New Variety of Chrysanthemum 'Shekhar'
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The blooming season for flowers starts with the onset of winters but the flower crops also suffer from the dropping temperature. Scientists keep trying to develop different varieties of flowers that can withstand extreme winters so that the flowering season lasts longer. A new variety of Chrysanthemum, named as ‘Shekhar’, that blooms between late December to mid-February has been developed by the scientists at National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI).

During the two-day Annual Rose and Gladiolus Show organized by CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, the Director-General, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Dr. Shekhar Mande released this new variety of Chrysanthemum.

This floriferous chrysanthemum variety is a late-blooming decorative type that bears mauve colored flowers. It has captiulum diameter (diameter across) up to 9-9.5 centimeters and attains the height up to 60 centimeters. A unique dome-shaped crown-like appearance can be seen in this particular variety as it is radically diverging and has semi-quill florets.

A senior scientist at NBRI, Dr. Arvind Jain said, “Its somatic parent variety is ‘Su-Neel’ and through mutation induction by gamma irradiation of this parent variety, the new variety has been developed.”

He added, “In floriculture, chrysanthemum also holds an important place though Gladiolus, rose and gerbera are more popular. People like to plant flowers in their gardens and homes and it is in high demand due to its diverse appearance. In a radius of one square meter, about one thousand plants can be planted if the cuttings of chrysanthemum are planted at a distance of half an inch. In a very short time, about 10 thousand rupees can be earned if these plants are sold at the rate of 10 rupees.

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Other major late-blooming varieties of chrysanthemum include Maghi White, CSIR-75, Vasantika, Pooja, Ashakaran, Gulal and Gauri, and from mid-December to February is the flowering season. Common season varieties of chrysanthemum include Himanshu, Pukhraj, Jayanti and Kundan. Usually, these flowers bloom between November and December. Likewise, the early varieties of chrysanthemum include NBRI-Kaul, Vijay Kiran, and Vijay, and October is their main flowering time.

Chrysanthemum’s special feature is that it is excellent as a potted plant and it can be planted twice in a season. With over 1,000 genera and about 20,000 species, the tropical flowers, Chrysanthemums belong to one of the largest families of flowering plants, Asteraceae (Compositae) family. The Eurasian region is where the Chrysanthemums were originally grown.

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