Imported: 21 Feb '17 | Published: 01 May '07
USPTO - Plant Patents
A new plant variety of Loropetalum chinese var. rubrum named ‘Sato's Dwarf Red’, having a low growing, compact habit and red foliage throughout the year.
Botanical classification: Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum Yieh.
Varietal name: ‘Sato's Dwarf Red’.
The present invention relates to a new and distinct variety of Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum and was developed in a controlled breeding program in Angyo Kichi Zo, Saitama Prefecture, Japan by the originator Mr. Noboru Sato. The varietal denomination of the new variety is ‘Sato's Dwarf Red’.
The genus Loropetalum is included in the family Hamamelidaceae that comprises about 15 genera of shrubs and trees growing in the northern hemisphere. Loropetalum comprises one species of evergreen shrub or small tree, which possesses desirable ornamental characteristics. Loropetalum was first introduced to Europe as an ornamental plant in the 1880s, and is believed to have been cultivated in North America since the early 1930s.
Loropetalum chinense is a native of China, and was first discovered in 1928 in Hunan province. It was rediscovered in the late 1980s and subsequently introduced to the United States. Loropetalum chinense generally has alternate, ovate leaves to 6 cm. long and 3 cm. wide. The plant is evergreen or partly evergreen depending on winter temperature. Leaf color ranges from light to dark burgundy, occasionally green, depending on light intensity, cultural conditions and cultivar. Shoots are slender, brown, and densely pubescent, pit is solid. Leaves are generally densely pubescent overall.
Flowers of Loropetalum chinense are perfect, four strap like, about 2 cm. long, and about 0.3 cm. wide petals. Three to six flowers are together in each leaf axil. Pedicel and calyx have a white pubescence. Flower color is pinkish to reddish purple depending on the cultivar. Flowering is heaviest in early spring.
The new variety was discovered as a open pollinated seedling in a controlled planting of Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum (unnamed, unpatented) and differs from other cultivars known to the inventor, including its parents, in having a low growing, compact habit and red foliage throughout the plant year. Asexual reproduction of the new variety by stem cuttings performed in Kawaguchi City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan has confirmed that the distinctive characteristics of the new variety are stable and reproduced true to type in successive generations of asexual propagation.
‘Sato's Dwarf Red’ is distinguished from its parents and all other varieties of Loropetalum chinense of which I am aware by its prostrate, compact habit, reaching no more than 60 cm in height and 90 to 180 cm in width, and its year-round burgundy red foliage. ‘Sato's Dwarf Red’ can be compared with Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum ‘Hindwarf’ (U.S. Plant Pat. No. 12,203); ‘Hindwarf’ is approximately the same size and habit as ‘Sato's Dwarf Red’, but the mature foliage of ‘Hindwarf’ turns dark green in color while ‘Sato's Dwarf Red’ maintains its burgundy red foliage into maturity. ‘Sato's Dwarf Red’ can also can be compared with Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum ‘Ruby’ (unpatented); ‘Ruby’ matures to approximately about 120 cm high and about 90 cm wide. ‘Sato's Dwarf Red’ also can be compared with Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum ‘Hines Purpleleaf’ (unpatented), which reaches about 4.5 m high and about 3.5 m wide at maturity.
Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum ‘Sato's Dwarf Red’ has not been observed under all possible environmental, cultural, and light conditions. The following observations and descriptions are of plants grown in containers at Lewisberry, Pa., and Angyo Kichi Zo, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. Phenotypic expression may vary with light intensity, cultural, and environmental conditions. In this description, color references are to The Royal Horticultural Society Colour Chart (2001) and terminology used in this color chart. As with many plants in the Hamamelidaceae family, phenotypic characteristics can be dramatically different in terms of growth morphology. For example, viewing this plant in Vacaville, Calif., the growth habit is distinctly pendulous, growing down the pot and tending to have a horizontal growth form.