Flower and fruit morphological characteristics of different crabapple genotypes of ornamental value
Crabapples (Malus spp.) are frequently used as ornamental trees. However, selections differ in decorative impact through blossoming and fruiting traits, growth habit, disease tolerance, ecological adaptability and fruit litter, so that there can be other valuable benefits. The aim of the present investigation was to determine morphometric characteristics of flowers, fruits and seeds within 15 different genotypes of crabapples studied at M.M. Grishko National Botanical Garden in Kyiv, Ukraine. Their main morphometric parameters were as follows: the highest number of flowers in the inflorescence was recorded within trees of ‘Professor Sprenger’ with 5.78 flowers, whereas the corolla was mostly decorative for ‘Royalty’ cultivar, with 5.7 petals; fruit weight varied from 1.49 g (‘Adirondak’) to 20.56 g (‘Era’), length from 12.87 mm (‘Van Ezeltine’) to 25.11 mm (‘Ola’), diameter from 12.0 mm (‘Batterball’) to 26.74 mm (‘Rayka Rozeva’), fruits number 1.0 (‘Era’) to 5.5 (‘Evereste’). The relationships between flowers, fruit and seed traits, accounting 16 traits and 15 cultivars investigated was highlighted by Pearson correlation and were clustered by unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA). The variability observed in the apple crab genotypes offers the possibility to choose and use some valuable ornamental cultivars for the beautification of the landscape, as well as for possible future Malus breeding projects.
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