Hibiscus flowers, which have been carried into space and returned to Earth by China's Shenzhou-14 and Shenzhou-15 manned spaceships, are blooming at the Chengdu Botanical Garden in southwest China's Sichuan Province.
So far, more than 9,000 Hibiscus seeds have been selected at the Chengdu Botanical Garden for space breeding, and the first and second batches of the seeds have already been planted in the garden.
Over 4,000 hibiscus seeds with four new varieties, which were taken to space by the Shenzhou-14 and Shenzhou-15 manned spaceships, were brought back at the end of 2022. The seeds were exposed to cosmic radiation, with the goal of helping to develop new varieties of plants.
After more than half a year of careful cultivation, many space-bred hibiscus flowers have shown signs of mutation, such as varying degrees of thick branches and flower variations. By contrasting with the seeds that have not been sent to space, mutations can be detected quickly, according to Tang Shengwen, a landscape engineer at the Chengdu Botanical Garden.