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Weird green echinacea

Posted by Cindi_in_KS z6 KS 67230 (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 4, 02 at 12:35

This summer one of my echinaceas bloomed green---all parts of the flower! Is this a mutation? Will the seeds produce more plants that bloom green? Every bloom on this plant was mostly green, but some had a little pink on the ends of the petals. Some blooms had erratic shapes. It is a vigorous plant, with many blooms. I do have photos if anyone wants to see.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Weird green echinacea

Don't know how to post the photo here...but it can be viewed on my public photo album at
photos.yahoo.com/agustydustyw3g
Click the one that says "garden s.." (summer 2002)

Here is a link that might be useful: photo album


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RE: Weird green echinacea

Cindi -
Your Echinacea looks like a sport or mutation. It is truly different! Is this the first year it has produced flowers for you? My guess is that it would come true from seed - if it does in fact produce viable seed.
Would you be willing to part with any of your Echinacea seed? Currently I am working on several new perennial seed varieties that will be distributed though a new seed company, something that unusual shouldn't be lost to cultivation - I am sure that other gardeners would love your plant (I think it is beautiful!) and you would be given the recognition for 'finding' it. Maybe it should be called Cindi's Green Echinacea. Please email me and let me know if you would be able to share any seeds!
Sincerely, Jeff


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RE: Weird green echinacea

I'd be interested in a few Green Echs too. Would really make me the envy of my irish neighbors.


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RE: Weird green echinacea

Cindi, neat green echinacea. I see you also grew leonotis. I grew it from seed for the first time this year and absolutely loved it. My plants got over 8 ft. tall, unfortunately it isn't winter hardy here in NC zone 7. My also had to be chopped back twice due to storm damage knocking it over. Good luck with your unusual coneflower.


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RE: Weird green echinacea

I am always interested in any sports mutations or new developments . If any of you wish to trade seeds I have a large exchange list.


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RE: Weird green echinacea

Hi Cindi,
I too would be interested in some of your green ech. seeds if your interested in trading. Please let me know if there is anything on my list that might interest you. Take care. :o)


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RE: Weird green echinacea

Cindi,

I went to look at the photo in your album, but didn't see it. You may want to scroll down to the Echinacea Yellows photo at this site and compare to what they show as a diseased plant.

Here is a link that might be useful: Echinacea Yellows-disease


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RE: Weird green echinacea

.... new plants should be directed here - they seem to be the experts

Here is a link that might be useful: PLANTS magazine


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RE: Weird green echinacea

Wow. If this really is a mutant, make sure you grow out a load of SELFED seedlings from it to stabilize it. Mutations like this are sometimes unstable and almost always recessive. Any stray pollen from normal plants will result in seedlings that look normal, but carry the recessive mutant genes. You'd be able to recover the mutant genes after a couple of generations, but if the green one turns out to be self-fertile, why bother? Does anyone out there know if Echinacea are self-fertile? If so, you should be able to isolate or cover the plant to prevent cross-pollination.


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RE: Weird green echinacea

Without looking at a picture of it, I'm not certain what is going on, but my guess is you've got a phytoplasma disease. Among their symptoms are greening of tissues and abnormal growth, usually being excessively branched or flattened.

Because the whole plant did this and not a single shoot, I doubt it is a sport. Although you could propagate it, there are two potential problems: plants with phytoplasmas are usually less hardy and may not survive over time, and phytoplasmas are can be spread through insect feeding. Thus, your healthy plants may become diseased.

I hope this helps. What you choose to do with your mutation is up to you. But keep in mind, if insects spread it, your neighbors may not consider green coneflowers as interesting as you do.


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RE: Weird green echinacea

Hi Cindy - that is a really neat plant - and it doesn't look diseased at all.


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RE: Weird green echinacea

Some green echinacea popped up in our garden too.
That disease theory seems plausible. I can't see how this could be advantageous to a plant...I looked the flowers over and can't see any pollen like I do on my other plants. These are *green* flowers, basically invisible to bees. Plus new flowers, stem and all, seem to be growing right inside the old flower.

Not sure about the original poster's situation, but my green echinacea is most likely diseased. Check out this website:
http://www.agric.gov.ab.ca/agdex/600/630-2.html
Figure 5 looks almost like mine.

Thanks Grndskpr_Wenthe for your phytoplasma suggestion.


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RE: Weird green echinacea

My echinacea looked perfectly normal other than the unusual green blooms. No flattened stems, no excess growth, and just as tough as all the others in that bed.
I contacted people at Plant Delights and they said echinacea mutate fairly frequently, but that mutants are usually sterile. I'll watch this summer to see if that plant returns. I'll let you know what the seeds produce, if anything.
Cindi


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RE: Weird green echinacea

Cindi,

I have seen this "flower form" before. I collect echinacea seeds and the plant I observed did not produce any seeds. I would keep and eye on yours and perhaps you will have better luck with the seed


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RE: Weird green echinacea

Hey Cindi,

I have also seen the same form on Rudbeckia named "Green Wizard". There are also other names, but that is the one I saw in the Netherlands. I would suggest not giving any seeds away, but contacting a perennial company and try to make a contract with them. I know that Walters Gardens Inc. (Michigan) or Sunny Border Nurseries (Conn.) would probably be interested in at least seeing a picture and maybe growing them commercially for you. I hope that you haven't given any material away because this find could possibly make you a little bit of money.


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RE: Weird green echinacea

HI Cindi

Im just over the border in Missouri. I got the seeds in Ks from the wild. I've seen this frequently over the past 5 years. It does seem to be a disease induced effect.

If left be they usually come back but eventually start to fade in vigor. I just pull them out now.

Keith


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RE: Weird green echinacea

I've got this comming up too. I was excited until I did some research of my own. It is diseased. When my digital camera gets back from the "doctor" I will post a pic.


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RE: Weird green echinacea

I had a clump of echinacea like that this summer too!! I let it stay during the summer but this fall I pulled it. I figured it was from a mutant seed. I hope that I didn't throw away a start to something "new" oh well. All my other purple coneflowers were ok.


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RE: Weird green echinacea

Be sure to patent it before trading or selling it or someone could sell it and you would get no credit gotta go post more later...


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RE: Weird green echinacea

That phytoplasma disease is bad stuff especially in Phlox paniculata. Glad to find some consciousness about it finally. Many tiny bunched stems. Got in my nursery through supposedly reputable plug growers and a Dutch bare root grower. Now it is resident in the wild plants around the nursery. Found that the disease is not as bad when you don't use any peat moss in the containers, some stems breaking out of it and growing normally. Also when planted in the ground in ordinary soil.

I had a few runty Echinacea 'Rubinstern' (derived from 'Magnus', Jelitto Seeds, Germany) and let them go another year instead of selling them. The second year they all looked like 'Kim's Knee High' with one plant a bit more dwarf and compact than 'Kim's'. Now I have collected seed from all these and can try making a short, compact seed cultivar.


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RE: Weird green echinacea

Cindy, How did the seed do this season? Did the plant come back?


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RE: Weird green echinacea

This summer I moved all the echinacea out of that bed to make more room for new daylilies. Stupidly, I didn't keep track of where I put that particular one in the new bed. I don't have any native echinacea--all of mine are named varieties I purchased. No other plants are showing any sign of disease or mutation. I really think I had a good mutant that was sterile, just like Tony Avent predicted.
I'll post photos if it blooms next summer! Can't believe this post has lasted this long!
Oh--I do also have the rudbeckia Green Wizard. This is not the same...think apples and oranges.
Cindi


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RE: Weird green echinacea

Hi Cindi,
WOW, you have certainly gotten lots of different opinions on your NEW flower. I wish you the best. It sounds beautiful. I hope you will be able to grow many more just like it.
Btw, love how you spell your name :-)
Looking forward to spring,
Cindip


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Weird green echinacea alive and well

This summer the weird green echinacea bloomed once again. It was one of the larger, healthier plants in my echinacea collection. The green blooms had funny tops on them like "Doppelganger" or "Razzmatazz", which grow elsewhere in that bed. No disease whatsoever. I did collect seeds this time. I'll see if I can figure out how to post an embedded photo.
Cindi


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RE: Weird green echinacea

Did you ever get my email?


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year three, weird green echinacea

Paion, no, I never got any mail from you.
Also, that particular plant still had healthy leaves on it through our first 2 freezes this fall. It's hardier than the rest!


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RE: Weird green echinacea

I guess your email provider might be blocking my hotmail account, I'll try again from gmail. The subject will be "Weird green Echinacea", and I'll attach my trade list as an xls-file.

The Echinacea looks very interesting, I wonder if it's a form of proliferation?


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RE: Weird green echinacea

I'm very sorry for the off-topic posts, but I don't know of another way to contact you, it doesn't look like my emails are coming thru. If you haven't received any mails from me, could you please send me an email thru my member page? Thanks!


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RE: Weird green echinacea

Cindi_in_KS, I don't know if embedded photos are allowed in this forum. You might use one of the GardenWeb Photo Galleries, and post a link here. I've never used them, and the instructions weren't very clear, but apparently if you have the image on your computer, after you type your message and click "Preview Message" in the Gallery then a box pops up and you click "Browse" and find it.

By the way, the HTML code to embed images that are already online (if they are allowed) is something like (img src="http://whateveraddress.com/myphoto"), but replace ( and ) with < and >.


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oops!

Darn, I should have checked more closely before posting. The Image Uploading instructions are on the main page of the Hybridizing Forum. They are not allowed in followup messages, so you would have to start a new message. Again you have to look on the Preview Message step for the Browse button, or use the HTML code in the original box.


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RE: Weird green echinacea

I'd be willing to bet a gazillion bucks that this is a yellows virus, very common to Echinacea and many other garden ornamentals. VERY widespread, too.

Sorry to disappoint you, but this is not an exciting new mutation!

Here is a link that might be useful: Aster yellows of Echinacea


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RE: Weird green echinacea

I agree with rhizo


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RE: Weird green echinacea

It is interesting that a plant does not have to act diseased to be diseased. I have a friend who found a variegated rudbeckia in his garden - he was very excited about this until he had it tested at Agdia labs, and learned that it had a virus. The plant has been growing strongly in his garden for four years now.

If you think that you have a new plant the first thing you should do is to send a couple leaves to Agdia and have it tested.

Here is a link that might be useful: Agdia Laboratories


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It was diseased, that's for sure

It's been six years since I first posted about the weird growth. I moved to another house, taking my plants with me. The original plant that was so hardy is no more. ALL my echinaceas are now showing signs of this disease, and yes, most definitely it's aster yellows, phytoplasma. I bought every new plant that was introduced--all the Big Sky series, Vintage Wine, the double pink ones under various names, Fragrant Angel, all of them. They now all have the disease and I'm digging them all out. I'm noticing nurseries selling plants that are diseased, so I not only had this in my garden to start with, but I've added strains by buying plants that were carriers. Last week I was in a nursery that had an 8 x 10 photo of an echinacea with the characteristic rosetting, leaflike blooms. They thought it was beautiful and would not believe me when I said it was a disease and they should not be selling plants that looked like that. I didn't believe it six years ago. Clfo was exactly right when he said the plant does not have to act diseased to be diseased. I wish I had disposed of the original plant. I am glad I didn't collect any seeds or share them with anyone.
I did a google search for a treatment, found very little, and the search brought up this old thread. Just wanted to make sure people knew it wasn't a cool new plant, but the start of disaster for a large part of my perennial garden.
Cindi


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RE: Weird green echinacea

What a strange thing to happen, Cindi. It sounds like a very exciting event ending in quite a disaster. How are your gardens now, two years later? I was going to add this type of flower to my garden (even wrote in my garden journal tonight that I wanted to buy one this year) and now I will not take the chance. Thanks so much for updating years later on the progress/or lack there of in your garden.


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RE: Weird green echinacea

This year one half of my echinacea started producing green flowers and then after several weeks small stalks with a mini flower appeared from the flower heads. Very unusual!!


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