Four cultivars of Iochroma
Alan W. Meerow1, Rick J. Schoellhorn2 and Michael Kartuz3
1USDA-ARS-SHRS, National Germplasm Repository, 13601 Old Cutler Road, Miami, Fla 33158, USA
2University of Florida, Dept. of Environmental Horticulture, 1545 Fifield Hall, Gainesville, Fla 32611
3Kartuz Greenhouses, 1408 Sunset Drive, Vista, Cal 92085-0790 USA

________The Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1992 has impacted the free and open exchange of plant germplasm.  The CBD recognizes that member countries have sovereign rights over genetic resources contained within their borders.   Each country also is left to develop their own policy regarding the distribution of those genetic resources.   Many countries have demanded protection and recognition of these rights in the form of compensation to farmers or indigenous people, without providing any vehicle for such compensation.  Moreover, subtropical and tropical third world nations have so far been among the most recalcitrant in allowing access to indigenous plant germplasm under the CBD.  It is thus critical that alternative sources of new germplasm be assessed, specifically collections already present in the U.S. but currently unexploited for ornamental potential.  Enormous numbers of interesting plants are already in the United States, in private collections, botanical gardens and small nursery and greenhouse operations.  Many are of these await discovery by mainstream horticulture.  In this article we present four cultivars of Iochroma that serve as an excellent example of just this situation.

            _Iochroma (Solanaceae) is a South American genus of some 20 species of shrubs and trees (Huxley et al., 1992).  Iochroma cyaneum (Lindl.) M. L. Green is a soft-stemmed, shrubby Ecuadorean endemic generally found between 1800 and 2500 m elevation.  The species is described typically as having dark blue flowers.  It is used occasionally as an ornamental shrub in the United Kingdom, southern Europe, Australia, and California.  We have identified three distinct color forms of this species, and a third unidentified Iochroma, all of which have shown remarkable heat tolerance in south Florida, given their native range in elevation.  We believe that these fast-growing cultivars have great potential for use as landscape shrubs in USDA Hardiness Zones 9B-11, root-hardy perennials in Zones 8B-9A, and as annuals and/or flowering pot plants in all zones.  

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Four cultivars of Iochroma

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