A sport is the consequence of sudden variations in genetic structure. A single bud or offset of the plant can suddenly assume a new and very different character from the rest of the plant.
Sports can differ by foliage shape or color, bloom color or form, or even branch or bud structure. If the new characteristics are desirable, they are sometimes propagated to form new cultivars that retain the new characteristics. However, some are prone to reversion, meaning that they can revert to their original form. An example of a bud sport is the nectarine, which developed from the bud sport of a peach.
Often bush roses give rise to climbing 'sports'. Botanists usually call such sports 'mutants'.
Most variegated plants started as solid green then sent out a variegated sport. The variegated sport was then propagated to give us the variegated form. However, the propagated form sometimes reverts and the plant can become green again if the solid shoots are not removed.
Here is a tulip sport: Couleur Cardinal was introduced in 1845; Princess Irene, the sport, was introduced in 1949. Some sources classify them as early singles, others say they're Triumph tulips (both are two-toned w/ 'flames'). Both are super to force. Both are 12-14" tall.
Image and history of the tulip sport courtesy of jmorth.
This variegated leaf seedling is the sport of a daylily.
A daylily mutation image: fasciation.
Both daylily images courtesy of Char.
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|Love it when that happens! by KyWoods||Aug 23, 2012 12:22 PM||4|