‘Taoyuan No. 3-Spring Red’ and ‘Taoyuan No. 4-Red Glory’, the New Cultivars of Cherry Blossom in Subtropical Area

Authors:
An-Na Wu Shulin Branch Station, Taoyuan District Agricultural Research and Extension Station, Ministry of Agriculture, No. 253, Sec. 3, Jiayuan Road, Shulin, New Taipei City 23854, Taiwan

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Yu-Sen Chang Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 10617, Taiwan

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Chun-Wei Wu Department of Horticulture, HungKuo Delin University of Technology, No.1, Lane 380, Qingyun Road, Tucheng District, New Taipei City 23656, Taiwan

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Cherry blossoms belong to the genus Prunus within the family Rosaceae. There are ∼100 species of indigenous plants, mainly distributed in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, and there are more than 200 cultivated varieties (Obha et al. 2007). For blooming successfully in spring, it is necessary for those deciduous trees to undergo a period of chill beforehand. During the flowering period, the entire tree is devoid of leaves while the flowers blossom profusely on the branches, making it more aesthetically valuable. Cherry blossom viewing holds significant cultural importance in many temperate countries and plays a crucial role in international tourism activities (McClellan 2005). Taiwan is located at the junction of the subtropical and tropical climatic zones in the Northern Hemisphere, with the Tropic of Cancer, at the latitude of 23.5°, passing through the southern regions of Taiwan’s main island. The central and northern regions of Taiwan are characterized by a subtropical climate. According to the Flora of Taiwan (Editorial Committee of the Flora of Taiwan 1993), there are 11 native species of the Prunus genus in Taiwan. Among them, Taiwan cherry (Prunus campanulata Maxim) is distributed in southern China, Ryukyu Islands, and Japan, as well as in broad-leaved forests at high elevations (500–2000 m) throughout Taiwan (Editorial Committee of the Flora of Taiwan 1993).

The native Taiwan cherry, displaying a range of flower colors from light pink to deep purple red, naturally blooms from January to March. Due to the mild winter climate in lower altitude areas of Taiwan, the selection of cherry blossom cultivars for landscape applications has been limited. Seed-propagated seedlings have been widely used for landscape purposes in urban and suburban areas, particularly in low-altitude regions (<500 m) (Newsroom Compilation 2006) in northern Taiwan. Within the population of Taiwan cherry trees, prolonged hybridization has contributed to a significant level of genetic diversity, resulting in individual specimens with variations in flower color, flower morphology, and heat and cold tolerance (Liou 2018). Previous studies and evidence have indicated the essentiality of the chill accumulation during the winter for the budbreak of deciduous woody plants (Arora et al. 2003; Erez et al. 1979). Insufficient chill accumulation has been found to result in incomplete development of floral bud organs (Fadón et al. 2021; Wang et al. 2016; Yamane et al. 2011), as well as a reduction in the germination of dormant buds (Erez and Couvillon 1987; Ferlito et al. 2021). The smaller quantity of flowers or variations in flowering periods among landscape Taiwan cherry trees in the same area was often observed. The new cultivars, Taoyuan No. 3-Spring Red and Taoyuan No. 4-Red Glory, were selected from local races in the central and northern regions of Taiwan. Through single plant selection, line observation, and comparative trial, these two cultivars were selected for their low chilling requirement for earlier flowering habits, good ratio of tree height to width, and high adaptability to local terroir, making them suitable for landscape applications in subtropical areas.

Origin

The program for breeding low-chill cherry blossom cultivars was implemented at Shulin branch station (lat. 121.38408724029468°E, long. 24.944458590734136°N, elevation 40 m) of Taoyuan District Agricultural Research and Extension Station, abbreviated as TYDARES, which is an agricultural experimental research institution situated in the northernmost and highest latitude region of Taiwan. According to meteorological data from the Central Weather Bureau of Taiwan (2023), the average temperature in December from 2009 to 2022 in New Taipei City ranged from 16.2 to 19.9 °C with a mean of 17.6 °C, whereas the average temperature in January ranged from 13.6 to 18.2 °C with a mean of 16.4 °C. To seek native landscape flowers, including Taiwan cherry, that can provide higher landscape benefits in urban areas of subtropical regions, scion cuttings of local races of Taiwan cherry exhibiting excellent flowering performance were collected from suburban areas in north of 23.5° latitude line region and grafted onto 2-year-old seedlings of Taiwan cherry between 2005 and 2007. A total of 596 races were obtained and planted in an observation nursery, where their growth and flowering performances were evaluated, and superior individual plants were selected.

In 2009, among the 596 races, six superior single plants exhibiting excellent flowering were selected. From 5 to 9 Jan of that year, their scion cuttings were grafted onto 3-year-old seedling rootstocks of Taiwan cherry to expedite flowering by reducing the physiological juvenile period. The grafted plants were subsequently transplanted into 42 cm (diameter) × 40 cm (height) planting green bags filled cultivation soil with pH 6.5 and EC 0.22 dS·m−1. Forty plants per line were randomly arranged in an open field trial area for growth of line observation test. In 2010, 12 plants from each of three high-growth vigor lines were removed from planting bag and transplanted in the ground of another open field which the soil was once filled with the previous test for next comparative trial. The important growth characteristics of the plants were investigated, including the peak blooming period, flower color, petal length and width, flowering quantity, and tree type. The dormant period temperature was monitored by data logger (HOBO, UA-002-64), and the chilling requirement by rest completion date model was estimated (Ou and Chen 2000). After a 3-year (2011–13) field comparison and evaluation of the phenotypic traits, two cultivars exhibiting superior performance were selected from the screening process. Finally, after carrying the tests for distinction, uniformity, and stability of new plant varieties from 2014, they were named ‘Taoyuan No. 3-Spring Red’ and ‘Taoyuan No. 4-Red Glory’ in 2017.

Description and Performance

The following color description was based on The Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) color chart (Royal Horticultural Society 2007). The tree type of Cherry blossom ‘Taoyuan No.3-Spring Red’ represents a semiupright growth habit (Fig. 1), with bark that appears as a dark grayish reddish-brown color (RHS 200A). The color of new leaves displays a deep yellow-green color (RHS 144A) with no pubescence on the petiole and abaxial surface of the leaf. The inflorescence is categorized as corymbose, and the calyx is bell-shape. The flowers are single layered, with petal colors ranging from deep purple red (RHS 60C) to light reddish-purple (RHS 69D) (Fig. 2). The tree type and flower morphology performance of ‘Taoyuan No. 4-Red Glory’ resemble that of ‘Taoyuan No. 3-Spring Red’ (Fig. 3); however, there are notable differences, including the new leaves being a moderate yellow green color (RHS 146C) and the petal being a deep red color (RHS 60A) (Fig. 4).

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

The flowering performance of ‘Taoyuan No. 3-Spring Red’ cherry blossom in Taipei district of Taiwan on 29 Jan 2021.

Citation: HortScience 58, 10; 10.21273/HORTSCI17302-23

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

The inflorescences of ‘Taoyuan No. 3-Spring Red’ cherry blossom.

Citation: HortScience 58, 10; 10.21273/HORTSCI17302-23

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

The flowering performance of ‘Taoyuan No. 4-Red’ Glory cherry blossom, in Taipei district of Taiwan on 31 Jan 2021.

Citation: HortScience 58, 10; 10.21273/HORTSCI17302-23

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

The inflorescences of ‘Taoyuan No. 4-Red’ Glory cherry blossom.

Citation: HortScience 58, 10; 10.21273/HORTSCI17302-23

In 2011, after being grafted 2 years of two new cultivars and two control local cultivars were compared for growth characteristics in field as presented in Table 1. ‘Taoyuan No. 4-Red Glory’ reached the peak blooming period earliest from 28 to 31 Jan 2011. ‘Taoyuan No. 3-Spring Red’ followed from 1 to 4 Feb; the Nanzhuang local cultivar and Sanzhi local cultivar had the latest blooming period. The diameter of flower and petal length of two new cultivars were not significantly different. However, the width of petals varied significantly among cultivars, with Taoyuan No. 4-Red Glory being the widest measuring 1.3 cm, followed by Taoyuan No. 3-Spring Red and Sanzhi local cultivar. The narrowest was the Nanzhuang local cultivar at 1.1 cm. The index of flowering quantity of these cultivars indicated that Taoyuan No. 3-Spring Red and Taoyuan No. 4-Red Glory had been evaluated to the highest grades, implying that the two new cultivars have greater quantity of flowers than two local cultivars. The index of tree type of the two new cultivars were comparatively higher than the other two local cultivars, exhibiting a more slender and upright morphology.

Table 1.

The comparison of growth characters of the artificially selected and the local cherry blossom cultivars after grafting in 2011.

Table 1.

In 2012 and 2013, the comparison trials of various cultivars in the third and fourth years after grafting showed the same blooming period order as in 2011 (Tables 2 and 3). Among the tested cultivars, Taoyuan No. 4-Red Glory had the largest flower diameter, followed by the Sanzhi local cultivar and Taoyuan No. 3-Spring Red, whereas the Nanzhuang local cultivar had the smallest flower diameter. The traits of petal length and width were longer and wider in the two new cultivars in 2012 (Table 2). In 2013, the index of tree type of the two new cultivars were lower than that of local cultivars, indicating a broader and more rounded tree type (Table 3). In both 2012 and 2013, the index of flowering quantity in branches showed that ‘Taoyuan No. 3-Spring Red’ and ‘Taoyuan No. 4-Red Glory’ had the highest rating, indicating a higher flowering quantity compared with Nanzhuang and the Sanzhi local cultivar. Additionally, the results of the chilling requirement estimation placed the cultivars in the following order from highest to lowest: Sanzhi local cultivar, Nanzhuang local cultivar, Taoyuan No. 4-Red Glory and Taoyuan No. 3-Spring Red (Tables 2 and 3).

Table 2.

The comparison of growth characters of the selected and the local cherry blossom cultivars after grafting in 2012.

Table 2.
Table 3.

The comparison of growth characters of the selected and the local cherry blossom cultivars after grafting in 2013.

Table 3.

In comparison with temperate regions, the winter relatively warm temperature in urban and suburban of Taiwan. Those imported cherry blossom cultivars from temperate regions, such as Somei Yoshino cherry and Kanzan cherry, have limited adaptability due to their higher chilling requirements for flowering. Consequently, they can only be used in high-altitude mountain landscapes, such as in Alishan (elevation 2215 m), while exhibiting weak growth and an inability to adapt to lower altitude areas. Taiwanese researchers employed the suitable subtropical regions of Taiwan to estimate the chilling requirement of the Wufeng local cultivar of Taiwan cherry, which peak blossom period occurred in mid-February. They determined that the chilling accumulation was 190 chilling hours (Ou and Chen 2002). On the basis of field observations conducted in 2012 and 2013, the new cultivars exhibited relatively early flowering periods compared with the Wufeng local cultivar, which produced smaller diameter and fewer quantity of flower in Shulin branch station of TYDARES. Furthermore, their chilling requirement for completing dormancy was found to be lower. These new cultivars also demonstrated favorable growth in the subtropical climate of New Taipei City. However, further investigation was still required to evaluate the chilling requirements of these two new cultivars in greater detail.

Uses

Taoyuan No. 3-Spring Red and Taoyuan No. 4-Red Glory are cultivars selected from low-altitude regions in subtropical areas. The lower chilling requirement for flowering and naturally bloom earlier, which coincides with the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday. The flowers have a red-purple color, which provides a cheerful color for decorating festive occasions. These two new cultivars exhibit a strong growth advantage in low-altitude regions of subtropical urban and suburban areas, making them suitable for landscape cultivation and development. Additionally, they serve as valuable genetic resources for breeding low-chilling requirement cherry blossoms.

Availability

Taiwan Plant Breeder’s Right with two of new cultivars has been granted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Taiwan, Republic of China. A limited quantity of propagation scion may be available for research purposes only by sending a request to the first author (annawu@tydais.gov.tw).

References Cited

  • Arora R, Rowland LJ, Tanino K. 2003. Induction and release of bud dormancy in woody perennials: A science comes of age. HortScience. 38(5):911921. https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI.38.5.911.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Central Weather Bureau of Taiwan. 2023. Climate statistics. https://www.cwb.gov.tw/V8/C/C/Statistics/monthlydata.html. [accessed 17 Apr 2023].

  • Editorial Committee of the Flora of Taiwan. 1993. Prunus L. Flora of Taiwan (2nd ed). Vol. 3, p 96–104. Taipei, Taiwan. https://tai2.ntu.edu.tw/ebooks/FlTaiwan2nd/3. [accessed 3 Apr 2023].

  • Erez A, Couvillon A, Hendershott CH. 1979. The effect of cycle length on chilling negation by high temperatures in dormant peach leaf buds. J Am Soc Hortic Sci. 104:573576. https://doi.org/10.21273/JASHS.104.4.573.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Erez A, Couvillon GA. 1987. Characterization of the influence of moderate temperatures on rest completion in peach. J Am Soc Hortic Sci. 112:677680. https://doi.org/10.21273/JASHS.112.4.677.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fadón E, Herrera S, Herrero M, Rodrigo J. 2021. Male meiosis in sweet cherry is constrained by the chilling and forcing phases of dormancy. Tree Physiol. 41:619630. https://doi.org/10.1093/treephys/tpaa063.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ferlito F, Di-Guardo M, Allegra M, Nicolosi E, Continella A, La-Malfa S, Gentile A, Distefano G. 2021. Assessment of chilling requirement and threshold temperature of a low chill pear (Pyrus communis L.) germplasm in the Mediterranean area. Horticulturae. 7:45. https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030045.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Liou YD. 2018. Genetic Diversity of Prunus campanulata in Taiwan (Master’s Thesis). Department of Forestry and Natural Resources National Ilan University, Yilan City, Republic of China.

  • McClellan A. 2005. The cherry blossom festival: Sakura celebration. Bunker Hill Publishing, Charlestown, MA, USA.

  • Newsroom Compilation. 2006. A little dictionary of land restoration: What is the definition of “low-altitude mountainous areas”? Environmental Information Center, Taiwan. https://e-info.org.tw/node/3221. [accessed 20 Jul 2023].

  • Ohba H, Kawasaki T, Tanake H. 2007. Flowering cherries of Japan. YAMA-KEI Publishers Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan.

  • Ou SK, Chen CL. 2000. Estimation of the chilling requirement and development of a low-chill model for local peach trees in Taiwan. J. Chinese Soc. Hort. Sci. 46(4):337350.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ou SK, Chen CL. 2002. Chilling requirement for native Prunus campanulate Maxim in Taiwan. Jour. Agric. Res. China. 51(1):2532.

  • Royal Horticultural Society. 2007. The Royal Horticultural Society’s colour chart (5th ed). Royal Hort. Soc., London, UK.

  • Wang L, Zhang L, Ma C, Xu WP, Liu ZR, Zhang CX, Matthew WD, Wang SP. 2016. The effect of hydrogen cyanamide on floral organ development of sweet cherry in a warm region. J Integr Agric. 15(11):25292538. https://doi.org/10.1016/s2095-3119(16)61341-2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yamane H, Ooka T, Jotatsu H, Hosaka Y, Sasaki R, Tao R. 2011. Expressional regulation of PpDAM5 and PpDAM6, peach (Prunus persica) dormancy-associated MADS-box genes, by low temperature and dormancy-breaking reagent treatment. J Expt Bot. 62(10):34813488. https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/err028.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fig. 1.

    The flowering performance of ‘Taoyuan No. 3-Spring Red’ cherry blossom in Taipei district of Taiwan on 29 Jan 2021.

  • Fig. 2.

    The inflorescences of ‘Taoyuan No. 3-Spring Red’ cherry blossom.

  • Fig. 3.

    The flowering performance of ‘Taoyuan No. 4-Red’ Glory cherry blossom, in Taipei district of Taiwan on 31 Jan 2021.

  • Fig. 4.

    The inflorescences of ‘Taoyuan No. 4-Red’ Glory cherry blossom.

  • Arora R, Rowland LJ, Tanino K. 2003. Induction and release of bud dormancy in woody perennials: A science comes of age. HortScience. 38(5):911921. https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI.38.5.911.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Central Weather Bureau of Taiwan. 2023. Climate statistics. https://www.cwb.gov.tw/V8/C/C/Statistics/monthlydata.html. [accessed 17 Apr 2023].

  • Editorial Committee of the Flora of Taiwan. 1993. Prunus L. Flora of Taiwan (2nd ed). Vol. 3, p 96–104. Taipei, Taiwan. https://tai2.ntu.edu.tw/ebooks/FlTaiwan2nd/3. [accessed 3 Apr 2023].

  • Erez A, Couvillon A, Hendershott CH. 1979. The effect of cycle length on chilling negation by high temperatures in dormant peach leaf buds. J Am Soc Hortic Sci. 104:573576. https://doi.org/10.21273/JASHS.104.4.573.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Erez A, Couvillon GA. 1987. Characterization of the influence of moderate temperatures on rest completion in peach. J Am Soc Hortic Sci. 112:677680. https://doi.org/10.21273/JASHS.112.4.677.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fadón E, Herrera S, Herrero M, Rodrigo J. 2021. Male meiosis in sweet cherry is constrained by the chilling and forcing phases of dormancy. Tree Physiol. 41:619630. https://doi.org/10.1093/treephys/tpaa063.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ferlito F, Di-Guardo M, Allegra M, Nicolosi E, Continella A, La-Malfa S, Gentile A, Distefano G. 2021. Assessment of chilling requirement and threshold temperature of a low chill pear (Pyrus communis L.) germplasm in the Mediterranean area. Horticulturae. 7:45. https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030045.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Liou YD. 2018. Genetic Diversity of Prunus campanulata in Taiwan (Master’s Thesis). Department of Forestry and Natural Resources National Ilan University, Yilan City, Republic of China.

  • McClellan A. 2005. The cherry blossom festival: Sakura celebration. Bunker Hill Publishing, Charlestown, MA, USA.

  • Newsroom Compilation. 2006. A little dictionary of land restoration: What is the definition of “low-altitude mountainous areas”? Environmental Information Center, Taiwan. https://e-info.org.tw/node/3221. [accessed 20 Jul 2023].

  • Ohba H, Kawasaki T, Tanake H. 2007. Flowering cherries of Japan. YAMA-KEI Publishers Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan.

  • Ou SK, Chen CL. 2000. Estimation of the chilling requirement and development of a low-chill model for local peach trees in Taiwan. J. Chinese Soc. Hort. Sci. 46(4):337350.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ou SK, Chen CL. 2002. Chilling requirement for native Prunus campanulate Maxim in Taiwan. Jour. Agric. Res. China. 51(1):2532.

  • Royal Horticultural Society. 2007. The Royal Horticultural Society’s colour chart (5th ed). Royal Hort. Soc., London, UK.

  • Wang L, Zhang L, Ma C, Xu WP, Liu ZR, Zhang CX, Matthew WD, Wang SP. 2016. The effect of hydrogen cyanamide on floral organ development of sweet cherry in a warm region. J Integr Agric. 15(11):25292538. https://doi.org/10.1016/s2095-3119(16)61341-2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yamane H, Ooka T, Jotatsu H, Hosaka Y, Sasaki R, Tao R. 2011. Expressional regulation of PpDAM5 and PpDAM6, peach (Prunus persica) dormancy-associated MADS-box genes, by low temperature and dormancy-breaking reagent treatment. J Expt Bot. 62(10):34813488. https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/err028.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
An-Na Wu Shulin Branch Station, Taoyuan District Agricultural Research and Extension Station, Ministry of Agriculture, No. 253, Sec. 3, Jiayuan Road, Shulin, New Taipei City 23854, Taiwan

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Yu-Sen Chang Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 10617, Taiwan

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Chun-Wei Wu Department of Horticulture, HungKuo Delin University of Technology, No.1, Lane 380, Qingyun Road, Tucheng District, New Taipei City 23656, Taiwan

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Contributor Notes

Y.-S.C. is the corresponding author. E-mail: yschang@ntu.edu.tw.

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  • Fig. 1.

    The flowering performance of ‘Taoyuan No. 3-Spring Red’ cherry blossom in Taipei district of Taiwan on 29 Jan 2021.

  • Fig. 2.

    The inflorescences of ‘Taoyuan No. 3-Spring Red’ cherry blossom.

  • Fig. 3.

    The flowering performance of ‘Taoyuan No. 4-Red’ Glory cherry blossom, in Taipei district of Taiwan on 31 Jan 2021.

  • Fig. 4.

    The inflorescences of ‘Taoyuan No. 4-Red’ Glory cherry blossom.

 

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