Collection of phlox germplasm in Southeastern USA a success

April 22, 2011

Graduate student Peter Zale and OPGC staff Steven Haba have completed a 5,900 mile trip through the Southestern USA between 1 and 16 April, and brought back 60 new accessions of Phlox that will become part of germplasm studies and of our collection.   Phlox collecting started in the panhandle region of Florida and continued along the coastal plain in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana until reaching central Texas, finally swinging through Oklahoma and Arkansas. Along the way, diverse habitats were explored and contacts made with many local experts that provide support to our germplasm development efforts.  Because phlox are very difficult to find when not in bloom and because of difficulty in collecting seed, samples of plants were collected that now must be rooted and propagated in Columbus for seed production under more controlled conditions.

Although exhausting, this exploration has garnered potential useful germplasm that will now be processed through the National Plant Germplasm System.

Steven inspecting Phlox divaricata Field with Phlox pilosa in Mississippi