Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Charleston, South Carolina » Vegetable Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #413811

Research Project: Basic and Applied Approaches for Pest Management in Vegetable Crops

Location: Vegetable Research

Title: ‘Erica’s Appalachian Sunrise’: An apomitically derived cultivar from Cornus florida ‘Cherokee Brave’.

item TRIGIANO, ROBERT - University Of Tennessee
item BOGGESS, SARAH - University Of Tennessee
item MOLNAR, THOMAS - Rutgers University
item Moreau, Erin
item Wadl, Phillip

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/2/2024
Publication Date: 5/8/2024
Citation: Trigiano, R.N., Boggess, S.L., Molnar, T., Moreau, E.L., Wadl, P.A. 2024. ‘Erica’s Appalachian Sunrise’: An apomitically derived cultivar from Cornus florida ‘Cherokee Brave’.. HortScience. 59:817-819.

Interpretive Summary: Flowering dogwood is a native deciduous tree species that is popular in the woody ornamental nursery industry because of its white, pink, or red showy bracts that are displayed in the spring. Many popular flowering dogwood cultivars are selections from natural occurring variation and not from breeding efforts. In our study, we report the development of the flowering dogwood cultivar, Erica's Appalachian Sunrise from breeding efforts. 'Erica's Appalachian Sunrise' displays pink-red bracts and the cultivar is the result of apomixis, asexual reproduction via seeds without traditional fusion of gametes, rather than a hybridization event. This new cultivar produces smaller dark pink-red bracts and also exhibits greater resistance to powdery mildew than 'Cherokee Brave'. There are few cultivars with red or pink-red bracts available in the nursery trade and 'Erica's Appalachian Sunrise' provides nursery growers a powdery mildew resistant pink-red flowering dogwood.

Technical Abstract: Cornus florida L. or flowering dogwood is native to most of the eastern and throughout the southeastern United States and has become a mainstay ornamental species grown and sold by numerous small or large volume woody plant nurseries. Many of the popular cultivars have been selected from natural variations in seedlings growing in the field for disease resistance (e.g., powdery mildew); or in natural settings (e.g., ‘Appalachian Spring’ resistant to dogwood anthracnose); ‘sports’ for bract/leaf color variations discovered on existing cultivars (‘Cherokee Sunrise’), or for unique growth and bracts traits from trees growing in natural environments (‘Rebecca’s Appalachian Angel’). Seldom are cultivars of flowering dogwood developed via breeding programs. However, ‘Erica’s Appalachian Sunrise’ [U.S. Plant Patent (PP) 32,468] was obtained from a breeding attempt between ‘Karen’s Appalachian Blush’ (Plant Patent 13,165 P2), which is powdery mildew resistant and ‘Cherokee Brave’ (PP 10,166) that displays showy pink-red bracts in the spring.