Priority Genera

The OPGC is currently focusing germplasm development efforts in 6 priority genera. These efforts include comprehensive acquisition, characterization and enhancement. The priority are reviewed periodically as new needs and opportunities arise.

The genus Begonia may be the largest among Angiosperms as it consists of approximately 1,500 species and many more hybrids and cultivars. Together with Hillebrandia, it makes up the family Begoniaceae in the order Cucurbitales. Begonia species are herbaceous plants distributed primarily in moist environments of tropical and subtropical areas of Central and South America, Africa, and southern Asia. The plants are grown for colorful flowers, attractive foliage and striking forms. The genus represents one of the most important floriculture crops worldwide.

Coreopsis is a North American native genus of approximately 25 species in the Asteraceae. They are popular annual and perennial ornamental plants because of colorful and abundant flowers. Recent breeding activity with this genus has given rise to numerous new cultivars displaying a wide variety of flower colors.

Lilium is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants growing from bulbs. Most species are native to the temperate northern hemisphere. They comprise a genus of about 110 species in the lily family (Liliaceae).

They are important as large showy flowering garden plants. Additionally, they are important culturally and in literature in much of the world. Some species are sometimes grown or harvested for the edible bulbs.

Phlox is a genus of 65 species indigenous to North America; 22 highly variable species are native to the central and eastern United States. These species are classified into three clades based on phylogeny, karyology and phenotypic characteristics.

Rudbeckia is a genus of about 23 species native to North America, commonly called coneflowers or black-eyed susans. These herbaceous plants are members of the Asteraceae and are among the mosre popular native garden plants grown for showy yellow flowers.

The genus Viola includes the highly popular garden pansies and violets. The genus is quite large, consisting of approximately 500 species included in the family Violaceae and distributed worldwide. We are focusing on Viola species from the old word (Europe primarily) because these include the progenitors of the cultivated pansies and violas.