New Hibiscus hybrid unveiled

MANILA, (PIA) — The University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) introduced a new hybrid of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, called H. rosa-sinensis ‘Laure Beaufils,’ named after the British Ambassador to the Philippines and Palau, Her Excellency Laure Beaufils.

This new hybrid, part of the UPLB Diplomat Series, was developed through the project, “Development of New Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Varieties through Conventional Hybridization and Embryo Rescue.” The project was funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD). Plant Breeder Agripina O. Rasco, under the IPB-UPLB Hibiscus Breeding Program, bred this hybrid.

Ambassador Laure Beaufils was officially presented with the new hybrid on September 12, 2023, by UPLB, led by Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr. Other presenters included Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension Nathaniel C. Bantayan, CAFS Dean Elpidio M. Agbisit, IPB Director Fe M. Dela Cueva, and Ms. Rasco.

In her acceptance speech, Ambassador Beaufils expressed her gratitude, stating, “I had never once, in a million years, imagined that a flower would be named after me. This is truly the honor of a lifetime.” She also highlighted the personal significance of the flower’s pink color, as it is her favorite.

British Ambassador to the Philippines and Palau, Her Excellency Laure Beaufils joins DOST-PCAARRD and DOST-PTRI officials in the flower unveiling event. (DOST photo)

According to IPB, the hybrid’s appeal lies in its “vibrant carmine pink flower.” The research institution describes the petals as enormous, thick, and cartwheel-shaped, adorned with delicate dark pink lines. The large, deep red core is accentuated by a silver lining and a red halo.

Ambassador Beaufils is known for her advocacy of climate adaptation, economic development, good governance, and social justice.

During the launching event, attended by Crops Research Division (CRD) Director Leilani D. Pelegrina and CRD staff, officials and staff from DOST-PCAARRD and DOST-Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) were also present.

Hibiscus hybrid development

Led by Dr. Maria Luisa D. Guevara, the IPB project team aims to create a new garden variety of H. rosa-sinensis through conventional hybridization and embryo rescue.

Apart from ‘Laure Beaufils,’ IPB is currently propagating two other selections for submission to the National Seed Industry Council (NSIC). These selections have already been registered with the Germplasm and Technology Release and Registered Office (GTRRO) of IPB.

Additionally, the IPB hybridization efforts have resulted in five promising progenies that are currently under evaluation and selection for IPB-GTRRO registration.

The project is also producing interspecific hybrid plants of various Hibiscus species, with 32 seedlings being grown in the nursery from different cross combinations.

Hibiscus is one of the 11 priorities covered by the DOST-PCAARRD’s Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP) for Ornamental Plants. Through this program, the Council aims to promote the production of locally and globally competitive ornamental crops. (PIA-NCR)

In other News
Skip to content