Bill and other unusual sports,
The photo of Pat Mora's sport is indeed different. I have tried to come
up with some possible explanations for the unusual pattern of LI and LII
tissue. Let me start off the discussion of possible causes for the variegation
pattern with several assumptions which may affect the analysis of the causes.
1. That the parent of 'Embroidery' (Aden) is Green Velveteen and not
the otherway around as stated in the HostaSports.com Library
2. That the ruffled edges of 'Embroidery' is due to the presumption
that it may be a 4-2-2 cytochimera which causes the ruffling in the green
outer edge. I suggested this in a talk given in 1997 Winter Scientific
Meeting in Chicago. This is speculation, please understand.
3. That the LI/LII tissue cytochimera may have been induced by radiation
by the originator. This also is pure speculation on my part, but may be
a reasonable assumption.
4. That 'Embroidery' has been propagated widely by now. I know that
two labs have propagated it (Scolnick and Ventatesh in Florida for Khlem)
and perhaps Shady Oaks also. The more it is propagated, the more variable
the end product may become because of more chances for mutations
of several types..
5. That several mechanisms may have occurred within the plant tissue
undergoing micropropagation. These mechanisms must have occurred in an
exact sequence to give the specific pattern of variegation which has been
displayed in the photo. Some mutations may have occurred without being
observed in tissue culture.
6. That LI and LII layers remain distinct with 'Embroidery' while in
tissue culture with the exception that tissue displacement/replacement
may have occurred at one specific time while the cultivar was
With these assumptions being accepted, the following sequences of changes
may have occurred to explain the pattern of variegation observed in Pat
Mora's unusual sport:
Step 1. Green Velveteen may have undergone a chloroplast mutation which
created upon complete sorting out of unmutated and mutated plastids, a
periclinal sport with a green center and a white edge.
Step 2 . A tissue transfer took place with cell initials of LII displacing
the position of LI, and LI replacing the position of LII. The chimera now
has a green edge and a white center.
Step 3. A mutation creating a 4-2-2 cytochimaral sport may have been
created in a major cell initial in the unmutated green LII cell, creating
a green ruffled edge. The media portion of the leaf was unchanged, being
Step 4. After a number of years of micropropagation, a nuclear mutation
may have occurred changing the ability of one cell which happened to be
a cell initial in the apex of the meristem within the white LI tissue to
begin again to synthesize chlorophyll once more in a portion of the white
tissue layer. At the time of the photo, incomplete sorting out is suggested
as the current situation, since some of the tissue is striated with
alternating patterns of green and white tissue on some leaves and a larger
area of green LII cells on one of the other leaves appearing,
giving the LI layer, cells of two different types, green and
white.. . I would not be surprised to see more green tissue next year with
the white area of the leaves being reduced in size in future
How is that for a diagnosis? Of course, other mechanism changes may
have occurred instead of those I have suggested. Aren't hosta wonderful?
Just about anything may have occurred.
Bill Meyer wrote:
The picture attached here was sent to hostapix by Pat Mora. It shows a
division of 'Embroidery' in which a green center is appearing inside the
whitish center, which is something I've only seen before in 'Royal Tiara'.
Given that we understand Hosta to have only two layers, how can we explain
this? Has a third layer come into existance through mutation? Or is this
new tissue some L1 that has become trapped inside the L2? This is one of
the strangest things hostas do. The appearance of a third color in a hosta
leaf is not uncommon, but this usually occurs as streaking or patches of
another color. What does it tell us that it apparently can form a stable-appearing