Helleborus plants, especially H. niger, H. x hybridus and some interspecific crossing products, are ornamentals with increasing economic importance for use as garden plants, indoor potted plants and cut flowers. Several other Helleborus species with minor ornamental impact exhibit various interesting features like flower size, flower colour, foliage, scent and disease resistance. Incorporation of these features using advanced breeding within this genus can therefore meet the growing demand for Helleborus products. New breeding products must meet many production and product quality criteria before market introduction. For example, 10 years ago H. x hybridus could be marketed as a three-year-old flowering plant, but now the plants have to flower after one or two years. Similarly, for H. niger, flowering before Christmas is preferred. Here an overview is given of the Helleborus species, their relatedness and the available breeding products, the breeding goals and modern methods to reach them, in combination with an up-to-date list of breeding achievements.
|Title of host publication||Ornamental Crops : Handbook of Plant Breeding|
|Editors||Johan Van Huylenbroeck|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|