A NEW VARIETY FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A NEW ORNAMENTAL CROP HIBISCUS SABDARIFFA
The tropical crop Hibiscus sabdariffa has two main types. The edible branching type is grown for its fleshy calyces, while the tall late mature, ercet type is cultivated for its jute like fibers.
The attractive red fruit of the edible type enhanced its cultivation for ornamental branches, in Israel.
In series of experiments, agrotechnical conditions (1,4) as well as the effect of daylength (2) and temperature (5) were studied.
But due to the high sensitivity of the local variety to low temperature and Botrytis cinerea, the cultivated area of this cultivar was very limited.
In a breeding program the advantageous traits of both main types were integrated, and a new variety, 'Michal' was just released.
The variety 'Michal' is earlier compared with the local variety by at least one week and has a lower branching habit. It is relatively more resistant to low temperature and Botrytis. Its light red fruit is smaller in size, which together with the thinner stem gives the cut branches a better packaging cooficient. The leaf is narrow and palmately lobed.
The release of the variety 'Michal' opens new possibilities for this crop.