With the joint efforts of many researchers including Prof. He Xingyuan, director of the Arboretum of the Institute of Applied Ecology (IAE), Chinese Academy of Sciences, three new lilac varieties ("Shengjinghuang," "Shengjinghong" and "Shengjingzi") screened and declared by IAE, have recently obtained the New Plant Variety Certificates issued by the State Forestry and Grassland Administration.
It took 13 years for the IAE researchers to obtain the three new varieties. In 2006, the researchers started screening and breeding new varieties of Lilac. They carried out field investigations and collected lilac germplasm resources at 12 sites in Chaoyang, Fuxin, Jinzhou, and Tieling, etc. By 2012, they introduced and transplanted 135 lilac trees belonging to 38 lilac germplasm sources. After conducting specificity screening, they determined three lilac lines with distinct autumn leaf colours (yellow, red and purple), as well as 9 lilac varieties. In 2017, they carried out asexual reproduction using these selected "varieties." In the autumn of 2018, they observed the specificity, consistency and stability of these varieties, and determined 3 new varieties to be declared. In the spring of 2019, they organised the new variety declaration, and on November 12 of the same year, the three lilac varieties were approved on-site by the State Forestry and Grassland Administration to issue certificates.
The three new varieties of lilac have a wide range of adaptability to different environment. They are not only suitable for highway greening, urban and rural greenbelt landscaping, but also for ecological restoration projects such as mine and barren mountain afforestation. Thus, they are worthy of being launched into the market and will have broad promotion and application prospects. In 2020, the Arboretum of IAE cooperated with relevant seedling production companies and have bred more than 3,800 seedlings of new lilac varieties.