Gentianella species from New Zealand with potential as ornamental crops
The international ornamentals industry already benefits from recently developed ornamental plant products from New Zealand (NZ) such as begonia Bonfire, limonium Sinzii and the gentian Showtime series. Gentianella, a genus closely related to Gentiana, has species endemic to geographic locations within NZ including the Chatham Islands to the east, the Sub-Antarctic islands to the south, and coastal and alpine regions of NZ's North and South Islands. Amongst the 30 species recognised as endemic to NZ, 78% have white flowers, but yellow, green, pink, red and purple flowers are also evident. More than 60% of species have a short stature with multiple flowering stems, making them suitable targets as potted or landscape plants, while the taller species may have potential as cut flowers. More than 80% of the species exist in alpine habitats, with others being coastal, suggesting a broad range of environmental tolerances across the genus. We intend to explore the genetic diversity available within the genus Gentianella, investigating opportunities to develop commercial use within this genus.
Funnell, K.A., Kaji, R. and Morgan, E.R. 2017. Gentianella species from New Zealand with potential as ornamental crops. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1171:371-374
gentian, perennial, new crops, hybridization, germplasm