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Morphological characterization of a Hydrangea spp. Collection

Pecchioli, S., Lazzereschi, S., Nesi, B., Antonetti, M., Grassotti, A., Salazar-Orozco, G.
Acta horticulturae 2013 no.1000 pp. 99-105
Hydrangea, botanical gardens, calyx, color, crossing, cultivars, gardeners, genotype, guidelines, leaf blade, multivariate analysis, ornamental value, Italy
The genus Hydrangea comprises species of great ornamental value; it was introduced in Europe by explorers during the eighteenth century and acclimated in botanical gardens. Since the introduction, gardeners have improved these species with empirical crosses and selection. Hence, the need to analyze more thoroughly the genetic resources of Hydrangea for a genetic understanding of the genus and for the development of more complex breeding programs. A collection of Hydrangea is maintained at the CRA-VIV (Pescia, Pistoia, Italy); it consists of 66 genotypes belonging to H. macrophylla subsp macrophylla (Hortensia and Lacecap Group), H. paniculata, H. serrata, H. villosa, H. quercifolia, H. anomala subsp. petiolaris, H. arborescens, H. heteromalla, H. involucrata, H. aspera and three genotypes of Schizophragma hydrangeoides. In the present paper a morphological qualitative characterization of the collection was performed based mainly on the descriptors recommended by UPOV. According to these guidelines, mainly to describe the accessions, 28 parameters related to plant habit (upright, climbing and drooping), foliage (leaf blade colour and shape, apex and base shape, etc.) and inflorescence (dimension, shape, sterile/fertile flowers characteristics, number and color of sepals, etc.) were measured. Statistical analyses were also carried out in order to detect similarities between species and cultivars. A multivariate analysis of the results was done by calculating the standardized matrix and using the R package.