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Mutants in the garden

Have a look at this:
It's just a weed, Setaria verticillata but it's a special one,because it's varigated :) this is probably due to random mutation,and now the plant is a chimera-an organism consisting of a mixture of cells with different DNA.
And recently I found this varigated pursulane too:
It's dark green and light green,I'm hoping that it's a chimera like that grass,because that would mean good chance that some of the offspring would be completely light-green and I would have a new cultivar of pursulane that would also look sweet :-()

I use to wonder how new cultivars are made,and I guess this is one of the ways,just randomness.But just how offten does this happen? In my life I've only found these two.Have any of you ever spotted something like this? I'm not talking only about variegation,but any characteristic that makes the plant look visibly different than the others of the same species?

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2105
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:53 am
Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: Mutants in the garden

Hi Greenman,

Warm welcome to the forum.

Your photos are very interesting.

I have had mutants in my compost pile. Watermelon, tomatoes, peppers and cantaloupe.

Obviously I do not care for my compost bins as well as I should.


Looking forward to hearing more from you.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3587
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:10 pm
Location: ID/Wa! border

Re: Mutants in the garden

Mutations are sometimes encouraged by exposure to radioactive material.

People are curious about plants and contact their land-grant university or Cooperative Extension Service.

These actions sometimes lead to new cultivars.

The most common thing I come across is fasciation.

We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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