Coleus "sport"?

Discussion in 'Plants: Science and Cultivation' started by arlee, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. arlee

    arlee Member

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    Calgary AB
    Strange days........i bought this coleus last year, took cuttings and overwintered then planted in the porch railing box in late spring. Identified as "Sea Anemone", suddenly he has become a "Fish Net"--how does this happen???? Up until this summer, it was as the left photo, but now is the right photo in the new growth! There is still the "old" look at the bottom of each stem, but all new growth is completely differently coloured. Until i took the cuttings, it stayed as the "Sea Anemone", and stayed as that through the winter. In the last two weeks, this change has occurred on all the new growth.

    Hope i'm posting in correct area of forums.

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  2. Michigander

    Michigander Active Member

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    Detroit, Michigan, USA
    If the genus is anything like Hosta, we have lots and lots of "varieties" because the genus is unstable, as in subject to chimera changes. The science in Hosta culture is changing at light speed because a lot of highly educated investigators are looking into how these changes come about. From my very low level understanding, chimeras, a change in a cell at the time of cell division, such that the newly divided cell is not a duplicate of the mother cell, is due to a change in the DNA. Either a new connection is made, or a connection is made incorrectly or absent. The new cell reproduces itself from that point forward and that is somehow different from the mother cell.

    The different colors of Hosta leaves, green, yellow, dark yellow, and white exhibited by the chlorophyll (C) in the upper two layers of the leaf. Normal green leaves have a full compliment of C cells in both layers; dark yellow fewer C cells in both layers; chartreuse has full C in one layer and fewer C in the other layer; yellow has no C in one layer and few C in the other layer; white is parasitic and has no C. Blue has a heavier layer of wax on a green leaf. Red C is a temporary stage which evolves to green. I suspect your Coleus is similar, but I know nothing about Coleus.

    The DNA chain connections can be broken by chemical damage, or by faulty genes, or radiation, disease, ect. New connections, same thing. Some new Hostas that are Tetreploids, Hostas with two sets of DNA, that have thicker leafs that are attractive and more slug resistant, but most grow slower. 'Patriot', one of the first of the type, was a chance chimera. Most of the new ones are created by chemical exposures at key cell-division moments.

    Sounds like your chimera is a chance occurrence, and is still probably different than the sister of its mother.

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