, F.L. 2020 ‘Zi Dieer’ crabapple HortScience 55 272 274 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI14590-19

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Contributor Notes

This project is funded by the Key Research and Development Program of Modern Agriculture in Jiangsu Province (BE2019389).

W.Z. is the corresponding author. E-mail: malus2011@163.com.

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    Fig. 1.

    Phenotypic characteristics of (A) tree habit, (B) buds, (C) flowers, and (D) fruit of Malus ‘Juan Zhulian’.

  • Chu, W.Y., Fan, J.J. & Zhang, W.X. 2020 Phenological stability of ornamental crabapple and its response to temperature change J. Nanjing For. Univ. 44 5 49 54 https://doi.org/10.3969/j.issn.1000-2006.201903010

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fiala, J.L 1994 Flowering crabapples: The genus Malus 106 273 Timber Press Portland, OR.

  • Hu, D.M., Xu, J.W., Han, Y.J., Dun, X.J., Wang, L.H. & Zhu, S.X. 2021a ‘Xiang He’ flowering crabapple HortScience 56 389 391 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI15654-20

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hu, D.M., Xu, J.W., Hui, W.L., Dun, X.J., Zhu, S.X. & Yang, J. 2021b Seven new crabapple cultivars such as ‘Rui Qin’ J. Nanjing For. Univ. 45 4 238 242 https://doi.org/10.12302/j.issn.1000-2006.202002022

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants 2003 Guidelines for the conduct of tests for distinctness, uniformity and stability [ornamental apple (Malus Mill.)] TG/192/1

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jiang, H., Zhou, T., Fan, J.J., Zhang, D.L., Zhang, L., Sun, Y.Y. & Zhang, W.X. 2020 ‘Yangzhi Yu’: A double-flowered ornamental crabapple HortScience 55 589 590 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI14677-19

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Royal Horticultural Society 2007 RHS colour chart 5th ed. Royal Horticultural Society London, UK.

  • Wang, X.S., Huang, Y.T., Tian, J., Zhang, J., Lu, Y.F., Qin, X.X., Hu, Y.J. & Yao, Y.C. 2021 A rose-red-flowered crabapple ‘Chunmei Donghong’ HortScience 56 860 863 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI15748-21

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zhang, L.L., Yin, Y.J., Mao, Y.F., Liu, Y.P., Pang, H.L., Su, X.F., Hu, Y.L. & Shen, X. 2021 ‘Hongyi’: A new columnar ornamental crabapple HortScience 56 1456 1458 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI16064-21

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zhou, T., Jiang, H., Zhang, W.X., Zhang, D.L., Fan, J.J., Zhang, Q.Q., Wang, G.B. & Cao, F.L. 2020 ‘Zi Dieer’ crabapple HortScience 55 272 274 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI14590-19

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
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