Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Cool New Digitalis

A very weird and wonderful Digitalis (Foxglove) was discovered by one of my growers at our nursery yesterday. It was one amongst several dozen D. purpurea 'Excelsior Hybrids'.

Although I have seen oddities before in certain plants, nothing quite as extraordinary as this.

Time will tell, with a few emails zipping around the world, whether it is truly of any horticultural significance. In the meantime, it is fun and otherwise a plain testimony to nature's wonderful variability.


Robert said...

I have two foxglove plants that have done something similar. I have posted pictures here: http://www.ahead-designs.com/digitalis_peloria.html

MPD said...

Hey thanks, that's cool.

It's interesting to note the differences -- yours almost has entirely fused petals, whereas mine had a layer or two of petals/petaloids.

Cheers, MPD

Robert said...

Mark, how much shorter than the 'true' plants is this yellow mutant shown in the photograph? Mine are 12~18 inches compared to the six-foot plus I would normally expect.

Regards, Robert.

mpd said...

Mine was only 20-30cm (8-12") shorter than the rest of the (2m) batch.


Robert said...

Interesting Mark: my guess is that there could be at least three recessive genes at play here, given the different corolla constructions plus the relative heights the spike stops at. Having some combination of at least two of those genes yields a terminal peloria. As you say in your original post, growing the seeds on to successive generations will be fun.

Anonymous said...

that is truly one of the oddest things i've ever seen...did you ever find anything out about it?

Mamma Bird said...

that is so cool, thank you

Anonymous said...

Funny! I was searching for infos about a "mutant" Digitalis Excelsiort I had from second generation seeds. My plant looks like the one in the picture: pale yellow with dark spots, 80 centimeters high, normal flowers along the stem, weird cup flower at the top.

Does anyone collected seeds from those plants?

Tuscany, Italy.

Robert said...

Hi David,

yes, I've collected seed and recently sown all (shame: I would have been pleased to send you half). The down-side with this is of course not knowing if the recessive genes are there until next year.