In the seventies of the previous century, Dr. Zoltán Kováts set two directions in the research of mallows. One of the directions was the biotechnology of the mallow species and the other direction is using the mallow species as biomass material. In order to do this he brought mallow mother spawns of ornamental and biomass sorts from botanical... gardens abroad and tested many of them, including the a Sida hermaphrodita kind. Fourty years later, for the second time this plant, known as the „energy mallow” got back to Hungary again, right into the sight of hungarian biomass business with the help of László Balogh and his associates using help from Poland. This genus got into the center of our research, because of it’s valuable attributes. The latest experiments are about using it as an energy plant, without examining genetic details. The plant grows up to more
than 3 meters, has high growing rate and produces big amount of green mass. We don’t have any hungarian data about whether the plant continues the sufficient growing rate or not, after cutting it back.
We have to explore the potentials in the Sida’s sublimation. The plant is mostly suitable for ornamental and energy utilization, so further sublimation should be aiming for these aspects. During my research period, we are willing to get to know these potentials and the best possible use of them.
Sida hermephrodita or Virginia mallow is a perspective perennial herb in the Malvaceae family able to yield a biomass crop through the last two decades. Additionally, the plants have a lot of uses and benefits for instance it can use as a fodder crop, honey crop, ornamental plant in public gardens. It has favourable features like fast growing a...nd resistance against the disease and climatic fluctuations, etc. Sida is in the beginning phase of domestication therefore it has a serious disadvantage: the low and slow germination as a big part of wild plants. Due to the expressly low germination percent the need of seed showing of driller is should tenfold, 200 thousand seeds/acre instead of 10–20 thousand what is not available and expensive Therefore practical purposes of our research of seed physiology was to increase the seed germination percent in a available, basically wild Sida population. In the first stage of our experiments we examined two factors relating to seed germination percent and seed germination power during our research: the influence of hot water treatment and the effect of exogenous or endogenous infection of seed. However, in our germination tests, utilizing scarified seeds with hot water (65 oC, 80 oC, 90 oC), from 29,3% to 46% germinated from those samples which were collected from the population of Sida hermaphrodita in Debrecen. The average germination for all season was 5–10% without treatment and rinsed using hot water up to almost 50%. When physically scarified used, the oldest seeds showed the best germination (46%) after the hot water operation in spite of the previous studies. We discovered that apparently there are close relationship between the seed fresh weight or water uptake capability and the percentage of infection. Following these recognition we modified our technique,in such a way that we fractionated the seeds based on their fresh weight/or relative density before we carried out the treatment. When we filtered the floating seeds on the surface of water, the hot water treatment was performed considerably better on the sunk seeds after separation. Therefore, by this special priming process we were able to reach 80% germination capacity of Virgina mallow seeds under laboratory conditions (26 oC without illumination).
The climate changes is becoming more damaging to ornamental plants. Besides ornamental species and varieties of plants on public spaces. It will be necessary to use domestic, well adaptable climate-tolerant plant species.
One field of our growing ornamental plants researches from 2001 in the Centre of Agricultural Sciences of University... of Debrecen, is studying drought patient, mainly Hungarian improved annual varieties, which are able to get acclimatized with the landscape. Moreover, we have in view to work out new, economical seedling production technologies. In the program, the excellent drought- and frost tolerant annuals and perennials belongs to the climate change tolerant plants. From the evaluated of species we want to create and spread the application. of the new types of ornamental horticulture culture.