The project 'Commercialization of Native Wild Flowers' in Korea National Arboretum

S.Y. Kim, M.J. Jeong, G.U. Suh, U.S. Shin, J.W. Park, Y.E. Kwon
Ornamental plants are crucial for the agricultural industry. In Korea, 196 billion potted plants, 178 billion cut flowers, and 20 billion ground cover plants were produced during 2018. Rose, chrysanthemum, lily, and carnation are the major ornamental plants in the flower market and are produced in the greatest amounts. In Korea, native plant sales have increased steadily over the last five years. However, native plants still have a very small market share, mostly because of the difficulties of producing them at market scale and the lack of information about them (particularly wild flowers). Only about 240 species, almost 10% are used as potted plants or as ground cover for landscaping with native plants. Plants for landscaping include white-lobe Korean dendranthema (Chrysanthemum zawadskii subsp. latilobum), bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis), iris species and others. Korea National Arboretum is leading the project 'Native Wild Flowers' to promote the commercialization of wild flowers that are native to Korea. The aim of this project is to introduce and develop new ornamental plants for commercial purposes by improving cultivation techniques and supplying new materials via the farmhouse to the customer. The project consists of four major steps: 1) market survey and establishment of an advisory group for value evaluation, 2) research into propagation and cultivation physiology, including flowering control, 3) studies on breeding of various ornamental plants, and 4) evaluation of the potential productivity and feasibility of mass cultivation. An advisory panel, including professors, researchers, growers, and marketing specialists in horticulture is now operating. After careful evaluation of several parameters such as ease of propagation, cultivation period, ornamental value, and flowering period, the advisory panel selects the target species. Following the evaluations, the target species can be selected to be an ornamental potted plant, garden or landscape plant, or a source of cut flowers. Altogether 31 target species, including 25 herbaceous and 6 woody species such as Minuartia laricina, Ranunculus crucilobus, Euphorbia jolkinii, Veronica kiusiana var. diamantiaca, V. pusanensis, Exochorda serratifolia, and Lonicera insularis were selected. Most of the native species with ornamental potential have yet to be discovered and studied. These target species have also not been cultivated for commercial purposes before. For the propagation and cultivation, we are evaluating ornamental performance in the field, propagation by seed and cuttings, nursery, cultivation physiology (growing substrates, nutrients, light intensity, the use of plant growth regulators, flowering time and characteristics related to cold, photoperiod, and daily light integral). In addition, flower color, size, and shape are considered to be the major criteria for ornamental plant breeding because they strongly influence consumer choice. We are also carrying out crossbreeding and mutation breeding on some target species to improve their value as ornamental plants, and we are ensuring proper registration of plant varieties.
Kim, S.Y., Jeong, M.J., Suh, G.U., Shin, U.S., Park, J.W. and Kwon, Y.E. (2020). The project 'Commercialization of Native Wild Flowers' in Korea National Arboretum. Acta Hortic. 1291, 227-236
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1291.28
breeding, farmhouse cultivation, flowering control, new ornamental plant, native wild flowers

Acta Horticulturae