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Chrysanthemum is the most important ornamental plant in the Netherlands. It’s also the second most traded ornamental plant in the world.

The Netherlands is a world leader in propagation and breeding of new Chrysanthemum varieties. The Dutch floriculture propagation materials sector has a similarly large impact on the Dutch economy as its sizeable dairy industry.

Many different plant species form the basis of the commercial crop ‘chrysanthemum’. The genetic diversity that chrysanthemum breeders have at their disposal is therefore highly complex, but it also has great potential. It offers many starting points for further developing properties such as transportability, vase life, tolerance for different climates, diseases, and pests. Combining those traits in new varieties however is challenging.

More sustainable

Technological advances are crucial if chrysanthemum breeding is to play an important role in making horticultural production more sustainable. Dutch chrysanthemum breeders work closely together in precompetitive research, making sure that basic knowledge about the plants is and will become widely available. For example, the entire chrysanthemum genome has now been mapped and techniques have been developed that can be used to unravel the complex genetics of these popular ornamentals.