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Revista mexicana de ciencias agrícolas

versão impressa ISSN 2007-0934

Rev. Mex. Cienc. Agríc vol.8 no.5 Texcoco Jun./Ago. 2017 

Description of cultivars

Alondra: new poinsettia hybrid for interiors

Jaime Canul Ku§ 

Faustino García Pérez1 

Edwin Javier Barrios Gómez1 

Sandra Eloísa Rangel Estrada1 

Sergio Gavino Ramírez Rojas1 

Felipe de Jesús Osuna Canizalez1 

1Campo Experimental Zacatepec-INIFAP. Carretera Zacatepec-Galeana S/N. Colonia Centro, Zacatepec, Morelos, México. CP. 62780. Tel. 01(800) 0882222, ext. 86606. (;;;;


The market for ornamental plants is dynamic. There is constant demand for new improved varieties. Faced with this situation since 2010 the poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. Ex Klotzsch) breeding program was implemented in the Zacatepec Experimental Field of the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agrícolas y Pecuarias. Which allowed the generation of improved material called Alondra through the crosses between OAX14P4*MORFRN1015-9 conducted in 2010. The hybrid progeny was established by seed in 2011 and the selection of the best individuals was performed in 2012. For the following four years they were evaluated with cooperating producers, together with other hybrids, of which this cross was the most outstanding. Alondra shows oval-shaped leaves with a cuneiform base, the main nerve of the bundle is green and red, the leaf lobes are shallow, the petiole is long and intense green colored in the bundle. The bracts are red and elliptical shaped. The width of the top is medium with yellow small ciatio glands, without deformation. This new poinsettia material has germplasm of national origin, it was generated and developed in the area where the greatest commercial production is carried out, consequently, it is an adapted material and does not show problems of bracts pigmentation, which is the commercial and aesthetic aspect. It represents an option to diversify the supply in the national market since its behavior is similar to the one of commercial varieties.

Keywords: Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex Klotzsch; bract; cross; evaluation


El mercado de las plantas ornamentales es dinámico. Existe la demanda constante de nuevas variedades mejoradas. Ante esta situación desde el 2010 se implementó el programa de mejoramiento genético de nochebuena (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex Klotzsch) en el Campo Experimental Zacatepec del Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agrícolas y Pecuarias. Esto permitió la generación del material mejorado denominado Alondra a través de la cruza entre OAX14P4*MORFRN1015-9 realizado en 2010. La progenie híbrida se estableció mediante semilla en 2011 y la selección de los mejores individuos se realizó en 2012. Los siguientes cuatro años se evaluó con productor cooperante, conjuntamente con otros híbridos, de la cual sobresalió dicha cruza. Alondra presenta hojas de forma oval con la base cuneiforme, el nervio principal del haz es verde y rojo, los lóbulos de la hoja son poco profundos, el peciolo es largo de color verde intenso en el haz. Las brácteas son de color rojo y de forma elíptica. La anchura de la cima es media con glándulas pequeñas del ciatio, de color amarillo sin deformación. Este nuevo material de nochebuena posee germoplasma de origen nacional, se generó y se desarrolló en la zona donde se lleva a cabo la mayor producción comercial por consiguiente es un material adaptado y no presenta problemas de pigmentación de brácteas, que es la parte comercial y estética. Representa una opción para diversificar la oferta en el mercado nacional ya que su comportamiento es similar al de variedades comerciales.

Palabras clave: Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex Klotzsch; bráctea; cruza; evaluación


The poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex Klotzsch) is the ornamental potted grown plant best selling in the world (Trejo et al., 2012). It is a seasonal commercial product and is considered as the universal symbol of Christmas (Ecke et al., 2004). The species has its center of origin in the northern region of the state of Guerrero (Trejo et al., 2012).

Producers of ornamental plants in the state of Morelos and Mexican poinsettia producers constantly demand new varieties, arguing that this species is native to the country, and all cultivated material has been improved abroad. Facing these circumstances the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agrícolas y Pecuarias (INIFAP), through its researchers in the Zacatepec Experimental Field began in 2010 the poinsettia breeding program (Canul et al., 2010).

The program began with the collection of germplasm in ten entities of the country, which consisted of samples of seed and vegetative material, the latter based on rods, which is the stem portion with or without leaves capable of originating a new plant (NOM-007-FITO-1995). The characteristics of each of the samples were recorded in the passport data and were described subsequently (Canul et al., 2013). Samples considered as accessions were characterized (Canul et al., 2014) based on two documents: graphic manual for the varietal description of poinsettia (Mejía et al., 2006) and guidelines for the conduct of the examination of the distinction, homogeneity and stability of the Union for the Protection of Plant Organisms (UPOV, 2008). As a result of different investigations where collection of materials, characterization, selection and cross for the generation of new individuals became involved, it was posible to identify outstanding accessions with aesthetic attributes, commercial value and the possibility of joining new individuals (Canul et al., 2015), as is shown in this paper.


The improved genotype, called Alondra, was the product of manual cross between OAX14P4*MORFRN1015-9 made in 2010, at the Zacatepec Experimental Field of the INIFAP by the procedures mentioned by Canul et al. (2015). The resulting hybrid progeny was established in 2011. The seeds were sown in polystyrene trays with 50 cavities using as substrate Sunshine Mix 3®. In the stage of four true leaves they were transplanted to eight inch pots with a capacity of 3.5 L with substrate based on the mixture of ocochal, atocle and coconut powder (Osuna et al., 2012) in proportion 40:40:20 v/v.

In this container the phenological stage of bracts pigmentation was reached, which is the attractive, commercial and aesthetic structure. At the beginning of 2012 the hybrid plants were transplanted to a 12-inch pots in order to have more room for growth, these were used as mother plants; that is, from these the cuttings that gave rise to the next generation were obtained, in this case the propagation form of the plant was taken as advantage, which is vegetative, a condition that allows to maintain the phenotypic and genetic identity of the plant (Islam et al., 2013).

In this way, in 2012 the first clonal generation of plants was cultivated in the Zacatepec Experimental Field. Given the environmental conditions of this field and the need to evaluate the material in the producer’s nursery, in the following years they were cultivated in a more favorable environment to its development.

The selected locality was Tetela del Monte (18° 58’ north latitude and 99° 15’ west longitude), located in the municipality of Cuernavaca, state of Morelos, which is considered one of the areas with the highest production of poinsettia, due to the weather conditions, water quality and the tradition of more than 50 years managing this crop. Under this consideration, Alondra was cultivated for four cycles (2013-2016) with a cooperating producer under commercial conditions. Cuttings of the plant of the previous year were cut each year. Due to the nature of vegetative propagation of the poinsettia, the characters expressed in the hybrid progeny will be stably inherited and genetically maintained in the cuttings used for the establishment of new crop cycles (Islam et al., 2013).


The plant of the Alondra variety shows ramification with the dark green stem. The leaves have oval shape with the base in cuneiform shape, the main nerve of the bundle shows two colors green and red, the lobes are shallow, the petiole is long of intense green color in the beam. The bracts are red (code 45B on RHS color charts), elliptical, with no bending or torsion along the main nerve. The width of the top is medium with small ciatio glands, yellow without deformation. It has an intermediate cycle or response; that is, pigmentation of bracts occurs seven to nine weeks after the beginning of the fall season.

Among the evaluated characters, the analysis of variance found highly significant differences (p≤ 0.01) in plant height, leaf petiole length, bract width and ciatio diameter; significant difference (p≤ 0.05) in leaf length and bract’s petiole length; but without statistical differences in leaf width, bract length and brachial canopy amplitude. In a six-inch diameter pot with capacity of 1.61 L the plant reaches an average height of 26.02 cm statistically similar to Prestige red, it was also equal to this commercial variety in leaf length.

Alondra exceeded the control varieties in ciatio diameter and showed equal bract peciolo length than Freedom red. It showed smaller bract width but similar to Prestige red and smaller length of leaf petiole, but equal to Freedom red. In three characters such as leaf width, bract length and brachial canopy amplitude it showed the same response as the two commercial varieties (Table 1).

Table 1 Comparison of means of characters evaluated in the Alondra hybrid and two cultivated commercial varieties. 

Valores con letras diferentes dentro de hileras indican diferencias significativas (Tukey, p≤ 0.05); DMSH= diferencia mínima significativa honesta; CV= coeficiente de variación.

The description of the Alondra characteristics was based on the document guidelines for the conduct of the examination of distinctness, homogeneity and stability, poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex Klotzsch. The breeder title was requested before the National Seed Inspection and Certification Service (SNICS-SAGARPA) in 2016. The process still continues, in January 2017, the registration certificate with registration number CP-1498 was received from SNICS, for meeting the requirements established for the breeder’s title.

It should be noted that Alondra has germplasm of national origin, it was generated and developed in the area where the commercial production of poinsettia is carried out, therefore it is an adapted material, it does not show problems to reach the bracts pigmentation stage, which is the commercial and aesthetic interest, in the type of substrate where it was cultivated it did not show root rot in the different evaluation years. As for damages caused by common pests on poinsettia during the evaluation period, no symptoms were observed due to whitefly or other pest, the experience gained during the process is that plants with yellow or cream bracts are more attractive to the whitefly. The plant grows and develops well in places with average temperatures between 23 and 28 °C and altitudes from 900 to 2 000 m.

The propagation way is vegetative, from cuttings or through in vitro culture. It is posible to cultivate in potts with different capacities and sizes using substrate based on components of the region such as leaf soil, ocochal, tepojal, coconut powder (Osuna et al., 2012), among others. The establishment period will depend on the container size, in April the cuttings are planted in larger containers and as the months of the year passes by they are transplanted into smaller pots.


The improved Alondra poinsettia material represents an option to diversify the offer in the national market. It has distinctive characteristics, its leaf is of oval shapped with shallow lobes, the main nerve of the leaf beam is green and red, the bracts are red and elliptical. It is adapted to the environmental conditions of the producing areas so it does not show bracts pigmentation problem and its behavior is comparable to the commercial varieties. Alondra is the first poinsettia material developed in México by INIFAP for interior purposes.

Literatura citada

Canul, K. J.; García, P. F.; Osuna, C. F. y Ramírez, R. S. 2010. Estrategias para el mejoramiento genético de nochebuena (Euphorbia pulcherrima Will. ex Klotzsch). Inves. Agrop. 7(1):44-54. [ Links ]

Canul, K. J.; García, P. F.; Osuna, C. F.; Ramírez, R. S. y Barrios, G. E. 2013. Recursos genéticos de nochebuena en México, colecta de germoplasma para mejoramiento genético. Ciencia y Tecnología Agropecuaria de México. 1:20-26. [ Links ]

Canul, K. J.; García, P. F.; Barrios, G. E.; Osuna, C. F.; Ramírez, R. S.; Alia, T. I. y Montoya, C. E. 2014. Caracterización morfológica de nochebuena (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex Klotzsch). Ciencia y Tecnología Agropecuaria de México 2:16-23. [ Links ]

Canul, K. J.; García, P. F.; Barrios, G. E.; Campos B. E.; Osuna, C. F.; Ramírez, R. S. y Rangel, E. S. 2015. Técnica para producir híbridos en nochebuena (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex Klotszch). Agroproductividad. 8:32-37. [ Links ]

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UPOV. 2008. Flor de Pascua, Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex Klotzsch. Directrices para la ejecución del examen de la distinción, homogeneidad y estabilidad. Ginebra, Suiza. 36 p. [ Links ]

Received: June 2017; Accepted: July 2017

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