Single sunflower plant presenting with unusual features!

DaisyChain212September 28, 2013

Hi, I live in the south east of England UK. We have sown several sunflower seeds in May 2013 from a children's gift pack. All have grown one large flower, except for one. This seed has produced a seven feet tall plant, with a large flowerhead measuring 12 inches across. More heads have sprouted from the main stalk - 13 of them are single flowers, one is a twin, one a triple, and one a Siamese twin, where the flower is twice the breadth where two did not separate - it's an oval shape ! I have taken several photos 27th September 2013- will try to upload. How unusual is this, and what will the seeds from each strange flower produce next year?

This post was edited by DaisyChain212 on Sat, Sep 28, 13 at 18:44

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DaisyChain212

This is the flower which has formed from two failing to separate.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 10:03AM
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DaisyChain212

This is the flower which has formed from two failing to separate.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 10:05AM
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DaisyChain212

two heads on one stalk

This post was edited by DaisyChain212 on Sat, Sep 28, 13 at 10:10

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 10:08AM
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DaisyChain212

The sunflower plant grown from one seed, providing several different flowers, of different make up.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 10:22AM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

In the classroom we were taught a virus could do this. I don't know what the real world thinks of the virus theory.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 3:20PM
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DaisyChain212

Hi albert_135 - would it be a virus affecting the original seed's development, or from the soil or air during growth of the plant? Will the seeds produced from all these strange flowers be affected and reproduce the mutated flowers?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 6:39PM
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WeedaBix

In my experience, you'll see this from one of two things. A nitrogen deficiency or excessive stalk stroking. Either way, it makes for an unique sunflower.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 1:13AM
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DaisyChain212

WeedaBix , are you a cereal stalker? Seriously, Californian sunflower seeds are a mystery unto themselves.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 5:01AM
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DaisyChain212

"Siamese twin" flowerhead, petals opening

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 2:35PM
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zen_man

Hi, DaisyChain,

Interesting pictures. I have never seen anything like your picture of the big sunflower with the little sunflowers growing out of it. I assume you will be saving seeds to see what they will do next year.

I had a similar experience to your double-headed sunflower with a zinnia a couple of years ago, and this is a picture of it.

As an amateur zinnia breeder, I tend to be attracted to anything different. However, I have come to regret saving those seeds, because now it is fairly common to find a zinnia with a "broken" head, and I now cull and discard those. I have seen zinnia blooms with as many as five little heads all crowded into the same bloom. I don't think the broken heads are particularly attractive, and they now seem like a defect to me.

But freaky flowers are still interesting. I just don't want them in my garden.

ZM

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 11:43PM
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DaisyChain212

A further bloom on the same plant has opened, and it has some extra petals - this plant is producing many variations on the theme, and I'd love to know how it does this, and how the different defects are possible from one seed. Zenman - thanks for the photo of the Zinnia - I'm intending to keep the seeds from each flower separately, to see what happens next year !

This post was edited by DaisyChain212 on Tue, Oct 1, 13 at 5:31

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 5:17AM
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DaisyChain212

The main leaves have been stripped away, due to a snail picnic !

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 5:29AM
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