Genetic Resources of Herbaceous Ornamentals in North America

  • Pablo JourdanEmail author


Herbaceous ornamental plants represent a crop category that includes hundreds of species used in diverse ways. Such plants have been an important component of constructed landscapes and represent a significant economic activity. There are many North American native species that are used as herbaceous ornamentals although worldwide trade tends to be dominated by species native elsewhere. While there are some North American herbaceous ornamentals that fit conventional definitions of a crop, and would thus benefit from availability of crop wild relatives for enhancement through breeding, many more are basically nearly wild utilized species that are readily propagated and fit the demands of the marketplace. The study and preservation of herbaceous ornamentals genetic resources significantly lags that of food and industrial crops as evidenced by scant germplasm collections and very limited representations in the collections that do exist. This chapter highlights general issues associated with crop wild relatives and wild utilized species of herbaceous ornamentals and provides examples of current status of and work with three genera: Coreopsis L., Rudbeckia L., and Phlox L. These are three priority genera for germplasm development and conservation at the Ornamental Plant Germplasm Center in Columbus, Ohio. The prospects for utilization of genetic resources of native herbaceous taxa are very good, but the limited resources and relatively low priority of this group of plants present considerable challenges to comprehensive conservation.


Ornamentals Germplasm Conservation Coreopsis Phlox Rudbeckia 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ornamental Plant Germplasm Center, Department of Horticulture and Crop ScienceThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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