Morel: 100 years of flower breeding innovation
100 years ago, Pierre Morel begun breeding Cyclamens, later joined by his son Charles who started diploid and tetraploid breeding. They became world-famous for their varieties of exceptional sizes, colors and heat-resistance. In 1975, Charles handed the company to four of his sons, among them Guy Morel at the breeding department. Guy initiated the development of F1 hybrids and has been joined by his daughter Héloïse and 2 other breeders in the last years. They now propose about 200 F1 varieties, and their exceptional catalogue has been labeled by CCVS as a National Interest Collection!
“The CCVS label attests of a wide Cyclamen panel with various flower shapes and colors, and of the capacity to duplicate and uphold the whole collection.” Héloïse Morel, Project coordinator.
World leader flower seed company
From Fréjus in the South of France, Morel produces and exports several million Cyclamen seeds every year in 70 countries, in their 7.4 acres (3,5 hectares) of greenhouses. They have been leading the seed market of this flower for more than 15 years. “ We have been the driving force of the market in variety, fantasy, outdoor and indoor use. We pulled everyone up. We have paved the way. ” Olivier Morel, CEO.
With 10 to 15 new varieties every year, Morel’s leadership largely relies on its research department, that works closely with the marketing team to address and even foresee the specific needs of flower producers.
“Even if we produce many classical varieties, we keep a very creative and original identity, always striving to surprise and attract attention to our creations” Violaine Vanpouille, Breeder.
State-of-the-art flower breeding
The most original new varieties of Morel flower breeding innovations are labeled “Very Special”, such as Friola® and Origami®. They express exceptional features: fine fragrance, amazing flower shape, color and pattern, or specific climate adaptation.
Amazing fact: Some flower forms or patterns are expressed differently according to climatic condition. The Victoria character is fully expressed as the daylength gets longer. The flowers of Indiaka® only gets bicolor for a specific combination and light and temperature.
Morel also conducts agronomical research, such as climate analysis and heat resistance, to give custom advice to their customers and stay up to date on climate change. They also created an innovative irrigation device to improve pot watering !
“Breeding innovative varieties takes experience, flair and a hint of creative madness” Céline Pesteil, Breeder.
Flower breeding digitalized for better collaboration
In the 2000s the R&D team has welcome a new generation of breeders, notably Héloïse Morel. All historical data on parental lines and varieties has been digitalized in the plant breeding software RnDExperience™, to valorize the company's genetical heritage at its best.
“The breeding software helped store all genetical data from Guy Morel to the next generation to insure the heritage of the Morel genepool.” Héloïse Morel, Project coordinator.
“RndExperience™ is today a central tool of our activity. Since day 1, Doriane's teams have been listening to our needs and specificities and have succeeded in adapting the software to our way of working until making it indispensable. Today we continue to develop it jointly to meet our new needs. This collaboration takes the form of constant exchanges and personalised training to ensure that we are able to be autonomous on a daily basis.
RndExperience™ has secured our information and allowed us to ensure its transmission. The centralization of data allows various services (research, production, logistics) to work from a common base: saving time and limiting the risk of error. It is from RndExperience™ that all our seedlings, crosses and trials are prepared for an always up to date information.” Testimony from Morel's breeding team.
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