Breeding Improved Nursery and Landscape Plants

breeding work

Research and development of new nursery crops is important for the continued health and competitiveness of our green industries. Plants with greater adaptability, pest resistance, and commercial potential contribute to superior products, greater cost effectiveness, a cleaner environment, and improved competitiveness and profitability for our horticultural industries. These benefits are ultimately realized by the consumer in the form of superior plants, more valuable landscapes, and an improved quality of life.

The overall goal of this project is to develop new nursery crops with enhanced pest resistance, greater tolerance to environmental stresses, reduced invasiveness, and improved commercial merit. Specific projects include breeding and development of dogwoods, magnolias, cherries, pears, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, mahonia, coneflowers, miscanthus, and miscellaneous other plants. Support for these projects has come from the North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association, Spring Meadow Nursery, Carolina Nurseries, the J. Frank Schmidt Family Foundation, Hoffman Nursery, and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. For information on recent introductions, see Plant Introductions.

greenhouse research plots field trials sunflower field