A pleasant mutation

steve22802(7a VA)August 19, 2013

Last year I grew a new variety I liked called Painted Girl. It is lavender with maroon streaks. I planted saved tubers and also propagated some from cuttings and ended up planting about 14 clones, but one turned out different. I'm pretty sure the mutation was grown from a tuber not a cutting. The mutation was a loss of the lavender color which makes for a nicely compatible flower for arrangements.

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steve22802(7a VA)

By the way, what's the correct way to refer to this mutation. Do I just describe it by color and form as an unnamed cultivar? Or do make up my own name? But what if it has reverted to the same genetic pattern of one of it's parents, a preexisting cultivar? I should really use that name, but I have no way to prove a genetic match to a preexisting cultivar?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 8:57PM
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Very nice, Steve! That would make me jump for joy, too!

I humbly suggest you try to make several cuttings of the sport NOW so that you can save the pot roots for next season! My understanding of sports is that it is where DNA is dropped or shuffled, and can easily go back to the original. So all your tubers of that sport might be Painted Girl, or solid Painted Girl next season. If you want to keep that sport, a grown-on cutting might save the day.

I know cuttings tend to not strike this late in the season, but its worth a try!

From what other experts have said, sports that stay stable after three years MIGHT continue to be stable, but there is always a chance of it reverting.

Cheering for your matching sport!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 11:37PM
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steve22802(7a VA)

Thanks for the suggestion CC. I just figured I would save the tubers and make sure to keep them labeled separated from the other Painted Girl tubers, but like you said, the newly formed tubers may not come out the same. I'll try taking some cuttings. I've tried late season cuttings before and they didn't root nearly as easily as the early season tuber sprouts, but I'll give it a try.

- Steve

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 7:30AM
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Hmm... Just had another thought. Most people toss the mother tuber, but maybe you can save her, stored separately to make cuttings from in the spring. They so often rot in the ground, or in storage, but sometimes they overwinter long enough for cuttings or even to plant again.

Especially in your business, matching colors in blooms is something to be prized! I had a Ms. Zelda revert to solid, and although I was disappointed, I'm also thrilled as the purple perfectly matches several other beloved varieties, like HH Starburst. I might try again with Mz Zelda so I can pair the reverted with the varigated in next season's bouquets.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 9:51AM
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Variegated dahlias sport to many versions of the original. More often than not, the sport reverts back to the original. Old time commercial growers would toss out all the stock of variegated flowers that went solid color. In your case, you may get lucky and if you like that lighter colored one you would be a happy camper. I like the other version better.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 10:41AM
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steve22802(7a VA)

I too like the lavendar Painted Girl better than the white but for mixed cut flower arrangements I like using a blend of compatible shades and colors and these will work well together. I took 8 cuttings this morning to try and root. If they fail then I'll just hope that the newly formed tubers carry the same genes.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 1:29PM
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Your mutation looks a lot like Painted Lady. I guess its probably safe to assume one is a sport of the other? The names being so similar and all.

I do really like both flowers! I have Painted Lady already, but might have to add Painted Girl to my 2014 purchase list now that I've seen how beautiful they look together :)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 6:41PM
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steve22802(7a VA)

>> Your mutation looks a lot like Painted Lady

I looked up a picture of Painted Lady and yes my mutation looks exactly like it. Perhaps Painted Lady was one of the parents that was crossed to create Painted Girl. Is there anywhere to look up the ancestry of a dahlia?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 10:15PM
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There are two varieties of Painted Lady. The one that resembles your sport is Fern Ridge Painted Lady. Perhaps that tidbit will help if you do further research.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 1:28PM
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