Monday, August 18, 2014
Strange Mutants in the Garden
Meanwhile back home and poking around among the ten thousand fiercely blooming bright yellow-orange rudbeckia vista (which we used to call Black Eyed Susans or even Railroad Daisies in New Orleans) I spotted a few flowers that have magenta stripes on their petals. I counted five on one plant and then two on another plant. These plants originally came with us when we moved from Indiana in the mid-80s, and we had gotten them from a family farm in Michigan. The plants in our garden are all descendents of the half dozen plants we brought with us. These plants are perennials, and they also seed themselves all over the place.
The great curiosity to me is how these two plants came to have variants. I suspect the little Rudbeckia gaillardia (Indian Blanket) plants that came in a packet of seeds from our son and daughter-in-law in New Hampshire. The Black-Eyed Susans are so prolific that they tend to take over wherever they plant themselves; but the little Indian Blanket plants were there last year, among the Black-Eyed Susans. Somehow those two Black-Eyed Susan plants must have been pollinated by pollen from the adjacent Indian Blanket, thus making at least one or two seeds that contained hybrid information and that were sown by whatever sows those seeds in parts of the yard away from the parent plant. Anyway, that's my best guess.