The newly developed Hibiscus rosa-sinensis hybrid of the Institute of Plant Breeding under the College of Agriculture and Food Science of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (IPB-CAFS, UPLB) was recently coined as Hibiscus rosa-sinensis “Mariquit B. de la Peña,” after Mariquit B. de la Peña, the wife of Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis “Mariquit B. de la Peña” is a gumamela hybrid characterized for its soft, rose-like bloom that has delicate white strokes running from its eye to its corolla in the middle.

It was developed by plant breeder Agripina O. Rasco, who described the plant as average in height with thick petals that bloom in two days. The flowers have five folds with partially overlapping petals.

Rasco also said that gumamela hybrids bloom abundantly and have sturdy blossoms.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis “Mariquit B. de la Peña” is part of the many hybrids developed under the IPB Hibiscus breeding program that started with Reynold Pimentel in 1994.

It was recognized during a simple ceremony held last February 19 at IPB-UPLB. The ceremony coincided with the 40th wedding anniversary of the de la Peña couple.

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