Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Washington, D.C. » National Arboretum » Floral and Nursery Plants Research » Research » Research Project #414488

Research Project: GENETICS, GENETIC RESOURCE EVALUATION, AND GENETIC IMPROVEMENT OF LANDSCAPE TREES AND SHRUBS

Location: Floral and Nursery Plants Research

2012 Annual Report


4. Accomplishments
1. Release of Prunus ‘Helen Taft’. The introduction of new woody ornamental plants is one of the driving forces behind the sustained growth of the ornamental horticulture industry. Researchers in Washington, D.C. released a new cherry tree variety named for former First Lady Helen Taft to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Japanese gift of cherry trees that now are a celebrated landmark of the nation’s capital. The new variety was created by crossing a Yoshino cherry tree with a Taiwan cherry tree. The Yoshino parent is a clone of a tree originally planted 100 years ago by the Japanese Ambassador’s wife, Iwa Chinda. The new variety can grow to 35 feet in height and width over 30 years and is characterized by large single pale pink flowers. This variety will help to broaden the genetic base of cultivated flowering cherries in the U.S.


Review Publications
Pooler, M.R., Ma, H., Kidwell Slak, D.L. 2012. Interploid hybridizations in ornamental cherries using Prunus maackii. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 30:89-92.

Wadl, P.A., Trigiano, R.N., Werner, D.J., Pooler, M.R., Rinehart, T.A. 2012. Simple sequence repeat markers from Cercis canadensis show wide cross-species transfer and use in genetic studies. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 137:189-201.