Gumamela and hoya are both ornamental plants that are widely popular for their unique and attractive blooms. And with the lockdown-induced trend on garden and house plants, more consumers have been on the lookout for new varieties available in the market.
In the Philippines, gumamela is most sought for its large, multi-colored petals. However, its varieties do not bloom well in low and hot areas of the country. (Read: This ‘Gardening Starter Kit’ Is Perfect for Plant Lovers in the City) Hoya, on the other hand, has high commercial value but has been given very limited research attention.
To address these, the Philippine Council for Agriculture Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) launched two new breeding projects on gumamela and hoya.
Gumamela, Hoya Varieties
The first project, titled “Development of new Hibiscus varieties through hybridization and embryo rescue,” aims to produce locally-adapted gumamela plants that can bloom well even under hot or tropical conditions. (Read: 5 Flowering Plants That Are Easy to Propagate Indoors)
Under this project, DOST-PCAARRD hopes to develop at least six new varieties of gumamela and two interspecific hybrids by the year 2024. Ms. Agripina O. Rasco and Dr. Pablito M. Magdalita, both of the Institute of Plant Breeding of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (IPB-UPLB) are working together on the project.
On the other hand, the second project, “Varietal Development in Philippine Native Hoyas,” focuses on introducing new varieties of Hoya. They specifically aim to develop varieties with new color or form, profuse flowering, and longer blooming period. Ms. Maria Luisa D. Guevarra, also from IPB-UPLB, leads the project.
For more information about DOST-PCAARRD and their Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP) for Ornamental Plants, visit their website at pcaarrd.dost.gov.ph.