The main directions and results of ornamental peach breeding in the Nikita Botanical Gardens
The main advantages of ornamental peach are abundant early spring flowering without leaves and large flowers of different colors, which make them bright seasonal dominants in the landscape. In the Nikita Botanical Gardens a targeted selection of ornamental peach was started in the 1980s. It was carried out in several directions: the creation of form diversity in the flowers (shape, color, diameter, number of petals), breeding of early and late flowering cultivars, with winter-hardiness and with a slower rhythm of generative buds development, resistance to fungal diseases, and improved fruit taste in combination with double flowers and different types of crown. The decision of the breeding task was achieved by the methods of intraspecific and distant hybridization, artificial mutagenesis, in some cases by sowing seeds from open pollination. Attention was paid to the selection of the initial material for breeding. Wild species Prunus mira, P. davidiana, P. kansuensis, P. dulcis, and their hybrids and peach cultivars from different eco-geographical groups and ecotypes were used in crosses. The genotypes, which were the sources or donors of the important traits complex, enjoyed an advantage in the selection of the parental pairs for crossing. The ornamental peach collection, 59% of which in the initial stage was represented by seedlings from open pollination of several ornamental forms, has been updated by 67% as a result of 30 years of work. More than 40 new ornamental cultivars were produced, carrying in themselves the germplasm of several species or varieties, with a new combination of the morphological and biological characteristics. They are used in gardening and are recommended for hybridization in new breeding programs.
Komar-Tyomnaya, L.D. (2018). The main directions and results of ornamental peach breeding in the Nikita Botanical Gardens. Acta Hortic. 1201, 535-540
Prunus mira, P. davidiana, P. kansuensis, P. dulcis, hybrids, cultivаrs, collection, flower characteristics