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Passion flower hybrids and their use in the ornamental plant market: perspectives for sustainable development with emphasis on Brazil

Abreu, Priscilla Patrocínio, Souza, Margarete Magalhães, Santos, Eileen Azevedo, Pires, Marcel Viana, Pires, Mônica Moura, de Almeida, Alex-Alan Furtado
Euphytica 2009 v.166 no.3 pp. 307-315
Passiflora, ornamental plants, plant breeding, hybrids, interspecific hybridization, plant genetic resources, floriculture, ornamental value, wild relatives, commercialization, sustainable agriculture, Brazil
The Passiflora L. (Passifloraceae) genus consists of about 500 species widely distributed throughout tropical and subtropical regions, commonly known as the passion flower. The passion flowers are considered ornamental plants because of the exotic beauty of their flowers and variant foliage. Since their introduction to the Old World, around 1625, seventeenth century, they have been used to decorate European glasshouses and gardens. Interspecific hybridization is used to produce single ornamental plants. However in some countries, such as Brazil, being centre of origin of many species, the potential value of these species has hardly been exploited. The beauty of these wild species and their hybrids is little known in Brazil. Therefore it is here intended to highlight the productive and commercial potential of the passion flowers for the purpose to generate an income in family agriculture, while maintaining the ecological balance and optimizing the use of natural resources.