Characterization of Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa L. var. altissima Wester) Accessions in Northern Ghana by Agro-morphological Traits

  •  Nii Ayi Ankrah    
  •  Antonia Y. Tetteh    
  •  Nancy Coffie    
  •  Achana Niagiah    


Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa L. var. altissima Wester) is a bast fiber crop of global economic importance. Although West Africa is considered the centre of diversity, roselle research and utilization is widely ignored. The awakening of industrialization in Ghana presents roselle as a candidate crop for exploration, however, information on genotypes of economic importance is lacking. Our objective was to map roselle population hotspots in northern Ghana and examine genetic variability therein. Thirty-six roselle accessions collected from five regions in Ghana were planted in field trials using a 6 × 6 lattice square design in three replications and evaluated for seven qualitative and four quantitative morphological traits covering plant type, leaf and stem characteristics, and growth habit. Data were analysed by Shannon-Weiner Diversity Index (SDI) and analysis of variance. A large variability was identified between the accessions. The mean SDI values in the 18 districts ranged from 0.53 to 0.73 with Savelugu-Nanton district having the largest diversity and having accessions with the highest mean plant height of 308.27±48.91 cm, highest branching point at 107.19±64.66 cm, and few branches not exceeding 5.0 in number. Majority of the accessions exhibited low branching points. The most variable trait was branch number with SDI of 0.83±0.12. Accessions HA-07, HA-11, HA-12, HA-21, and HA-33 ranked highest with respect to plant height with few branches at high branching points, and large basal diameter. The ample diversity in roselle and identification of genotypes of economic importance await their exploitation for genetic improvement, particularly for fiber yield.

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