Letter | Published:

An Abnormal Rose

Nature volume 52, pages 244245 | Download Citation



THERE are several varieties of rose that sport or revert in the manner described by Mr. Newnham Browne. The “York and Lancaster” rose is a familiar example. In this, the recognised or genuine condition is red and white striped; but the proportions of white and red are rarely exactly the same in any two flowers on a bush, and very frequently some are wholly red and some, perhaps, wholly white, though I am not sure on this point. Many other cross-bred plants exhibit this inconstancy, which is supposed to be due to an imperfect blending of the elements of parentage. That the sporting is irregular and inconstant is not to be wondered at, when we consider that a plant is not an individual in the sense of possessing only one set of organs. Any vegetative bud of a plant is capable of producing any and all of the organs of the whole plant, or, if detached from the parent plant, to develop into a similar organism, with all its attributes. Given, then, a cross-bred variety, which is not constant, or “fixed,” as florists term it, any vegetative bud may give rise to the cross or to one or the other of the parents.

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