Tropical Hibiscus sabdariffa fruit breeding

T.W. Zimmerman, C. Montilla, K.M. Emanuel
Sorrel, Hibiscus sabdariffa, has autogamous flowers that self-pollinate during the night prior to flower opening, resulting in inbred cultivars. Cross-pollination of inbred plants normally results in vigorous hybrids that out-perform both parents. Two cultivars of red sorrel, 'TTB', a photoperiodic cultivar having a deep crimson open calyx, and 'KDN', a day-neutral red calyx cultivar, were used as parents. The objective was to study two parental sorrel lines and reciprocal crosses for F1 progeny and selected F3 lines to evaluate plant vigor for production, floral initiation, fruit size and shape. Selected plants from the F2 populations were used to obtain seed for the F3 progeny. Plant vigor was determined by measuring plant height and number of branches at 2-week intervals, as well as recording when floral buds became visible. Although the F1 population of 'TTB' × 'KDN' tended to be taller than the parents, it wasn't significant for plant height and branch development. However, the F3 populations were significantly taller than the F1 and parent cultivars at 84 days. The 'TTB' and F1 'TTB' × 'KDN' plants initiated flowers at the same time as 'TTB', which was four weeks later than 'KDN'. However, the F3 line of 'KDN' × 'TTB' initiated flowers at the same time as 'KDN', indicating a new day-neutral cultivar. Hybrid vigor can be obtained from specific controlled crosses in sorrel. The day-neutral characteristic can be recovered in F3 population where 'KDN' is the female parent.
Zimmerman, T.W., Montilla, C. and Emanuel, K.M. (2016). Tropical Hibiscus sabdariffa fruit breeding. Acta Hortic. 1127, 51-54
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1127.9
sorrel, roselle, bissap, karkadeh, hybrid

Acta Horticulturae