DescriptionClassification: Thepresent invention relates to a new Nandina domestica plant.
Variety denomination: The new plant has the varietal denomination `AKA`.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present Invention relates to a new and distinct cultivar of Nandina plant, botanically known as Nandina domestica, a member of the Berberidaceae family, commonly known as Heavenly Bamboo.
This new `AKA` variety resulted from a naturally occurring, whole plant mutation discovered in a cultivated planting of the Nandina domestica variety `Firepower` (not patented). `AKA` appeared different from `Firepower` plants growing in 72 celltray in a greenhouse in Magnolia, Tex. and was initially discovered around November 2004 by the inventors.
The selection of this plant was based on its unique and long-lasting blush red-colored young foliage in contrast to the typical lime green-colored young foliage of the cultivar Nandina domestica `Firepower` (not patented).
The new variety was first reproduced by asexual propagation (micropropagation) at Magnolia Gardens Nursery, Magnolia, Tex. It has since been reproduced numerous times at Magnolia Gardens Nursery, Magnolia, Tex. by asexual propagation(micropropagation). Using this method of asexual propagation it takes 2-3 weeks to initiate root development. Each of the progeny exhibit identical characteristics to the original mutant plant, showing that the unique features of this new Nandina arestable and reproduced true to type in successive generations.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Plants of the new Nandina have not been observed under all possible environmental conditions. The phenotype may vary somewhat with variations in environment such as temperature, day length, light intensity, nutrition and water status without,however, any variance in genotype. The following observations and descriptions are of 3-year-old plants grown in 15 gallon containers at Magnolia, Tex., grown in 60% shade in a production nursery with overhead irrigation.
The following traits have been repeatedly observed and are determined to be the unique characteristics of `AKA`. These characteristics in combination distinguish `AKA` as a new and distinct cultivar: 1. Upright, compact and dense plant habit. 2. Slow growth rate. 3. Unique blush red colored young foliage and deep green-colored mature foliage. Blush red color of young foliage is retained year-round.
The `AKA` cultivar has been observed and extensively tested in different growing situations for three years. Its recognizable characteristics, which distinguish it from other known Nandina cultivars are: 1. Compact, dense form, with a matureheight of 20-24''. 2. Slow growth rate. 3. Has proven adaptable to harsh environmental conditions. 4. No flowers or fruit observed to date. 5. Exhibits unique leaf coloration. New growth is blush red. Mature winter foliage is deep red. 6. Issun and shade tolerant maintaining its proportions equally well in both conditions.
COMPARISON WITH PARENT
The parent cultivar to the new variety is the `Firepower` variety (not patented), a variety that was developed in New Zealand by New Zealand Nurseries Ltd. Plants of the new Nandina may be distinguished from the "Firepower" variety by thefollowing combination of characteristics as seen in side-by-side comparisons conducted in Magnolia, Tex. Plants of the new Nandina differed from plants of the cultivar `Firepower` primarily in developing foliage coloration as plants of the new Nandinaproduced blush red-colored leaves whereas plants of the cultivar `Firepower` produced lime green-colored leaves. It has also been observed that plants of the new Nandina produce a deep red winter colored foliage, Greyed-Red Group 178B, whereas plants ofthe cultivar `Firepower` produce a bright red winter colored foliage, Greyed-Red Group 180A.
COMPARISON WITH THE CLOSEST COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE CULTIVAR
The closest commercially available cultivar to the new variety is the `Wood's Dwarf` (not patented), a variety that was developed at Oregon State University. Plants of the new Nandina differed from plants of the cultivar `Wood's Dwarf` primarilyin developing foliage coloration as plants of the new Nandina produced blush red-colored leaves whereas plants of the cultivar `Wood's Dwarf` produced lime green-colored leaves. It has also been observed that plants of the new Nandina are larger as amature plant at 20-24'' tall and 20-24'' wide, whereas plants of the cultivar `Wood's Dwarf` are smaller as a mature plant at 12'' tall and 15'' wide on average.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIONS
FIG. 1-A is a color photograph of the original plant `AKA` growing in a 15 gallon container in a nursery setting. The original plant has never been pruned and is 22'' in height at 3 years of age. Picture taken in the summer.
FIG. 1-B represents the same plants as FIG. 1-A, but as a close-up view.
FIG. 2-A is a side-by-side comparison of the new variety, shown on the right, with a `Firepower` shown on the left. Both plants are liners in a 72 cell tray.
FIG. 2-B is a side-by-side comparison of the new variety, shown on the right, with a `Firepower` shown on the left. Both plants are in 1-gallon containers at approximately 8 months of age.
FIG. 3-A is a side-by-side comparison of the new variety's leaf color progression. From left to right is new growth, intermediate growth and mature growth.
FIG. 4-A is a photograph of the new variety at 2 years old growing in a 3 gallon container. This photo shows the unique leaf coloration in the spring.
FIG. 4-B is a photograph of a 3 gallon crop of the new variety propagated by tissue culture at approximately 1 year of age. This photo shows the plant's unique leaf color in the spring and the crop uniformity.
FIG. 5-A is a photograph of the first crops of the new variety in a 72 cell tray propagated by tissue culture showing the uniformity. It also shows the unique color of the new growth. Picture taken in the fall.
FIG. 6-A is a photograph of the new variety's mature winter color.
DETAILED BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION
In the following description, color references are made to The Royal Horticultural Society Colour Chart except where general terms of ordinary dictionary significance is used. The following observations and measurements describe plants grown ina nursery setting in Magnolia, Tex. Botanical classification: Nandina domestica cultivar `AKA`. Parentage: A mutation originating in an asexually produced (micropropagated) population of Nandina domestica `Firepower` (not patented). Propagation:Type.--By tissue culture or micropropagation. Rooting habit.--Numerous, fibrous, root initiation seen in 2-3 weeks. Plant description: Appearance.--Dwarf, dense, compact mounding form. Slow in growth with a nonspreading habit, and unique foliagecoloration. Mature plant height: 20-24 inches. Mature plant width: 22-24 inches. Stems: Stem diameter.--4-6 mm. Internode length.--1-2.5 cm. Stem color.--Young Stems: Closest to Greyed-Orange Group 177C. Mature Stems: Closest to Brown Group 200C. Stem length.--45-50 cm. Stem form.--Upright. Stem texture.--Smooth, longitudinally ridged. Branching habit.--Branches freely from the basal buds. Foliage description: Evergreen. Arrangement.--Alternate, Odd tripinnately Compound. Leaflength.--36-41 cm. Leaf width.--38-40 cm. Petiole diameter.--2-3 mm. Petiole length.--4-5 cm. Petiole color.--Petioles on Young Foliage: Greyed-Orange Group 166A. Petioles on Intermediate Foliage: Greyed-Orange Group 177A. Petioles on MatureFoliage: Closest to Yellow-Green Group 144A. Petiolule diameter.--1 mm on average. Petiolule length.--2 mm on average. Petiolule color.--Petiolules on Young Foliage: Greyed-Orange Group 166A. Petiolules on Intermediate Foliage: Greyed-Orange Group177A. Petiolules on Mature Foliage: Closest to Yellow-Green Group 144C. Leaflets: Leaflet base.--Cuneate. Leaflet tips --Acute. Leaflet shape.--Oblanceolate. Leaflet margin.--Entire. Leaflet venation pattern.--Pinnate. Leaflet length.--7-9 cm. Leaflet width.--3-5 cm. Leaflet texture.--Upper surface: Glaborous. Lower surface: Glaucous. Leaflet aspect.--Cupped or reflexed. Color: Young leaflets.--Upper Side: Closest to Greyed Orange Group 166A. Lower Side: Closest to Greyed Orange Group165A. Intermediate leaflets.--Upper Side: Closest to Greyed Orange Group 177A. Lower Side: Closest to Greyed Orange Group 165A. Mature leaflets.--Upper Side: Closest to Green Group 143. Lower Side: Closest to Green Group 139C. Wintercolor.--Greyed-Red Group 178B. Vein color.--Veins on Young Leaflets: Greyed-Orange Group 166A. Veins on Intermediate Leaflets: Greyed-Orange Group 166A. Veins on Mature Leaflets: Closed to Yellow-Green Group 144B. Inflorescence: To date, productionof inflorescence has not been observed, typical of the variety Nandina domestica `Firepower`. Seed production: To date, production of berries or seeds has not been observed. Disease resistance: Resistance to diseases common to plants of Nandina has notbeen observed. Pest resistance: Resistance to pests common to plants of Nandina has not been observed.
Field of SearchNandina