Iranian Dionysia, domestication for commercialization

S. Alipour, R. Majidi, M. Liden
The genus Dionysia Fenzl, belonging to the Primulaceae family, is a typically Irano-Turanian genus that is almost restricted to the rather dry mountains of the Flora Iranica area, from South-East (SE) of Anatolia and West (W) of Iran to Tadzhikistan and Afghanistan. There are more than 65 species of Dionysia in the world and most of them (around 49 species) belong to Iran. Since 2021 until now, 12 new Dionysia species have been described by Magnus Liden and others. The most serious threat to the long-term survival of the species Dionysia is without doubt temperature increase and erratic precipitation correlated with current climate change. Other threatening factors are road construction, illegal harvesting, and mining activities that destroy the territory. Furthermore, only a very limited number of botanical gardens and collectors propagated this precious native plant, and this genus has not yet been fully known for its ornamental value. This genus is important also for its medicinal perspectives, at least for local use, and could be used as a single flowering pot plant. Unfortunately, scientific studies on this species are limited and almost no scientific research has been done on its propagation and domestication. The establishment of protected areas, colonization, ex situ conservation, efficient propagation methods through seed cultivation and tissue culture techniques, collection and establishment of endangered species in botanical gardens and research centers are some strategies suggested for conservation. This report, as the first in the field of domestication of the Dionysia species, can be the first step to introduce this species as a new ornamental plant with a good potential for landscaping design.
Alipour, S., Majidi, R. and Liden, M. (2023). Iranian Dionysia, domestication for commercialization. Acta Hortic. 1383, 21-26
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2023.1383.3
conservation, Primulaceae, climate change, Alpine plants, ornamental plants

Acta Horticulturae