Journal Search Engine
Download PDF Export Citation PMC Previewer
ISSN : 1225-5009(Print)
ISSN : 2287-772X(Online)
Flower Research Journal Vol.22 No.4 pp.278-282

A New Cultivar ‘Tohagol Red’ with Unique Flower Shape and Color through Interspecific Hybridization of Hibiscus species

Yoo-Mi Ha1*, Kyung-Ku Shim1, Ho-Chul Kang2, Ki-Byung Lim3
1Research Institute of Rose of Sharon and Tiger Lily, Chonan 331-802, Korea
2Department of Landscape Architecture, Gyeongnam National University of Science and Technology, Jinju 660-758, Korea
3Department of Horticulture, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 702-701, Korea

Corresponding Author : Yoo-Mi Ha Tel: +82-31-290-7851
October 28, 2014 December 1, 2014 December 7, 2014


A new Hibiscus cultivar ‘Tohagol Red’ with unique flower shape and color, uniform growth habit and hardiness was developed through interspecific hybridization between Hibiscus sinosyriacus and H. syriacus. A new cultivar 'Tohagol Red' (Hibiscus × ‘Tohagol Red’) developed after crossing between Hibiscus sinosyriacus ‘Seobong’ ( ♀) with pink flower and Hibiscus syriacus ‘Samchully’ with pink flower to improve flower quality and growth habit in 2002. Hibiscus ‘Tohagol Red’ was preliminarily selected as ‘R 202’ in 2004 for its stable flower quality with rich pink flower and ruffled petals. This cultivar had violet purple, ruffled flowers accented by an intense red eye. Large and showy, the overlapping flower petals formed a complete circle and then named ‘Tohagol Red’ in 2010. The tree showed medium growth habit with slightly upright branch. The selected line was further evaluated for different growth characteristics, leaf shape, leaf size, flowering characteristics, and tested for distinctness, homogeneity, and stability during 2004-2009. In The flowers are medium in size (11 ~ 13 cm) with fan (II-type) petal having width 9.2 cm. Leaves are 7.2 cm long and 5.4 cm wide. After the plant characteristics evaluation for 6 years (2004 ~ 2009), it was registered as a cultivar ‘Tohagol Red’ (3803, No. of plant variety protection rights) in 2011. ‘Tohagol Red’ having violet-purple flower and red eye with ruffled petals is an excellent garden plant.


    Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
    No. IPET112129-5


    Hibiscus belongs to family Malvaceae and have polymorphic genus of 250 species of trees, shrubs and herbs. Geographically Hibiscus is mainly situated in tropical and subtropical areas, with some species extending into the temperate regions of the world i.e. Hibiscus syriacus L. (althea or rose of Sharon) and Hibiscus sinosyriacus Bailey (Bates 1965). The similarity in their natural distribution pattern is an indication of a similar tolerance to environmental factors (Bates 1965). Among them H. syriacus, a deciduous shrub with more or less distinctly trilobate leaves, is the most popular one. Breeding work is mainly done in this species. The color of the solitary flowers in the axils on the young wood varies from white, light pink or red to purple and blue, generally with a large crimson splash at the base of the petals. Single, semi-double and double blooms are known (Kim and Lee 1991; Yu and Yeam 1972). Flowering time is from the end of July till the first part of October (Bailey 1950; Bean 1973; Kim and Lee 1991; Krussmann 1962). About 40 different cultivars, with various flower colors and shapes, are common in European landscape (Van De Laar 1997). Furthermore, large collections exist in Korea, where Hibiscus is the national flower (Van de Laar 1997; Yu and Yeam 1987). Basic chromosome number of H. syriacus is x = 20 and most cultivars are tetraploid, 2n = 4x = 80 (Skovsted 1941). H. sinosyriacus, 2n = 4x = 80 (Skovsted 1941), has broader leaves compared to H. syriacus. The leaves have short triangular lobes and the involucratal bracts outside the calyx are as long as the calyx or even longer (Bates 1965).

    In the breeding of ornamentals, the role of interspecific hybridization in development of variable genotype is very important. When using interspecific hybrids in backcrosses and in new cross combinations hybrid vigor can be captured and traits that do not occur within a single species can be combined (Van Tuyl and De Jeu 1997). A lot of breeding work is done in Hibiscus syriacus and interspecific hybridization between H. syriacus and H. sinosyriacus was reported (Kyung et al. 2001a, b). But the best hybridization strategy and the inheritance of morphological traits remain unclear. Also some interspecific breeding work involving more tropical species of Hibiscus is published. Tachibana (1958) and Kuwada (1964) made successful crosses between H. mutabilis and H. moscheutos, but the obtained F1 seedlings were sterile. Attempts to create interspecific hybrids between H. syriacus and H. rosa-sinensis, especially to introduce new flower colors and forms, were not successful so far (Paek et al. 1989; Yu et al. 1976).

    In this study, at temps were made to develop new Hibiscus cultivars with unique flower shape and color, uniform plant habit and hardiness through interspecific hybridization between H. sinosyriacus and H. syriacus. More specific, the aim was to introgress increased growth vigor into H. syriacus by interspecific hybridization with H. sinosyriacus.

    Description and Performance


    The breeding program which produced Hibiscus hybrid ‘Tohagol Red’ extended over a period of some 8 years. Hibiscus sinosyriacus ‘Seobong’ introduced from Belgium as the female, or seed parent with a proprietary selection of H. syriacus ‘Samchully’ identified as plant patent number 1481, as the male, or pollen parent. The new Hibiscus hybrid ‘R 202’ was discovered and selected in August, 2004 as a flowering plant within the progeny of the stated crosspollination in an outdoor nursery environment in the Research Institute of Rose of Sharon and Tiger Lily, Cheonan, Korea. Asexual reproduction of the new Hibiscus hybrid ‘R 202’ by hardwood grafting and softwood cuttings under controlled greenhouse environment since the spring of 2007 had shown that the unique features of this new Hibiscus plant are stable and reproduced true to type in successive generations of asexual reproduction (Fig. 1). After the plant characteristics evaluation such as growth characteristics, leaf shape, leaf size, flower characteristics, and flowering for 6 years (2004 ~ 2009), it was named as ‘Tohagol Red’ in 2011. The characteristics were evaluated based on the manual for agricultural investigation and guidelines for the conduct of tests for distinctness, uniformity and stability for Hibiscus (UPOV 2005).


    Plants of ‘Tohagol Red’ were semi-compact, uprightspreading with abundant production of violet purple (N80C) (Royal Horticultural Society Flower Council of Holland 2001) flowers of moderate size (11 ~ 13 cm) with a violet-purple, red eye spot at the base of each petal, which was visible from a distance (Fig. 2). This cultivar was very fertile with abundant seed pods produced from insect pollination. The lower stem leaves were generally cordate in shape and might be entire or with short side lobes. Proceeding up the stem they becameoval to lobed-elliptical in shape. Those just below the flowers might be entire. The leaf apex was acute, the base shallowly acute. Leaf margins were irregularly dentate. The leaves were 7.2 cm long and 5.4 cm wide. They were medium to darkgreen in color. The intensity of the green coloring depended upon the nitrogen nutrition of the plant. The new Hibiscus × ‘Tohagol Red’ in well grown plants attained a diameter of leaf shoulder of 2.1 cm and a petiole of 2.1 cm (Table 2).

    The corolla was composed of five slightly fan type of petals, 7.1 cm long by 4.7 cm at the widest point. The petals were violet purple (N80C). The base of each petal was slightly darker red (60B) in color for 1.2 cm, the five petal bases thus forming a glabrous eye spot (Table 3 and Fig. 2). Upon anthesis in the early morning the flower petals reflex, then gradually returned to nearly right angles to the central axis and remained thus for the life of the flower. When fully expanded the corolla may measure 12.7 cm in diameter (Table 4). A stout staminal column protruded from the central petal attachment that measured 3.6 cm long (Table 5). It beared numerous short-stalked yellow stamens along the basal two-thirds then became bare for about 1.2 cm before terminating into five stigmatic branches, each terminating in a capitate stigmatic lobe. In color the column shaded from light yellow (NN155C), at the base to cream (154D), at the stigmatic lobes. The pistil protruded from the tip of the anther column before separating into five styles, each 0.5 cm long (Table 5). Hibiscusx ‘Tohagol Red’ started to flower each year in early July and continued for about four months, depending upon environmental conditions. The plants then produced sporadic flowering until frost. The flowers were borne singly in the axils of leaves beginning about mid-way of the stems progressing upward (Table 6).

    The flower color in Hibiscus × ‘Tohagol Red’ was intermediate between the flower colors of H. sinosyriacus ‘Seobong’ and H. syriacus ‘Samchully’. In size, the flowers of Hibiscus × ‘Tohagol Red’ were larger than in any of its parent cultivars. In pose, the flowers of Hibiscus × ‘Tohagol Red’ somewhat resembled those of the species H. sinosyriacus in that the flowers expanded their petals widely. The oval three-lobed leaves of Hibiscus × ‘Tohagol Red’ also resembled those of H. sinosyriacusin shape. The stiff, upright main stems of Hibiscus × ‘Tohagol Red’ apparently were derived from H. syriacus. H. sinosyriacus was allied to H. syriacus, but had broader leaves, with three short triangular lobes (Bates 1965; Bean 1973).

    Notes for Productionq

    The new Hibiscus × ‘Tohagl Red’ can be planted in welldrained soil. The soil should contain a lot of organic matter, such as peat. Don’t use packaged potting mixes because they contain too much inert organic matter, which makes the soil too moist for Hibiscus × ‘Tohagol Red’. A mix of soil, peat, perlite and coarse sand is good. Place drainage material such as stones, broken terra cotta tiles or coarse clinker ashes in the bottom of container, and then cover with wood shavings before adding the soil. Hibiscus plants need lots of water and full sun for optimum blooming. Use a fertilizer that includes trace elements or iron, copper and boron. Perform all pruning in late winter, during the plant’s dormant period.


    An application was filed for variety protection of ‘Tohagol Red’ at the Korea Seed and Variety Service (Application no. 2010-152) and the plant variety protection rights have been registered as grant number 3803 on February 8, 2011. Additional information or a list of nurseries propagating ‘Tohagol Red’ is available on written request to Research Institute of Rose of Sharon and Tiger Lily (RIRS & TL), Cheonan, Korea (e-mail: In addition, specimens of the releases have been deposited in the Research Institute of Rose of Sharon and Tiger Lily where it will be available for research purposes. The cultivar had been already released by RIRS & TL, Cheonan, Korea and has been selling as commercial variety for domestic market. It is requested that appropriate recognition be made if this germplasm contributes to the development of a new breeding lines or cultivars.



    Pedigree diagram of a new bred F1 hybrid, ‘Tohagol Red’.


    Flower and plant shape of female, male plant, and a new cultivar ‘Tohagol Red’ by interspecific hybridization (2010).


    Growth characteristics of newly developed cultivar Tohagol Red .

    zMean ± standard deviation (n = 5).

    Leaf characteristics of newly developed Hibiscus cultivar ‘Tohagol Red’.

    zMean ± standard deviation (n = 10).

    Flower characteristics of a new cultivar ‘Tohagol Red’.

    zUPOV TG/(I-a; Single flower and not overlap, I-b; Single flower and slightly overlap; I-c; Single flower and overlap).
    yUPOV TG/(I-type; Spatulate, II-type; Fan; III-type; Spoon).

    Flower size of newly developed Hibiscus cultivar ‘Tohagol Red’.

    zMean ± standard deviation (n = 10).

    Characteristics of stamen and pistil of newly developed Hibiscus cultivar ‘Tohagol Red’.

    zMean ± standard deviation (n = 10).

    Flowering characteristics of newly developed cultivar ‘Tohagol Red’ in 2010.

    zAll cultivars were cultivated in Cheonan-si, Chungcheongnam-do Province.


    1. Bates DM (1965) Notes on the cultivated Malvaceae 1 , Hibiscus. Baileya, Vol.13; pp.57-130
    2. Bean WJ (1973) Trees and shrubs hardy in the British isles (8th edition revised volume II) , John Murray,
    3. (2005) International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) , Guidelines for the conduct of tests for distinctness uniformity and stability for Hibiscus, pp.1-28
    4. Kim JH , Lee KC (1991) Studies on the flower color variation in Hibiscus syriacus L I. Spectral properties of fresh petals and flower color classification , J Korean Soc Hort Sci, Vol.32; pp.103-111
    5. Krüssmann G (1962) Handbuch der Laubgehölze. Band 2, Paul Parey,
    6. Kuwada H (1964) The newly artificially raised amphidiploids plant named ‘Ai-Fuyo’ (Hibiscus muta-moscheutos), obtained from the progeny of, H mutabilis • H moscheutos (Studies on interspecific and intergeneric hybridization in Malvaceae VII) , Jap J Breed, Vol.14; pp.27-32
    7. Kyung HY , Park SM , Kim JH (2001a) Effects of bud and old-flower pollination on the interspecific single and three way cross compatibilities between cultivar groups of Hibiscus syriacus and H sinosyriacus , J Korean Soc Hort Sci , Vol.42; pp.575-580
    8. Kyung HY , Park SM , Kim JH (2001b) Embryo abortion and germination inhibition in interspecific single, three way and double crosses among Hibiscus syriacus H sinosyriacus and interspecific hybrids (H syriacus • H paramutabilis) , J Korean Soc Hort Sci, Vol.42; pp.737-742
    9. Paek K , Hwang J , Jong S , Park S (1989) Somatic hybridization by protoplast fusion in Hibiscus syriacus and Hibiscus rosachinensis , Korean J Breed, Vol.21; pp.95-102
    10. (2001) Royal Horticultural Society Flower Council of Holland , RHS colour chart,
    11. Skovsted A (1941) Chromosome numbers in the Malvaceae II Comptesrendus des traveaux du laboratoireCarlberg , Se, riePhysiologique, Vol.23; pp.195-242
    12. Tachibana Y (1958) An interspecific hybrid of H mutabilis L and H moscheutos L (Studies on Hibiscus III) , J Hort Ass Japan, Vol.27; pp.201-206
    13. Van De Laar HJ (1997) Hibiscus syriacus , Dendroflora, Vol.34; pp.43-60
    14. Shivanna K , Sawhney V , Van Tuyl J , De Jeu M (1997) Methods for overcoming interspecific crossing barriers Pollen biotechnology for crop production and improvement, University Press, pp.273-292
    15. Yu TY , Yeam DY (1987) Korean national flower, Hibiscus syriacus, Hakwon Co, pp.424
    16. Yu TY , Yeam DY , Kim Y (1976) A study on the breeding of Hibiscus syriacus L on hybridization among introduced tetraploids and H rosa-sinensis , J Korean Soc Hort Sci, Vol.17; pp.107-112
    1. SEARCH
    2. Journal Abbreviation : 'Flower Res. J.'
      Frequency : Quarterly
      Doi Prefix : 10.11623/frj.
      ISSN : 1225-5009 (Print) / 2287-772X (Online)
      Year of Launching : 1991
      Publisher : The Korean Society for Floricultural Science
      Indexed/Tracked/Covered By :

    3. Online Submission

    4. Template DOWNLOAD

      국문 영문 품종 리뷰
    5. 논문유사도검사

    6. KSFS

      Korean Society for
      Floricultural Science

    7. Contact Us
      Flower Research Journal

      - Tel: +82-54-820-5472
      - E-mail: