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Donating plant material to science

Posted by hoe_hoe_hoe 6or7, nc (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 29, 04 at 15:07

I am fascinated by plant mutation and variation and peculiar things are always catching my eye in nurseries and gardens. Many of these are things I have propagated or will try to propagate, but sometimes they seem just a little out of the scope of my abilities or range of interest. For example, I have an Angelica archangelica growing in my garden that has one patch of variegation on one leaf. I posted a picture in the foliage gallery. For another example, I have a leucothoe fontanesiana 'Scarletta' plant that has thrown up one albino shoot. I've posted that in the shrub gallery and I'll link below. Anyway, I am hoping that the albino shoot will throw a sport of its own that is variegated and self sustaining, but I don't know if there is any real scientific basis for this expectation. And I do want to get into tissue culture and would love to experiment on that patch of variegated Angelica leaf, but the chances of my getting started while the leaf is still viable seems slim.
Anyway, it would be nice if someone like me knew where to get in contact with plant scientists for academic benefit. Or if there was a place I could list these kooky occurrances and the scientists could see what if anything corresponded with their interests. I know that if the mutation looked immediately marketable, a nursery would be glad to assist and then if the plant material was multiplied it would be available to science as it was needed, but in some cases, like the two examples I've given, I don't think nurseryman would be too interested. I would feel better about donating to science anyway. Seems like a nice idea, doesn't it?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Donating plant material to science

"Seems like a nice idea, doesn't it? "

Sounds like a great idea ... keep in mind pressed plants can be used to docuement plant variations ... genetic material can also be extracted from such plants at a later date ... collecting plants and depositing them in a local herbarium may be an option for some of your donations.

Check out your local universities for some contacts ...

Good Day ...

RE: Donating plant material to science

I have a Balsam, only an annual, showing signs of white streaking in the leaves. So much fun to see freaks. That's even more unstable than a blueberry bush and a Spirea, wich I found reverts and it common. I think I'd be just fine in a lab coat. I've been to tissue culture labs and there not much to it. It's just being a good cook. I want a named something...someday. Go for it. Why donate, sharing can make you money...Let's talk on how.

RE: Donating plant material to science

  • Posted by Josh z8 GA (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 29, 04 at 22:21

Leucothoe fontanesia already has a named selection with red and white leaves: "Girard's Rainbow' by Girard Nursery. I've had one for probably 10 years at least. Has white, red, pink coloring right now. Maybe the Scarletta label got switched at the nursery...or maybe you've found another sport. Has your Scarletta up to now only had the red coloring? Anyway, here's a link showing 'Girard's Rainbow'.

I hope you'll keep watching...I love plants like these! I'm glad somebody noticed and propagated all the strange variations out there. josh

Here is a link that might be useful: Leucothoe fontanesia 'Girard's Rainbow'

RE: Donating plant material to science

Josh, I just acquired the plant yesterday. This time of year the plant is all green, though there are some burgandy tones to the new growth. And it a sizeable specimen, lush and full. They had a half dozen or so plants, all marked 'Scarletta' and all identical except for this completely white shoot- stem and all emerging from the one I brought home. There was no other white on any of the plants. I am aware of 'Girard's rainbow', but I brought the plant home in hopes that I could get a variegated sport that differed in some significant way. I'm wondering now if I could get this branch to flower, would the seed from it be more likely to produce variegated offspring. The white leaves are really neat, when you put your fingers behind them, you can see the flesh tone from your hands thru the leaf.

Mohave Kid, I've started reading up on herbariums. I've never really thought about them before. Thanks for mentioning it.

RE: Donating plant material to science

  • Posted by Josh z8 GA (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 30, 04 at 6:36

I didn't mean to sound negative or discouraging. I've enjoyed the fruits (pun intended) of so many nurserymen, collectors, individuals who intentionally seek out and propagate these plants. Even got a newsletter at one time from a group called "Anything But Green"! They later had a website but I can't locate it now.

Have you read Ken Druse' book on 'The Collector's Garden". which features some individuals and some nurseries which specialize in the unusual and rare. The ones who are actively seeking out new plants and variations all over the world, or in their local weed patch or nursery (like you). I think you'd enjoy it.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know I'm an "armchair" enthusiast but admire what you folks are benefits us all! josh

RE: Donating plant material to science

Sounds like an interesting read!

I didn't read anything negative into your post. When you are sport hunting, it is important to know what else is out there in the market already. It would certainly be a more exciting find for me if it were in a species with no known variegated cultivars, but I take them where I can find them.

RE: Donating plant material to science

I've had a similar experience with Phillipine violets Barleria cristata. I have the very common purple flowering type and have proven to be one of my most serious mistakes.
They seed everywhere!! About 4 years some of the seedlings
started showing white varigation to the leaves. I allowed these to grow and pulled all others.About 99 percent of all seedlings are still green. The varigated form is much weaker
gets about half the size and produces either a pure white or very pale lavender flower.,about half the size of the green. Many gardeners have told me about this so I know it's not rare but I'm curious as to why the varigation doesn't become fixed or at least in the majority.
Many tropical plants do this and I find if I cut off the normal leaves the varigates will soon be in the majority.
Or else the whole plant dies!! With Ficus benjimina if I don't cut off the green leaves the entire plant will revert to green. But the whole process can be reversed as new varigates will eventually appear.
With the PV none have appeared with partial varigations
either the entire plant or none.

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