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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Griffin, Georgia » Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit » Research » Research Project #436429

Research Project: Selection of Superior Calyx and Flower Producing Hibiscus sabdariffa and Butterfly Pea Genotypes for New Food and Tea Production

Location: Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit

Project Number: 6046-21000-012-11-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: May 1, 2019
End Date: Aug 1, 2021

Objective:
Identify and select genotypes of Hibiscus (H.) sabdariffa for high quality calyx and seed production at two locations in Georgia. The selected seed and calyx producing H. sabdariffa genotypes would be used to produce jelly, chutney, and tea by the cooperating company farm, Pride Road, LLC. Identify and select butterfly pea genotypes for high quality flower and seed production at two locations in Georgia. The selected flower and seed producing butterfly pea genotypes would be used to produce tea from the flowers by the Pride Road, LLC farm.

Approach:
Plant seeds from 31 and 15 accessions of Hibiscus (H.) sabdariffa and butterfly pea genotypes, respectively in the field at Bryron, Georgia, (USDA, ARS) and Fayetteville, Georgia, (Pride Road, LLC) on or about May 1, 2019. The most productive H. sabdariffa and butterfly pea genotypes will be selected from these 46 genotypes and grown each year at both locations until the end of year 2021. The research conducted will include research aimed at selecting the best agronomically and superior producing calyces and flowers from several roselle and butterfly pea plants, respectivley grown under field conditions. Superior production analysis will be conducted on high yields of calyces, flowers, seeds, and high quality plant performance characteristics such as optimum plant height, width, maturity, and tolerance to lodging. Variability for identifying the best producing genotypes for calyx and flower production will be accomplished. Harvest physiologically mature calyces with seed capsules from the H. sabdariffa genotypes between 5 to 6 months after planting. Calyces from the selected H. sabdariffa genotypes grown at the Pride Road farm in Fayetteville, Georgia, will be processed into jelly, chutney, and tea for marketing. Harvest indeterminant butterfly pea flowers throughout the growing season and the seeds about 5-6 months after planting. Flowers from the selected butterfly pea plants grown at the Pride Road farm in Fayetteville, Georgia, will be processed into tea and marketed. This will benefit the lab in that both roselle and butterfly pea are considered under-utilized crops. This research shows the importance of using germplasm in the National Plant Germplasm System for the development of under-utilized species such as roselle and butterfly pea in the new food use areas.