Glossary Tip: Sport

Posted by @CDsSister on
What is a botanical sport? There are different ways of phrasing it but it amounts to a plant suddenly putting off a variant of the original plant; sometimes this process is referred to as a mutation.

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.

Thumb of 2012-08-17/Sharon/237c31

Image and history of the tulip sport courtesy of jmorth.

This variegated leaf seedling is the sport of a daylily.

Thumb of 2012-08-17/Sharon/41708b

A daylily mutation image: fasciation.

Thumb of 2012-08-17/Sharon/c0e3fc

Both daylily images courtesy of Char.

 
Comments and discussion:
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Love it when that happens! by KyWoods Aug 23, 2012 12:22 PM 4



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