Yellow & Red Tulip

Asked April 16, 2019, 12:36 PM EDT

This has to be the weirdest 2-color tulip I have ever seen. As you can see from the 2 pictures attached, the petals do not have "streaks" of 2-color, which I am used to seeing. Is this "normal"?

Maryland flowers: annuals and herbaceous perennials chimera

6 Responses

This is pretty cool and not normal. This phenomenon is known as a sport or a chimera. It happens when a plant produces an otherwise identical offspring that has a uniquely different appearance, such as color. It is caused by a genetic mutation.

Marian

Thank you very much for the explanation. I looked up Tulip Chimera and, sure enough, found several example of this mutation. It is cool!

Thanks again,
Yann

Oh, I guess that brings up another question: is the mutation permanent and my wife should expect her "mutant" to come back next year?

This type of genetic mutation is considered very unstable. It is unlikely to appear this way again next year. Here is a nice brief article on sectorial chimeras. http://gardenprofessors.com/when-half-a-flower-is-the-wrong-color/

Christa

Bummer! My wife was all excited about having a mutant garden. Thanks for the responses.

Yann