British clematis breeding company Raymond J.Evison Ltd. and Chinese breeder and grower The Beijing Florascape Co. Ltd. joined forces and started a breeding project in China. Last Tuesday, at the Open Days of The Beijing Florascape, the plans of this "Chinese Joint Venture Breeding Project (CJVBP)" were unveiled. In short, the project is to be set up in China where the breeding work will be carried out entirely. The new ornamental cultivars will become available worldwide.
Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Evison was not able to attend the Open Days of The Beijing Florascape where the plans of the breeding project were revealed. Therefore this picture of Mr Yu of The Bejijng Florascape and Raymond Evinson in Beijing last December.
Raymond J.Evison Ltd.’s contribution to the CJVBP will be its knowledge of clematis plants, its knowledge of plant breeding and sourcing suitable species and cultivars to be used in the breeding programme and to monitor the breeding programme. The Beijing Florascape Co. Ltd contribution to the CJVBP will be its responsibility for carrying out the day to day Breeding Programme in its modern Glasshouses facilities in Beijing.
“It is fantastic that our company, Raymond J.Evison Ltd. has this once in a lifetime opportunity to work together with such a progressive Chinese company as The Beijing Florascape Co. Ltd. to breed and development a whole new range of clematis plants", says Raymond Evison, breeder, founder and chairman of Raymond J.Evison and founder and chairman of The Guernsey Clematis Nursery Ltd, a 4.5 acre company located on the island Guernsey, one of the English Channel Islands. Over 2 million young plants a year are being produced at his Guernsey Clematis Nursery, which provides 20% of the world's annual requirements of young clematis plants.
"For our Guernsey team to work together with the highly qualified plant breeding team of BJFC will I believe combine the best that is available for both our companies to develop clematis with different habits and forms, with stronger coloured flowers, better ‘winter hardiness’ and greater ‘heat tolerance‘, thus giving us some amazing possibilities."
Also Mr. Yu, CEO of The Beijing Florascape stresses the bright future that he foresees for this project. During the Open Days The Beijing Florascape - which Evison unfortunately could not attend due to the COVID-19 pandemic - he said: "It is our fortunate to cooperate with Mr. Raymond Evison. There are many wild clematis resources in China. At present, most of the large flower varieties on the market have the gene of Chinese clematis. However, we still have many resources that have not been effectively used. Today, we launch this project and it is a new win-win commercial breeding model, it is meaningful for the horticultural industry. We hope that could release a new generation of Chinese clematis varieties for the industry. Breeding needs time, passion, and carry-on. 6 to 8 years is just one cycle. Let us look forward to the wonderful appearance of the new generation of clematis at the 2028 Beijing Florascape Spring Flower Show!"
Extra hardiness and new colors for markets worldwide
The programme will be focussed on the development of new ornamental cultivars with extra hardiness (more heat and cold tolerant) and in new colours, like yellow, and tones that are not previously known in clematis. "The new cultivars will be suitable for modern gardens large and small"
The programme will focus on the development of new ornamental cultivars that can be used in the mass market worldwide, "but not to discount the pharmaceutical industry and the cut flower market throughout the world too", Evison adds.
In order to achieve this, they will use native Chinese clematis species from wild collected material, existing cultivars bred by the Raymond Evison Clematis Breeding Programmes as well as new cultivars raised by the continuous Raymond J.Evison Ltd breeding programme.