‘Breeding of petunia and echinacea also next thirty years relevant’

Jian Ping Ren - photo: PanAmerican Seed kll

Jian Ping Ren – photo: PanAmerican Seed kll

On the question What crops will be relevant and important over the next thirty years? from Greenhouse Grower’s editor Laura Drotleff mentions breeder Jian Ping Ren from PanAmerican Seed petunia and echinacea. In her opinion these two will continue to be relevant and important flower crops. “Among many other annuals and perennials flowers”, she adds. “ The key point is, no matter what the flower crop, it has to have beautiful color, flower power, stress tolerance, durability and require less care, plus be grower friendly with consumer performance.”
Apart from the crowd
That she comes up with petunia and Echinacea as relevant and important flower crops can hardly be a coincidence. In both crops her name is connected to ‘apart from the crowd’ varieties. For instance, about the PowWow Wild Berry Echinacea from PanAmerican Seed she told in an earlier stage: “As we were evaluating a large field of echinacea, a vibrant color immediately caught our attention, and all plans to breed a ‘standard purple’ coneflower flew out the greenhouse windows. The color of PowWow Wild Berry was so strong that we chose to focus our complete attention on it. In addition to the amazing color we concentrated breeding efforts on PowWow’s shorter, bushy and very well-branched habit and free-flowering.” It won both the 2010 All America Selections Flower Award and the 2012 Fleuroselect Gold Medal.
Unequivocal proof of her success
Her name is also connected to Petunia Phantom with black velvety petals and a yellow star. This stand-alone variety won the 2011/2012 FleuroStar award from Fleuroselect. That international organisation for the ornamental plants industry characterizes Jian Ping Ren as a renowned specialist in this species and relentless in her pursuit for new and unique characteristics and improved quality and performance. “Petunia Phantom is unequivocal proof of her success.”
Jian Ping Ren was one of the ‘young breeders’ who were invited by Greenhouse Grower to give her opinion on the challenges the next generation of breeders are facing. Other interviewees are Ockert Greyvenstein, Kelly D. Norris and Joseph Tychonievich.