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Zhanao Deng, Brent K. Harbaugh, and Natalia A. Peres

Caladiums (Caladium ×hortulanum Birdsey, Araceae Juss.) are commonly grown in pots, hanging baskets, and other container types, or planted in the landscape as accent and border plants (Evans et al., 1992). They are valued for a wide array of leaf colors, coloration patterns, and shapes. The majority of commercially available caladium plants are forced from tubers. Florida growers supply the great majority of the caladium tubers used in the United States and in the world. Frequent introduction of new cultivars is important to both the Florida tuber-producing industry and landscape and greenhouse/nursery industries. New

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Zhanao Deng and Brent K. Harbaugh

Cultivated caladiums (Caladium ×hortulanum Birdsey) are valued for their bright colorful leaves (Evans et al., 1992). They can be broadly classified into three groups based on leaf shape: fancy, lance, and strap (Deng and Harbaugh, 2006; Wilfret, 1986). Fancy-leaved caladiums have heart-shaped leaves with three main veins, petiole attachment peltate, and they have two large basal lobes. Strap-leaved caladiums have narrow, linear leaves with one main vein and no obvious basal lobes. Lance leaves are intermediate between fancy and strap types with leaf blades that are broad sagittate to cordate–lanceolate.

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Zhanao Deng, Brent K. Harbaugh, and Natalia A. Peres

Caladiums (Caladium ×hortulanum Birdsey, Araceae Juss.) are ornamental aroids grown for their bright, colorful leaves. Their short forcing period, shade tolerance, and low maintenance requirements in the landscape make caladiums popular among pot-plant producers, homeowners, and landscapers (Evans et al., 1992; Harbaugh and Tjia, 1985). The majority of caladiums commercially produced in the world belong to the fancy leaf type, and the most popular color has been white (white center with green veins or white center with white veins). In surveys of Florida caladium growers, who supply more than 95% of the caladium tubers

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Zhanao Deng, Brent K. Harbaugh, and Natalia A. Peres

Caladiums (Caladium ×hortulanum Birdsey, Araceae Juss.) are ornamental aroids valued for their bright colorful leaves. They are commonly used as container and landscape plants. Pink cultivars have been very popular and the most popular pink cultivars have been Carolyn Whorton, Fannie Munson, and White Queen (Bell et al., 1998; Deng et al., 2008). They ranked No.1, No.3, and No. 4 in acreage (or popularity) according to a 2003 survey of the caladium cultivars commercially grown in Florida, where more than 95% of the caladium tubers used in the world are produced (Bell et

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Zhanao Deng and Brent K. Harbaugh

Caladiums (Caladium ×hortulanum Birdsey, Araceae Juss.) are tropical ornamental aroids. They are often forced as potted plants and grown in the landscape to provide color (Evans et al., 1992). A great majority of caladium plants in the floriculture trade are propagated from tubers. More than 95% of the caladium tubers used in the world comes from central Florida (Bell et al., 1998; Deng et al., 2008). Many existing commercial caladium cultivars show attractive coloration patterns but have poor pot or landscape performance and/or poor tuber yield. ‘Marie Moir’ is an

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Zhanao Deng and Brent K. Harbaugh

As a common pot and landscape plant, caladium (Caladium ×hortulanum Birdsey, Araceae Juss.) is valued for its colorful leaves and low maintenance requirements (Evans et al., 1992). Commercial caladium plants are grown from tubers. Central Florida growers produce greater than 95% of the tubers for the worldwide market (Bell et al., 1998; Deng et al., 2005). Tuber yield is one of the primary factors determining a caladium cultivar's production value and whether the cultivar will be acceptable to growers and viable in commercial production. Poor tuber yield has been one of the

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Zhanao Deng and Brent K. Harbaugh

Caladiums (Caladium ×hortulanum Birdsey, Araceae Juss.) are often used to provide color and a tropical ambiance to container gardening or the landscape (Evans et al., 1992). Approximately 95% of the caladium tubers used in the United States and worldwide are produced in Florida. Red fancy-leaved cultivars accounted for 23% of the acreage planted by Florida caladium growers (Bell et al., 1998). ‘Freida Hemple’ (33%) and ‘Postman Joyner’ (13%) accounted for nearly half of the red fancy-leaved cultivars commercially grown. ‘Florida Cardinal’, released from the University of Florida caladium breeding program in 1988 (Wilfret,

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Zhanao Deng, Brent K. Harbaugh, and Natalia A. Peres

Caladiums [Caladium ×hortulanum Birdsey, Araceae Juss.] are ornamental aroids widely used as pot and landscape plants for their colorful foliage and ease in growing (Evans et al., 1992; Harbaugh and Tjia, 1985). Tens of millions of caladium tubers are used annually by the worldwide ornamental industries with 70% to 80% forced in containers and 20% to 30% directly planted in the landscape. More than 95% of the tubers used worldwide are produced in central Florida.

Based on leaf shape (fancy or heart-shaped and lance) and predominant leaf color (white, red, pink, and

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Zhanao Deng, Brent K. Harbaugh, and Natalia A. Peres

Caladiums (Caladium ×hortulanum Birdsey, Araceae Juss.) are valued for their colorful and variably shaped leaves (Harbaugh and Tjia, 1985; Wilfret, 1993). Commercial caladium cultivars generally are grouped into the fancy- or lance-leaved type (Wilfret, 1986). Fancy-leaved caladiums produce large round-ovate to triangular leaves with three main veins, two large basal lobes partially to fully joined, and a petiole attached to the back of the leaf blade. Lance-leaved caladiums produce leaves that are sagittate to cordate-lanceolate and have basal lobes obvious to barely obvious and petioles attached to the base of

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Zhanao Deng and Brent K. Harbaugh

Caladiums (Caladium ×hortulanum Birdsey, Araceae Juss.) are ornamental aroids commonly used as container and landscape plants (Evans et al., 1992; Harbaugh and Tjia, 1985). They are valued for bright colorful leaves and low-maintenance requirements. Pink caladiums have been very popular (Evans et al., 1992). Developing new pink cultivars has become an important breeding objective for the University of Florida/IFAS caladium breeding program. ‘Summer Pink’ is a new fancy-leaved cultivar with novel leaf coloration, a bright pink leaf face and veins on a white background (Fig. 1), and is desirable for